Smith Post’s, Joey Izzo (16), watches a third inning ball head into the field, as West Seneca catcher, Mike Prentice (9), and home plate umpire, Tim Geiser, look on.

  Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo

8/4 ball21-121x130Smith Post 24’s bid for the 2013 New York State American Legion crown ended this afternoon with a 10-3 semi-final loss to West Seneca Post 735. A tourney run that was filled with rain delays, rescheduling and a schedule that would test the meddle of any team.

The energy expended to reach this point seemed to have taken its toll on the scrappy Smith Post team. With the loss, Smith Post finished (3-2) in the State Tournament and a great season at (21-7) overall.

After two straight games where the Romans were down to their last out, before coming back to win two elimination games, this one was never really in doubt, even after Smith took a 1-0 lead on a Drew DeBlasiis walk and run scored in the bottom of the first inning.

West Seneca Post pitcher Austin Spindler took a ho hitter into the seventh inning.

Down 1-0 early, West Seneca answered with a run in the top of the third, four in the top of the fourth, in the top of the fifth and four more in the top of the sixth, to build a 10-1 advantage heading to the bottom of the sixth inning. Smith starter, Ryan Reilley, was touched up for five runs by West Seneca, over 3 2/3 innings of work.

With runners at first and second and two away in the fourth inning, Smith Manager,Tony Abone, called upon his War Horse, Jeff Cooke, to relieve Reilley on the mound. ball21-121x130

The middle innings were especially harsh on the District 5 reps.

West Seneca put up a four spot of runs in both the game changing fourth and sixth innings that gave the Western New York nine all the breathing room they needed to help earn a spot in the state finals.

West Seneca pounded out 13 hits on the afternoon and only committed one error, as they staved off elimination in the first of two at Murnane Field in Utica.

Three of the 13 West Seneca hits were doubles, off the bats of Paul Wuiek, catcher, Mike Prentice, who was 3-3 with two runs scored, and Justin Krzemien.

Today’s appearance by Cooke marked his third appearance of the tournament, after working ten innings on Wednesday and seven innings last night.

After getting Liam Kelly on strikes, Cooke surrendered a walk to Matthew Sokolski and then a double to Justin Krzemien, which scored two more.

Farewell My Friend…Smith Post 24 Coach Tony Abone Jr. gives Caleb Blair (21) a farewell hug after Blair played his last American Legion ball game.

When the dust settled on the top of the fourth inning, Smith Post found themselves down 5-1.

Steve Eychner and Matt Zakala also got relief work on the mound today for Smith.

West Seneca starter, Austin Spindler, pitched a dandy for his club.

He actually carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the seventh, before Smith pinch hitter, Zach Rotundo slapped a single into right field.

ball21-121x130Trailing 10-1 in the last half of the seventh, Smith tacked on two more runs.

Rotundo scored one, on an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Dylan Findlay.

The other was by Pacicca, who was hit by a pitch and later came around to score on an RBI single by Matt Zakala, to make it 10-3, which is the way this one ended.

Smith played error free ball, a Post 24 trademark, but could not get their offense in gear.

West Seneca now faces the Clinton County Mariners, 2-1, losers to Smith last evening, for the 2013 New York State Championship. Congratulations to Henry P. Smith Post 24 of Rome on an outstanding season and a very respectable run through the State Championship. West Seneca 10 Smith Post 3                         

                          1 2 3 4 5 6 7    R  H   E

West Seneca      0 0 1 4 1 4 0    10 13  1

Smith Post          1 0 0 0 0 0 2     3   2  0