Victories came sparingly for the Jamestown High School baseball team in 2011.
Heck, wet grounds made home games at the Martin Road Sports Complex few and far between as well.
That's what made the Red Raiders' 8-7 come-from-behind, season-opening win over Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division 1 foe West Seneca West on Tuesday such a sweet one for head coach Dave Roehmholdt.
Above, Jamestown’s Kyle Emerson delivers a pitch against West Seneca West during Tuesday’s ECIC Division 1 baseball game. Below, Red Raiders’ second baseman Cameron Haberberger displays textbook form to field a grounder. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Scott Kindberg
"We're coming off a tough season,'' he said, "so to get that feeling of a win right off the bat is important to them."
Kyle Emerson sparked a six-run sixth inning with a two-run single and came one out shy of hurling a complete game, giving Jamestown some momentum heading into today's road contest against Clarence.
"I think Kyle is going to give us a lot of innings on the mound and will pitch big games when we need him to,'' Roehmholdt said.
Continued offensive support will help, too.
Trailing, 4-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Red Raiders sent 11 batters to the plate, and pounded out six hits against three different Indians' pitchers to finally take the lead. Alex Guzman led off with a single, stole second, went to third on a groundout and scored on Nick Tobias' single to right that chased starter Zach Marshall. Bo Brooks walked against reliever Neil Faltisco, who then gave up an RBI double to Adam Westley, balked in a run and surrendered back-to-back walks to Bram Johnson and Cameron Haberberger before leaving the game.
Tyler Chadlowski was called on to finally put out the fire, but he gave up a two-run single to Emerson and an RBI single to Ben Whitney before he finally retired the side.
As it turned out, the Red Raiders needed every one of those runs.
Nick Clancy led off the top of the seventh with his fourth hit to start West Seneca West's rally. With one out, Kevin Hanley tripled to right to drive in a run and two others were plated on a groundout and a throwing error. When Emerson walked Marshall to put the tying run on first, Roehmholdt called on Brett Dehner to get the final out. Dehner walked the first batter he faced, but got the final out on a groundout.
"(West Seneca West coach Jason Kline) has them playing as well as I've seen,'' Roehmholdt said. "They're going to be tough. To come out here and take a win, I'm very happy."
The game was tied, 2-2, through five innings as Emerson was locked in a pitchers' duel with Marshall. In the top of the sixth, the Indians took the lead thanks to a pinch-hit, two-run double by Devin Stiit.
Their lead was short-lived, though.
Held to two hits through five innings, Jamestown's bats finally came alive in the bottom of the sixth and it was just enough production to produce a victory in the Red Raiders' earliest season start in Roehmholdt's nine years as coach.
"That was our concern coming in after some of our early scrimmages was getting the bats going,'' Roehmholdt said. "We've pitched pretty well and our defense has been pretty good, but we needed to get the bats going. We started out a little sluggish with the bats, but they came around when we needed them to."
Emerson finished with two hits and three RBIs and Guzman also had two hits for the Red Raiders.
Clancy had four hits and scored twice, and Chadlowski and Jon Danouskis (double) both had two hits for West Seneca West.