The collegiate baseball season may have come to an end recently, but that hasn't slowed down a number of area ballplayers still in hot pursuit of major dreams.
Among that group are brothers Thaddeus Johnson and Cael Johnson (Frewsburg/Frewsburg), who are currently competing or, in Cael's case, coaching, in the New York Collegiate Baseball League (NYCBL).
Another Johnson, Asa, is playing far out in the upper northwest - Alaska, to be more specific - with the Alaska Baseball League - and Tanner Delahoy has taken his talents to the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL).
A group, which included several area natives, teamed up to win the recent River City Social Sports Broomball Championships in Richmond, Va. Those with Chautauqua County connections are Sarah Young (Maple Grove High School, Class of ’04), fourth from left in first row; Allison Dupler Gallagher (Jamestown High School, Class of ’04), third from right in first row; and JHS?graduate Rob Eckstrom, second from right in second row. Also in the photograph are Chris Carrier of Cleveland (Young’s fiance), third from left in first row; and Tom Gallagher (Dupler’s husband), fifth from left in first row. All of the team members now live in the Richmond area.
Thus far, all have acquitted themselves against top-notch competition exceedingly well.
Thaddeus Johnson (Frewsburg/Frewsburg), playing with the Wellsville Nitros under former Jamestown Community College coach Anthony Barone, is currently near the top of most major NYCBL offensive categories.
The shortstop, who recently completed his freshman year at St. Bonaventure and hit .236 with seven doubles and 14 RBIs, has gotten off to a lightning-quick start for the league-leading Nitros (7-3), and is ranked ninth in the league in batting average (.385), fifth in home runs (3) and RBIs (10), fourth in hits (15) and third in runs scored (11) over his first 10 games.
The 11-team NYCBL plays a 40-game schedule - not including playoffs - from June 3 to July 22.
Asa Johnson (Frewsburg/Frewsburg), meanwhile, is a pitcher for the Chugiak Chinooks in Alaska, and in three games, including one start, has surrendered just two runs on nine hits with four walks and nine strikeouts over nine innings.
His earned-run average is 2.00.
Rounding out the list is Tanner Delahoy (Southwestern/Jamestown), a right-handed pitcher for the Keene Swamp Bats of the NECBL.
Delahoy sports a sparkling 0.84 ERA over 10 innings. In two games, both starts, Delahoy has fanned 14 (third-highest total in the league) and has allowed just one run and two base hits.
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In other collegiate baseball news, Vinny Bomasuto (Dunkirk/Dunkirk), a former Post-Journal baseball player of the year, just completed an outstanding sophomore season with Monroe Community College, a squad that went 33-15 and captured the NJCAA Region 3 Division III title.
Bomasuto, who recently attended an invitation-only workout with the Cincinnati Reds and the Minnesota Twins, set a Monroe CC record this past season, and led the nation, with a whopping 18 triples. He led the team in games (47), at-bats (147), hits (67), stolen bases (15), batting average (.427), on-base percentage (.489) and slugging percentage (.752); and was second in runs scored (45), doubles (12) and RBIs (41).
He also appeared on the hill for the Tribunes in seven games, going 3-1 with a 1.71 ERA over 26 innings pitched. Over that span he scattered 20 hits, allowed eight runs (five earned) and struck out 18.
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A group of Chautauqua County natives living in the Richmond, Va., area teamed up to win the recent River City Social Sports Broomball Championships.
Forming the title-winning team, called the "Ice Road Pickers," were Sarah Young, a 2004 Maple Grove graduate, and her fiance, Chris Carrier of Cleveland; Allison Dupler, a 2004 Jamestown High School graduate, and her husband, Rochester-native Tom Gallagher; and Rob Eckstrom, also a graduate of JHS.
Played on an ice rink, broomball is similar to hockey, but with key differences - players wear shoes, not skates, and hit a ball, not a puck, with a "broom," which has a rubber-molded triangular head in the shape of, you guessed it, a broom.
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Katie Bartkowiak (Fredonia/Fredonia) was hit by a pitch a school-record 17 times in 33 games in her final season with the Fredonia State Blue Devils.
The total was fourth-highest amongst NCAA Division III players, and was the third time in four years she has been ranked nationally in the category.
Bartkowiak, an All-SUNYAC selection in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and was the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Rookie of the Year, hit .294 with 29 runs scored, 30 hits and 10 RBIs.
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Bartkowiak's teammate, Cherise Gunnell (Falconer/Falconer), a former Post-Journal softball player of the year, finished her sophomore season with a .299 average, a team-high five home runs and six doubles with 17 RBIs.