By Scott Kindberg
FALCONER - Two years ago, Fredonia High School baseball coach Vince Gullo gave Cam Voss a homework assignment.
Fredonia’s Cam Voss tossed a three-hit shutout against Falconer in Division 1 West baseball on Thursday. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
It involved Voss, then a freshman, taking a walk past the Hillbillies' Wall of Fame, located near the gymnasium, and checking out the school record for career pitching wins.
While the left-hander may have wondered what Gullo was up to at the time, it's becoming increasingly clear early in his junior season that he could one day be one of the best hurlers in the program's storied history.
The numbers to this point in his career would appear to back it up.
For by blanking Falconer, 12-0, in a Division 1 West game at Denny Meszaros Field on Thursday afternoon, Voss improved to 13-0 for his career and, most importantly, got the defending New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B champions their second win in as many days.
''Just the angles he throws the ball from he's very deceiving,'' Gullo said. ''Nobody can get a real good swing off of him.''
All told, Voss tossed a three-hitter - he retired the last 14 batters he faced - struck out 10 and walked only one. The Golden Falcons (2-1, 1-1) had a runner reach second base twice in the first three innings, but never threatened after that.
Meanwhile, the Hillbillies (2-0, 2-0) gave Voss plenty of offensive support, banging out 11 hits, including three apiece by Cody Smith (five RBIs) and Westin Ley (three RBIs). Heck, Voss even helped his own cause with two hits and three RBIs.
Still, it was the lefty's performance on the mound that drew the most attention.
''He has some of the best pitching coaches in the area with Coach (Charlie) LaDuca and Coach (Tim) Cowan, he listens and he has such great talent,'' Gullo said. ''A great athlete, plus pretty good coaching from those guys. He's special.''
Unflappable, Voss was 7-0 last season, including a one-hit shutout in the state title game victory over Clinton. And a day after the Hillbillies defeated rival Dunkirk, 5-0, in their 2014 season opener, Voss made it two consecutive shutouts.
Voss, Ley, Smith and Jared Burmaster return from last year's title team. Because of injury, Smith is Gullo's starting catcher and, although he had never played the position before, he looked good behind the plate.
''This is a brand new team,'' Gullo said. ''We have good arms on the mound, but we have a ways to go.''
It didn't take long for Fredonia to put the game away, scoring four runs in both the third and fourth innings off losing pitcher Mike Wilcox, and then tacking on three more in the fifth off reliever Mitch Carter.
Voss had a two-run single to highlight the third inning, Ley and Smith each had two-RBI singles in the fourth and Smith had a two-run single in the fifth.
''We have good athletes and they're good kids,'' Gullo said.
None was better on a windswept Thursday than Voss.
''I thought he was spot-on tonight,'' Falconer coach Chris Schrader said.
Falconer's only hits - all singles - were by Jake Youngberg in the first inning, Tyler Himes in the second and Wilcox in the third.