Quantcast
Skip to main content
Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 11:48 pm

Notre Dame advances to state champion semi-final behind one-hitter by Covel

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

The lore of the ace is the guy who can take the big game on his shoulders and simply dominate. Once again, Notre Dame's Alec Covel showed he's that kind of guy.

He struck out eight of the first nine batters he faced in today's regional championship game in Jamestown against North Collins. If not for some mental lapses in the 4th -- when the Eagles scored two runs without a hit or even a knock into the outfield -- Covel would have completed the game with a one-hit shutout.

Instead, the Fighting Irish advance to the state championship games at Broome Community College next Saturday with a 9-2 win over the Section VI champs.

"I knew he'd pitch a strong game for us," Head Coach Mike Rapone said. "I didn't know it would be that strong. He was really overpowering.

"He was vintage Covel today, that's for sure," Rapone added. "This is what you expect of a big time player in a big time situation and he came through."

The Eagles looked in over their head against Covel from the start of the game. They couldn't catch up with his fastball, and Covel knew it, and curve after curve caused knees to buckle.

"I was feeling really good (during the first three innings)," Covel said. "Everything was working. They weren't catching them, so I just kept throwing fastballs and blowing it past them."

The fourth inning got a little weird and it became easy to imagine the team that looked so dominate minutes earlier could let things get away from them.

Covel hit the first batter he faced in the 4th. The next hitter drew a walk on four pitches.

Catcher Andrew Mullen tried a pick-off play at first and the ball sailed wide of the bag. First baseman Tyler Stroud snagged the errant throw. The Eagle base runner on second was already half way to third and Stroud tried to make the throw. It skipped past Louis Reynolds and North Collins picked up its first run.

Rapone thought Stroud should have just eaten the ball and let the runner advance.

The second run came on a throwing error by Reynolds (Reynolds did not make the throw) off a grounder from the next North Collins hitter.

"Alec's going to get you out of it," Rapone said. "Instead we threw the ball around and allowed those two guys to score."

With the threat of the wheels coming off and North Collins putting together a big inning, Rapone gathered his team on the mound.

"These guys don't get down, but I was afraid they would get a little rattled," said Rapone, who has more than 600 wins as a basketball coach. "It's a little like a timeout in basketball after the other team goes on a little run. You take a timeout and say 'hey, boys, slow down. We've got this. Relax. Take a deep breath.' "

The team got the message and Mullen ended the inning -- a bit of poetic justice -- with a pick-off at first.

Mullen -- who nearly came out of his shoes trying to hit the ball all the way back to Batavia on his first two swings in his next at bat -- would also help tie the game with a bases loaded single, giving Notre Dame a lead, at 4-2, it wouldn't relinquish.

The Irish were confident they could hit the North Collins starter, who had little velocity. His big side-arm curve was easy to pick up and dropped across the plate in a consistent groove. They hit him hard in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings before driving him from the game.

Cal Tygart sparked the Irish offense, leading off in three separate innings and scoring all three times. He was 3-5.

"Cal's been strong for us all year long," Rapone said. "He kind of gets lost in the shuffle with the other guys that we have, but he's really done well for us."

Tygart said it was all about having fun and backing the ace.

"We just needed to give Covel the room he needed to work," Tygart said. "He was pitching really well so we needed to come out and give it our all and give him the room to work with."

Covel finished with 11 strikeouts and only one hit allowed.

The most unusual stat of the game was the eight hit batters on the Notre Dame side. Stroud was hit four times.

Notre Dame's state semi-final championship game will be against Smithtown Christian, from Long Island. The winner of the 10 a.m. game Saturday will advance to the final at 4 p.m. in Binghampton.

To purchase prints, click here.

Friday, June 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm

QuakerMan Triathlon to be held on Father's Day at Darien Lakes State Park

post by Billie Owens in Darien Lakes State Park, sports, triathalon

Press release:

Eclipse Multi Sport descends upon Darien Lakes State Park to feature a family friendly Father’s Day event -- the QuakerMan Triathlon starting at 8 a.m. on June 15.

Eclipse Multi Sport race management is based in Western New York, and has produced multiple USA Triathlon-sanctioned events for the past 13 years. The popularity of Triathlon as a sport is growing, and realizing Genesee County’s own vast state park was a perfect fit for a new event.

Eclipse Multi Sport is proud to partner with Darien Lakes State Park in featuring a sprint and Olympic caliber distance multi-sport event. There will be multiple opportunities to participate, making it fun for the whole family!

An Olympic, sprint, Aquabike, Duathlon, relay team category and even a kids' tri-event in one day! With a beautiful body of water (swim) and a great trail system (run), as well as suitable road conditions (bike) in and around the park, this makes for a wonderful venue.

Over the past several years we have had a large amount of athletes reach out to us via e-mail to see if our events can extend farther east. Landing in Genesee County is an exciting opportunity for us and the recreational community,” said Dan Horan, founder/race director of Eclipse Multi Sport.

“Knowing this would be a great event setting for athletes of all ages, we researched what it would take to develop an event at the park. Putting many heads together so quickly was a testament to the community.”

The event will be recognized as a USAT sanctioned Triathlon as well as the July 19th, Nickel City Triathlon in Buffalo and, on Aug. 2, the Wilson Wet & Wild Triathlon. These multi-sport events make up Eclipse Multi Sports summer Triathlon series.

For details about each event please visiteclipsemultisport.com <http://eclipsemultisport.com/>

Triathlons are a fairly large undertaking because of the three disciplines involved -- swim, bike and run -- so they require a lot of work to put together. But Eclipse Multi Sport, Darien Lakes State Park, New York State Park Police, Genesee County Sheriff’s Dept.and other Genesee County authorities have come up with a fun and exciting race course.

Eclipse Multi Sport is entering its fifth year producing and managing races of all distances from 5Ks, half marathons, obstacles runs with mud, to Triathlons & Duathlons. All told, Eclipse has almost 25 years within its staff working in the race management industry.

Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Egeli poised to capture titles at state track meet

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, medicine, sports, track and field

Batavia High School track star Alex Egeli stopped in to see his chiropractor, Tom Mazurkiewicz, today before heading off to the state championships in Syracuse.

Egeli is ranked the number one runner in the state in the 400 meter hurdles and 110 meter hurdles. He's the first BHS track team member to qualify in four state events (those two, plus 100-yard dash and he's a member of one of the relay teams).

Mazurkiewicz will be at the state championship as well, working as a chiropractor.

Chiropractic care is being increasingly recognized as important by athletes, Mazurkiewicz said, because joint restriction and muscle imbalance can impede performance and increase the chance of injury. It's become a part of the training routine for NFL and Olympic athletes, he said.

Egeli will attend Freedonia next year and then maybe move up to a Division I university.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:06 am

Notre Dame downs Whitesville 14-3 to advance to Far West Regional Championship

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

A favorable post-season schedule and a duo of dominant pitchers have certainly helped Notre Dame make a championship run, Coach Mike Rapone said after the Fighting Irish beat Whitesville in a Class D consolidation game 14-3.

In years past, by this time Section V and Section VI would already have played their regional championship game, but for Notre Dame, that game won't come until Saturday in Jamestown.

The spread schedule has allowed Rapone's pair of aces -- Alec Covel and Tyler Stroud -- to get plenty of rest between starts.

"They've been dominate all year," Rapone said. "Teams are hitting .100 or less against both of them. Covel's ERA is under one and Tyler's is a little over. You come to expect, I mean, I hate to say it, but you come to expect that you're going to get a well-pitched game. You just hope our defense and hitting keeps up."

Stroud took the mound in Dansville yesterday and gave a command performance through five innings. He struck out seven through five and didn't give up a hit until the fifth, when a Whitesville runner reached base on a close call at first.

"Really, I try not to think about it (the no-hitter), but it's there a little bit," Stroud said. "It's in the back of your head, so of course when I give it up, it's like, ah."

That squib of a hit put two runners on (Stroud had hit the prior batter).

Whitesville's first solid knock would come two batters later when their hitting machine, Cole Tracy, would lace a line drive to right field.

Stroud surrendered two runs in the fifth.

It helped, Stroud said, to have his offense jump to an early lead. The Irish scored a run in the first and then six in the second. 

Covel lead the offense with four hits and three RBIs. Andrew Mullen added two hits and knocked in three runs. Jarrod Wall also had two hits.

Mullen, the team's catcher, now hits clean-up for the Fighting Irish and over the course of the season has become an offensive force. He's playing more relaxed, he said, which has improved his approach at the plate.

"I've realized finally now, it's just a game," Mullen said. "It's fun. After this, it's probably over for me playing baseball, so it's fun to be with the team for three years now and it's all fun from here."

Notre Dame doesn't know yet who its opponent will be Saturday in Jamestown, but Rapone said he's confident the team is ready for the challenge.

"We've played good all year," Rapone said. "We've lost 3-2, 6-4 and 2-0, so we've been in every ball game. You just hope to continue to keep playing and see what happens."

For Notre Dame, all of the seniors are now high school graduates. That means no more classes, no more regular routine, the potential to lose focus.

"That's something you worry about," Rapone said. "It's not the same routine. They used to get up, go to school, then go to practice or a game. Now they're home. Who knows what time they're getting up. Some of them have jobs, so they're already working. That's always a concern this time of year."

How do you keep them focused?

"I just tell them to get up," Rapone said. "Get out of bed. But I'm not there to make sure they do it."

Mullen said that as a graduate, you know this is the last hurrah and that's what keeps you on task.

"It's a little scary to see how fast it flew by, so that's one thing that keeps you focused," Mullen said. "You realize the end is near, so just getting up every day and doing the normal routine, not sleeping in until 3 o'clock, and going straight to the game."

This is a team, Mullen said, that will get the job done.

"We're pretty relaxed," Mullen said. "The team camaraderie is pretty good. We can mess around together. We can get serious together. We always keep each other on task or focused and when it comes to game time, we have all the same goal in mind."

Whitesville's first hit. Ruled safe at first.

As white fluffies fell on the field, Stroud was lifted in the sixth after giving up two hits. Stroud was having a little bit of hip pain, which affected his control and velocity. Even so, Stroud was unhappy about coming out of the game. "I don't like to watch," Stroud said. "I like to be out there."

To purchase prints, click here.

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Jim Kelly present in spirit at 28th annual charity tournament at Terry Hills

Jim Kelly wasn't at Terry Hills today for the 28th annual charity tournament that carries his name because he's weakened by chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer.

At the start of the tournament his brother Dan had his head shaved both to honor his brother and to raise money for the Kelly for Kids Foundation. He challenged all of the golfers -- donors, athletes and celebrities to follow his example and over the course of the day, many of them did. (Cutting his hair, above, Michelle Napierala).

The Hall of Fame quarterback may not have been at his event this year, but he was there in spirit. Blue "Kelly Tough" T-shirts were everywhere and friends, such as ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, spoke of Kelly's toughness and said that toughness is why he'll beat cancer and be back at Terry Hills next year to host his tournament. 

Former Bill and CBS Sports broadcaster Steve Tasker said much the same thing.

“We miss Jim being here,” he said, “but at the same token, it’s because of Jim’s presence and the quality of this event and what this event means – this is more than just a bunch of guys getting together for another event; this is like a reunion, not just a team reunion, but a family reunion for a lot of guys who’ve known each other for a couple of decades. The tournament’s been going on for 28 years and these guys are lifelong friends. The fact that Jim can’t be here today won’t change that.”

A fan gets her picture taken with the Bills 2014 #1 draft pick Sammy Watkins.

Former NBA star Gus Williams stops for a free brownie on the ninth hole, where a group of Batavia residents hang out every year to hand out treats to the stars and maybe get an autograph or picture.

Tasker talking with the media.

Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone with a group of Bills fans.

Berman talks with the media.

Actor Dan Baldwin, center, with his group on the first tee.

Tasker teeing off to start the tournament.

Mike Ziegler, a professional golfer and long-drive champion, would, for a donation, hit the drive for golfers on one of the back holes.

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm

City Schools will build girls softball field as part of settlement of lawsuit

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, softball, sports

Press release from the Empire Justice Center:

The Empire Justice Center is pleased to announce that a settlement has been reached in the class-action suit Myers v. Batavia City School District. Three female softball players and their families filed the case in April 2013 seeking equal treatment to their male classmates in the provision of practice and competitive facilities and equipment. Among other things, the players alleged that the District’s policy of renting a professional minor league stadium for all boys’ varsity baseball home games, while providing the girls with substandard playing fields at the school, violated Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.

“More than anything, I am so proud of these young women for having the courage to stand up for themselves,” said Kristin Small, attorney for Empire Justice Center. “They saw that the way they were being treated was unfair and decided to do something about it, knowing full well they might face backlash from their community and that they themselves might never see the benefit of their efforts.”

As part of the agreement, the District has agreed to build a brand new varsity softball facility with permanent dugouts, good drainage, outfield fencing, a permanent electronic scoreboard and other amenities. The improvements are projected to be completed in time for the 2015 softball season. The District has also committed to making significant improvements to the junior varsity and modified softball fields, and affirmed its commitment to ensuring that boys’ and girls’ sports receive equal benefits, even when that requires the District to compensate for donations made by third parties, such as booster clubs.

After hearing that the District had agreed to the settlement, plaintiffs Elizabeth and Rebecca Myers said, “We are proud and thankful that the Batavia City School District has recognized the importance of female athletics and the need for equal treatment. We look forward to a bright future for Batavia girls’ softball, as players will now be able to enjoy and be proud of the fields that they will be playing on. We would like to thank Empire Justice Center for helping us resolve these disparities.”

“We hope that other school districts will take note of this settlement and be reminded that the movement to achieve equality in athletics between boys and girls is far from over,” noted Jonathan Feldman, a senior attorney at Empire Justice Center. “Many districts face similar challenges leftover from an earlier time when equality in sports was not seen as important. We congratulate the Batavia City School District for stepping up to the plate and working with us to find a solution that will ensure fair and equal treatment of all student athletes, regardless of gender.”

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Baumeister and Mandia set to compete at golf national championships

post by Andrew Crofts in GCC, golf, sports

 

Genesee Community College's Adam Baumeister (Lancaster, NY) and Chris Mandia (Highland, NY) will take aim at the 2014 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Golf National Tournament this week at the Chautauqua Country Club in Chautauqua, NY. The four-round tournament begins on Tuesday and will conclude with the final round on Friday.

Baumeister brings experience to this year's championships after finishing 23rd in last year's national tournament as a freshman. He medaled three times this spring and finished in the top-ten of every event, including a fourth place finish at the Region III Championships. He was an All-Region selection for the second year in a row this season, shooting an average round of 75.3.

Mandia earned his entry to the national tournament after winning a playoff at the Region III Championships. The freshman finished 15th and was selected to the All-Region team. He shot an average round of 80.5 this spring and had four top-ten finishes including two in the top-five.

The Chautauqua Country Club and host school Jamestown Community College have hosted the national tournament every year since 1999. Golfers from over 20 states and 40 colleges will compete for the national title and round-by-round results can be found online: http://www.sunyjcc.edu/student-life/athletics/njcaa/Tournament-Statistics or by following Genesee Athletics on Twitter: @GCCSports.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 7:51 am

ND conquers Arkport, wins Class DD Title

post by Nick Sabato in sports

It has been quite a week for Notre Dame senior Alec Covel.

On Thursday he signed to play for Division II Mansfield University, and the very next day, he pitched the Fighting Irish past Arkport 11-5 to win the Class DD Section V Championship.

“It’s a good way to go out,” Covel said. “There isn’t really much left to do, but hopefully we can finish the season off and keep it going as long as we can.”

Oh, and by the way, he will receive his diploma on Saturday evening.

Things got off to a rocky start for Covel and the Irish, as Arkport took a quick 2-0 lead after the first inning after Brandon Stephens drove in the first run on an RBI triple, and then scored on a passed ball.

The Blue Jays would let Notre Dame back into the game, as they tied the game at 2 on the heels of four Arkport errors.

“We got some gifts early and then later I thought we earned them,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. “Early in the game they certainly gave us some and we gave them some. We didn’t play well defensively and I think it affected Alec a little bit because he never really got into a rhythm.”

In the second Notre Dame would start to get things going at the plate.

Jarrod Wall scored the tying run after getting on base on an error and then advancing to third on two passed balls before third baseman Jordan Wood committed his second error of the game (scoring the first two runs of the game) on a grounder by Tyler Prospero.

The Irish took the lead after pitcher Nate Warzcok walked Tyler Stroud with the bases loaded.

On the very next at bat, Andrew Mullen would drive in his second and third runs of the game on a 2-out 2-run double.

The defending Class DD champs would continue to battle, not allowing Covel to get into a groove on the mound.

Arkport scored two more runs to cut the lead to 5-4 in the third after Josh McDaniel knocked in a run on an RBI single and Wood scored on an errant throw by Mullen.

“They kept me off balance,” Covel said. “They kept taking their time, untying their shoes and all that. They were in my head a little bit. I was frustrated for awhile but then I found it and finished off well.”

The senior hurler would finish off well, allowing just one run in the final four innings.

The Irish would shake off the surge by the Blue Jays as they broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth.

Jason Hart got things rolling with a one-out walk, followed by a walk by Covel and a single by Tyler Stroud to load the bases.

Mullen would strike again, driving in another run on a single before Cal Tygart drove in two on a double.

If you recall, it was Hart who hit five three-pointers in the Section V championship game not three months ago. Well, in the Section V baseball title game, he reached base safely in all four plate appearances and scored three times.

“Jason just gets on base,” Rapone said. “He walks, he gets on with an error, a flare…he just seems to have that knack of being able to get on base. With Covel hitting behind him, he’s scored a lot of runs this year.”

Notre Dame got two more runs after the shortstop bobbled a Louis Reynolds ground ball that plated Tygart and Mullen.

It looked as if the five-time Section V champions were going to make a run, down 10 to 4 in the fifth.

Covel looked as if he was struggling, allowing three hits to load the bases after errors in the infield.

After Stephens struck out, Craig Lewis drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and Warzcok singled to reload the bases.

But, Rapone stuck with his senior ace and, as great players do, he dug himself out of the hole.

On a 3-2 pitch with two outs Covel faked a pitch and caught McDaniels stealing to end the inning.

“Alec is a seasoned pitcher,” Rapone said. “He’s not going to get rattled because of what’s going on. He made a heads-up play with a 3-2 count, knowing the runners were going to running. He did the fake with a swing-around pick-off. He’s just a smart baseball player.”

Covel would finish off the final two innings 1-2-3 to end the contest and finally get the Irish over the hump after losing to the Blue Jays in the finals in 2001, 2005 and 2012, while being eliminated in the semifinals in 2009.

“We’ve been the bridesmaids a lot of the time,” Rapone said. “Arkport has been on the other side a lot of the time, too. It was nice to come out on top, especially for our seniors.”

Stroud was named the Class DD tournament Most Valuable Player after going 5-for-7 with four RBIs in three games, while also striking out 13 batters and allowing just one run on three hits in the semifinals against Jasper-Troupsburg.

“From Little League it’s something you dream of,” Stroud said. “Now it’s finally here.”

Covel finished the game allowing five runs on nine hits and striking out eight batters to pick up the win.

Mullen went 3-for-3 at the plate with four RBIs, while Louis Reynolds had two RBIs and reached base three times.

Warzcok allowed eight runs on six hits and walked seven batters in four and one-third innings pitched for Arkport (14-5).

Notre Dame (15-3) will play Class D winner Whitesville on Tuesday at a site to be determined for the opportunity to play in the Far West Regional.

To purchase prints, click here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm

NY-Penn League announces 2014 scholarship contest

post by Billie Owens in announcements, baseball, sports

Press release:

The Class-A Short-Season New York-Penn League and its member clubs are proud to announce that the league's philanthropic arm, the NYPL Charitable Foundation, will once again award more than $10,000 in scholarships this summer to deserving high school graduates from the league's 14 markets.

Now in its sixth year, the 2014 NYPL Scholarship Contest is open to any graduating senior from a public or private high school within the league's footprint. Any student who has been accepted at a two or four-year college or university, vocational school, or technical education institution is eligible.

Applicants will be judged based on academic performance, volunteer and extracurricular activities, and the impact their local NYPL club and Minor League Baseball have had on their lives. The scholarship contest will consist of two stages -- a local round and a divisional round. In the local stage, students will apply directly to their local NYPL team, with one applicant chosen by each of the 14 teams to advance to the divisional/final round.

The 14 finalists will then be separated by the division of the team they represent. The winning application from each of the NYPL's three divisions (McNamara, Pinckney and Stedler) will receive the top prize of a $2,500 scholarship. All other finalists will receive a $250 book award.

High school seniors interested in entering the 2014 Scholarship Contest can obtain the official application from their local NYPL club, or by visiting the league's official Web site, NewYork-PennLeague.com.

The deadline to submit applications to the nearest NYPL team is June 27. Each club's winner, including the three $2,500 scholarship recipients, will be selected in late July and honored at a game in August.

The New York-Penn League and its 14 member clubs created the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, in 2003. The mission of the Foundation is to provide focus and support for the collective and individual charitable and community efforts of the New York-Penn League, its Clubs, and their staff.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Muckdogs in need of housing for baseball players

post by Billie Owens in batavia, muckdogs, sports

Press release:

How would you like to live with the next Ryan Howard or Chase Utley this summer? The Batavia Muckdogs are again seeking local families to assist in housing players during the 2014 baseball season.

Anyone can help provide lodging for this year's Muckdogs by either providing space or renting a room, apartment, or home. While many host families come back year after year, the team is always looking to add to their list of available options for the players and coaching staff.

Host Families play a crucial role in helping young players feel comfortable in a new environment. Many who have hosted players in the past have had incredibly wonderful experiences. However, with players coming and going throughout the season, we have constant needs as far as housing.

The 2014 season runs from June 13 until Sept. 1 and players typically range from 18-23 years of age. The team will arrive in Batavia the week of Monday, June 9.

If you are interested, need more information or know someone in the Batavia area (within just a few miles of Dwyer Stadium) who might be interested in hosting a player, please contact Travis Sick at (585) 343-5454 or tsick@muckdogs.com. You can also call our housing coordinator Shirley Fanara directly at (585) 356-3411.

Premium Drupal Themes