By Jay Young
After nearly a 40-year wait to claim their recent Section 6 Class C baseball title, the Cassadaga Valley Cougars will be looking to take another step in their remarkable postseason when they take on Bolivar-Richburg of Section 5 on Saturday.
Joe Mistretta's team upset top-seeded Westfield, 7-3, last Saturday at Diethrick Park to advance to the Far West Regional at Wellsville High School. First pitch is 5 p.m.
The Cougars will now carry a 10-4 record into the game against the Wolverines (20-3), who are ranked 11th in Class C by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
"We expect a lot out of each other and we come to play and play hard,'' Mistretta said. ''I just tell the kids all the time that it doesn't matter who you are and where you play, you play every game like it's Game 7 of the World Series.
"We're just going to approach the game like we do every other game. We've been hitting the ball good. The last half of the season we've been hitting really well."
Bolivar-Richburg has been carried all spring by a pair of talented senior hurlers - C.J. Pierce and Reston Pettit. Pierce has a 6-1 record with a 1.54 ERA, while Pettit, who is bound for St. Bonaventure, is 8-1 with a 1.62 ERA.
"One of their pitchers (Pettit), I believe throws in the mid-eighties," Mistretta said. "We've seen probably high 70's so it is a little bit faster, but that is an adjustment that we are going to have to make. Hopefully we can make that adjustment."
If the Cougars hope to advance, the key will be keeping their hot bats alive.
"We haven't seen them play at all,'' Mistretta said. ''Just a few articles that have been in the paper. They have a couple of .400 hitters, but we have a kid that hit over .500 (Jaquan Watts) and two kids that hit over .400 (Matt Heath, Kyle Ruge).''
See REGIONALS, Page B2
From Page B1
Also heading into the Far West Regionals this weekend will be Fredonia (20-3), the defending state champs, which is ranked seventh in Class B by the NYSSWA. The Hillbillies will take on top ranked Livonia (23-1) of Section 5 at 5 p.m., Saturday at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia.
"Cam (Voss) is going to throw,'' Fredonia coach Vince Gullo said. ''We needed two pitchers to get through these two games. Now that we have our number one ready to go in the biggest game of the year. That is a plus.
"We are getting familiar with them. We talked to quite a few people. (Livonia) has a stud pitcher (Zack Kolodziejski) who is going to Niagara University. He is their ace and the MVP of the Section 5 tournament.''
Saturday's game should feature an epic battle of pitching, as Voss (21-0 for his career) goes up against Kolodziejski (10-0, 1.85 ERA).
"Kolodziejski throws mid to high eighties, and he has a nice curveball and a changeup,'' Gullo said. ''They have five hitters that are batting around .400 or better. On paper, they look like the real deal.''
Two softball teams from Section 6 will also be looking to extend their seasons this weekend in Far West Regional play.
After claiming their second consecutive sectional Class D title with a 2-0 win over Brocton last Saturday, Pine Valley will take on Section 5 champion Arkport Central at 5 p.m. today at SUNY Brockport.
The Lady Panthers currently sit at 16-1 and are ranked 12th in Class D by the NYSSWA, while Arkport sits in the sixth spot.
In Class C, Cattaraugus-Little Valley claimed a sectional crown with a 1-0 victory over Franklinville to improve its record to 16-1. The Lady Timberwolves will now meet Section 5 champion Bolivar-Richburg at 3 p.m., today, also at SUNY Brockport.
Bolivar-Richburg (22-1) is ranked fifth by the NYSSWA while the Lady Timberwolves are at 16.