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Friday, April 18, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Batavia bounces back to beat Akron

post by Nick Sabato in sports

After winning the first two games of the season, the Batavia baseball squad was handed their first loss of the season in an emphatic fashion, losing to Honeoye Falls-Lima 15-2 on Thursday afternoon.

Twenty-four hours later, the Blue Devils got back on track, beating up on Akron, 15-8.

“I thought it was a good comeback win for us,” said Batavia head coach Rick Saunders. “We got lit up pretty good yesterday by a good HF-L team. Today we came out and jumped out on top and got those three runs in the first.”

Batavia opened up the game with three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning on a bases clearing hit by Zeke Lynn.

The Tigers would battle back, loading the bases with one out in the second inning.

Akron would score on a fielder’s choice by D.J. Carlson, then on a passed ball, and they then tied it up on a RBI single by Zach Pfentner.

Quinten Weis would settle down after that, pitching two more scoreless innings and allowing just one more hit before Greg Mruczek relieved him.

“He was a little wild to start the game,” Saunders said of Weis. “I thought he settled down the rest of the game and he threw well that last two innings he was in the game.”

The Blue Devils regained the lead in the third after Nick Bauer was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Steve Borowczyk appeared to get himself out of the jam, ending the inning with the bases loaded and just one run allowed, but it was not to be.

Batavia exploded for four runs on four hits in the bottom of the fourth inning to extend the lead to 8-3.

Luke McComb was walked with the bases loaded, followed by an RBI single from Rich Francis before Bauer drove in two runs with a double to right field.

Akron appeared to make a bit of a come back in the top of the fifth, getting two runs off of Mruczek (helped by a few defensive miscues), but he settled down to strike out the side in the sixth.

“I thought he threw the ball real well,” Saunders said of Mruczek. “I think our defense let him down a little bit. That happens, these are high school kids. If we played tight defense like we did in the first three games, we probably only would have let up a few runs.”

The Blue Devils batters went to work in the bottom of the frame to put the game out of reach as they sent seven runners across home plate, including a 2-run single from senior reserve Pat Wrobel.

The Tigers got three runs in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to get close.

“The biggest difference between yesterday and today was that we hit better,” Saunders said. “We got the bases clearing hit by Lynn and that was clutch for us today.”

Lynn finished the game 2-for-5 with 4 RBIs, while Bauer went 1-for-4 with 4 RBIs. As a team, Batavia combined for 14 hits on the game.

Weis picked up the win for the Devils, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits in four innings pitched.

Borowczyk took the loss for Akron, allowing 8 runs in 6 innings pitched.

Batavia improves to 3-1 on the season, and next travel to Aquinas on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Friday, April 18, 2014 at 9:28 am

Young girls basketball team ready to roll into Ohio for first traveling tournment

post by Howard Owens in basketball, batavia, sports

A group of fifth- and sixth-grade girls are about to embark on a new adventure -- playing in a basketball tournament in another state for the first time.

The Thunder are a new girls basketball team aimed at giving the young players off-season experience and practice.

Coach Otis Thomas said the girls are really dedicated to the sport.

"We look pretty good," he said. "They work hard. Very enthusiastic. Great bunch of girls. Very disciplined. Just to have them in the gym now when it's softball season and baseball season shows how dedicated they are."

The nucleus of the Thunder is the Batavia Middle School team.

They will play in the King James Shooting Stars Classic (sponsored by Lebron James) in Ohio next week.

Pictured, from left, first row: Nya Thomas, Morgan Rohdes, Mckenzie Riegle, Brynn Wormley, Emily Janes, Kennedy Kolb, Destiny Griffin. Not pictured are Mia Rhinehart, Bella Phillips, Hailey Thornley, Nashiya Rhimm.

The team's sponsors are Big Pauly's Pizza and NYSCOPBA.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Drug days behind him, former Oatkan Knight gets another shot at life and football

post by Howard Owens in crime, football, Le Roy, sports

On a cruel April morning in 2011, Craig Tiberio looked at himself in the mirror. The man he faced stood accused of dealing drugs and assaulting a police officer. Looking at that mirror affixed as it was to a jailhouse wall, Tiberio didn’t like what he saw.

“I was at the end emotionally,” Tiberio said. “I knew there wasn’t anyplace to go but up unless I wanted to keep living the life that I was living. I obviously knew that if I got back on track, I had the potential — if I was motivated enough — to play sports again.”

As a high school junior, Tiberio had been a standout receiver for the Le Roy Oatkan Knights. He was at least a legitimate Division III prospect entering his senior season. All he wanted to do, or so he thought, was play football at the collegiate level.

Craig describes his childhood as challenging, chaotic, as anything but stable. Sports, especially football, was an escape.

“I always clung onto sports,” Craig said. “It was my time free from thinking about what was going on in my life.”

An injury changed everything. 

In the sixth game of his senior season, Craig Tiberio suffered a stress fracture in his spine.

That meant pain medication. It meant time away from the field, from his teammates, from everything that had kept him anchored.

It’s a familiar story in sports — injury, pain medication, followed by a need to self-medicate with whatever street drugs might be available. The pattern killed former Padres pitcher Eric Show. There are countless cases of high school and college athletes you never hear of whose lives were altered by drug use after an injury.

The story of Craig Tiberio is the story of a once-promising athlete who hit bottom and then turned his life around. He entered guilty pleas May 27, 2011 in Genesee County Court to assault, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, and to DWI. As he stood before Judge Robert C. Noonan that day, he faced a near certain four-year prison term. Back in court weeks later with positive progress reports, Noonan gave him a second chance. Step by step since, he’s made the most of it. He’s on the dean’s list at Buffalo State University. He volunteers with third- and fourth-graders in Buffalo. His assigned practice squad includes Buff State’s best players, and if he avoids injury, he has a shot of starting at tight end for the Bengals.

A passion for sports
It’s been long path paved by determination and family support since Tiberio gazed into the jailhouse mirror that April morning in 2011, with just the glimmer of a thought that maybe, maybe, he could rekindle his dream of playing college football and pursue a career in coaching.

He’s made it this far.

“You’ve got to ask yourself 'how bad do you want to be successful?' in any aspect of life,” said Tiberio after an early morning spring practice at Coyer Field.

He sat on a near-side bench under an optimistic blue sky while teammates who missed an earlier practice pushed 50-pound weights on their hands and knees up and down the sideline, from the 50 to the goal line and back, 10 times each.

“Some people are just completely content with working a minimum-wage job and being able to do anything they want, but for me, I appreciate freedom more than I ever did. Some people take that for granted. It comes with how much pain are you willing to deal with before you want your life to get better.”

When Craig was but a few months old, his mother moved him from Fairfax, Va., where he was born, to Le Roy. She started living with Art Nicomento, an electrician, and the couple stayed together until Craig was 5.

Then things started to unravel. According to Nicomento, Craig’s mother got hooked on drugs. The couple separated, but Craig stayed with Nicomento. Eventually, Nicomento became Craig’s legal guardian.

“He was a good kid, a smart kid,” Nicomento said. “I wanted to take care of him.”

Tiberio said he gravitated to sports at an early age. It was his salvation through years of turmoil. He doesn’t go into much detail, nor does Nicomento, but Craig clearly loves Nicomento, whom he calls “Dad.”

Talk to anybody in the community about Art and Craig and they will tell you, Nicomento was always there for his son.

By his sophomore year in high school, Craig Tiberio was turning heads on the gridiron, the hardwood and in track and field. Any sports story previewing Le Roy’s chances in the football or basketball seasons included Tiberio as integral to the team’s potential success.

As a junior, Tiberio stood 6’ 3” and weighted 175 lbs. He was athletic and fast. His junior year, he was the Section V champ in the long jump and the triple jump. He also ran on the team’s 400-meter relay team and won a few meets in the 3200 and the 100-meter dash. In basketball, there isn’t a game story that doesn’t list the strong forward as pouring in at least a dozen points and pulling down four or five rebounds.

In Le Roy, football is king and football was Tiberio’s passion. He combined speed, height and agility to haul in passes no defender could touch.

“I always had the attitude in high school, standing on the field across from another player, they can’t stop me,” Craig said.

Jim Bonacquisti, an assistant coach for the Knights, remembers Tiberio as a big play maker. A Tiberio TD reception helped stop a long Hornell home-winning streak. One of Tiberio’s big scores against archrival Cal-Mum came on a fourth-down reverse in a sectional semi-final. Then he intercepted a pass to help seal the deal.

Tiberio was named to the Livingston County Athletic Association’s all-star team on both offense and defense his junior year. (Le Roy is in the Livingston County footbal league). He was also named to the all-state team. He averaged 20 yards a reception and picked off seven passes playing free safety.

“I would rank him behind Mike Humphrey and Brandon Fulmer as far as the best we’ve had in my tenure,” Bonacquisti said. “Ironically, Craig getting hurt his senior season opened the door for Mike’s increased playing time in 10th grade. In Craig’s junior year, he caught anything near him, plus he was a pretty good safety. He wasn’t a big hitter, but he was usually around the ball.”

Unsportsman-like conduct
In his senior year, Tiberio said he was already hampered by a minor back injury, but continued to play. In five starts, he only had eight catches for 88 yards and one TD. On defense, he only had three tackles and two assists.

Friday night, Oct. 6, 2006 was homecoming for the Perry Yellowjackets. Unfortunately for the Perry student body, the Yellowjackets were scheduled to play their homecoming game against an undefeated Oatkan Knights team who would go on to win the Section V Class C title.

Tiberio was having one of his best games of the season with three receptions, including one for a TD, when late in the 4th quarter, with the Knights up 48-0, Tiberio snagged Heath Henrickson’s pass for an interception and returned it 33 yards before being tackled by a Perry player.

... More after the jump ... click the headline or the link below the picture ...

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Local HS teams hold first softball scrimmage

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Notre Dame, softball, sports

Medina, Notre Dame and Batavia softball teams played a scrimmage today at John Kennedy School. It's the first scrimmage of the year. Batavia HS student Zachary Lee submitted these photos.

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

SADD fundraiser -- bowling at Mancuso's

post by Billie Owens in announcements, sports

SADD -- Students Against Destructive Driving -- is holding a fundraiser night of bowling at the Mancuso Bowling Center from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 25.

Cost is $12.50 per person and includes two hours of bowling and shoe rental.

Pre-register by calling the Genesee County Youth Bureau at 344-3960.

Have the profits will go to the countywide SADD chapter, which is supported by GC STOP-DWI & the Youth Bureau.

 

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm

GPS New York Summer Festival is May 17 at Batavia Sports Park

post by Billie Owens in announcements, sports

The annual Global Premier Soccer New York Summer Festival returns to Batavia Sports Park on May 17.

As in years past, it is expected to attract teams from throughout Upstate and Eastern Canada.

This promises to be another great soccer tournament, so get your team signed up today!

Each team is guaranteed three games with a cost of $300 per team.

It's a great opportunity to get some game practice before your season starts.

For more info contact Declan Doherty via e-mail  ddoherty@globalpremieresoccer.com or 716-380-5080.

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 9:44 am

Photo: Blue Devils participate in football scrimmage in Rochester

post by Howard Owens in Batavia HS, football, sports

Batavia Blue Devils Head Coach Brennan Briggs sent along this photo of members of the football team following a 7-on-7 scrimmage last night in Rochester. The team played non-scoring scrimmages against Rush-Henrietta and Churchville-Chili. "The team did a great job competing," Briggs said.

Monday, March 24, 2014 at 3:54 pm

'Baseball Furies' win LCCP dodgeball tournament

Press release:

The Le Roy Christian Community Project hosted its 2nd annual tournament this past Saturday, March 22. Ten teams, consisting of 6-10 players competed in the all day tournament. The teams were: Gone Postal, Don’t Hassle the Hoff, The Rotarians, The Dodgefathers, Baseball Furies, Squad Grey, One Dodge Wonders, Perpetual Hedonism, Dirty Dodgers, and Boom Goes the Dynamite.

The teams and spectators came out to Our Lady of Mercy Parish Center in Le Roy to raise funds for the organization and enjoy a fun-filled day of competition.

The tournament ended with a match between Baseball Furies and Don’t Hassle the Hoff. Don’t Hassle the Hoff came from the losers bracket and took set 1 with a game count of 3-2, forcing a second and final set. It looked like team Don’t Hassle the Hoff was going to take the gold, leaping to a 2-0 start the second set, but Baseball Furies answered back with three straight wins to close out the tournament. Medals from Joe's Awards and Trophies of Batavia were awarded to each member of the team.

Overall Results:
1st Place - Baseball Furies
2nd Place - Don't Hassle the Hoff
3rd Place - Perpetual Hedonism
4th Place - Gone Postal
5th Place - One Dodge Wonders & Squad Grey
7th Place - Dirty Dodgers & Boom Goes the Dynamite
9th Place - The Dodgefathers & The Rotarians

Pictured are the tournament champions, the Team Baseball Furries: Jarrod Miner, Thomas Sigler, Brandon Dries, Tyler Streeter, Brad Streeter, Joe Chimino, Jamie Chimino, Joe Chimino, Sr. Jordan Charcola and Tim Ruffin.

Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Muckdogs fans warm up to new season with annual Hot Stove Dinner

The Genesee County Baseball Club hosted its annual Hot Stove Dinner last night at the Clarion Hotel. The event featured a silent auction and a live auction. K-9 Destro with Deputy Chis Erion also made a guest appearance.

The Batavia Muckdogs first home game is at 7 p.m., June 14.

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