Clinton coach Tom Pfisterer and his Warriors hoist the hardware.
As all sports fans know, streaks have to end. Unfortunately, for the Clinton Warriors baseball team, their win streak came to an all to sudden end on Saturday evening with a 7-0 loss to Fredonia. A streak that had reached 19 wins in 20 games for the Warriors.
Class B baseball fans could not have asked for more as Clinton (20-6), the states second ranked Class B team, squared off against the # 1 ranked team from Western New York.
The biggest shock to the system of the Warrior nation was the stunning start to the title tilt.
The Fredonia baseball team was No. 1 in the Western New York, coaches’ poll all season.
On Saturday, it not only put that ranking in bold type, it added another, more weighty title: state champions.
It is the second state title in baseball for the Hillbillies, who also won in 2006 under Gullo. It’s the first state title for Section VI since Pine Valley won Class D in 2007.
It was sophomore, Cameron Voss (7-0), who stole the show in the finale, as the big lefty allowed just one hit in a complete-game effort.
“He comes prepared and he’s so loose,” Gullo said of Voss. “He doesn’t know what pressure is yet, and as much as he wanted to win the title, he’ll be the first to say, he’s so glad he won it for the seniors.”
Voss allowed just a leadoff single to Mike Hayduk in the bottom of the seventh, as he finished striking out four and walking five in the biggest game of his high school career.
From there, Voss mixed in four strikeouts with solid plays from his defense. The game cruised along until center fielder, Nick Hart, caught a fly ball for the final out, setting off an on-field celebration.
“He had all the answers,” Clinton head coach, Tom Pfisterer, said of Voss. “Every time we got ahead in the count, he made the pitch he needed to make, and we did not hit the ball hard off him at all. My hat’s off. I understand he’s just a sophomore, and God bless him, he’s going to be a good one.”
The Hillbillies started fast in the championship game as they got to Clinton starter, Steve Ford, (6-3) for five runs on six hits and a walk in the top of the first.
After the early outburst Ford got his groove on settling down after the rough start to throw four straight shutout innings before giving way to Austin Bouse, who came on to close out the game and a great 2013 campaign for the Class B Section 3 and Central Regional champs.
A season that seemed to be predicted by Clinton head coach, Tom Pfisterer, who told the team back in January that they should not make any plans for the weekend of June 8th.
The coaches preseason prediction did indeed come true for this hard working team as the Warriors had won 19 of 20 games to reach the Class B Final.
As you already know the Warriors got to the title tilt in style with their dramatic 2-1 semifinal win over Wheatley.
Hart led off the game with a walk, before Weston Ley, Zach Buckley, Voss and Jude Gardner all singled to help the Hillbillies build a 2-0 lead.
An RBI fielder’s choice by Thompson gave Fredonia a 3-0 lead while Sebastian McAfee and Christian Saden each added run-scoring singles for the 5-0 cushion.
“Putting up five in the first was a little bit reminiscent of (2006) when we got on top of Babylon,” Gullo said. “And we came out smoking. Playing two games in a row is definitely an advantage, than having to win a game and sit around.
“But their pitcher, Steve Ford, found his groove,” Gullo continued. “This is high-level baseball, and I was proud that we got a run in the sixth and a run in the seventh to pad the lead.”
The Hillbillies added a single run in the sixth on an RBI single by Ley, for a 6-0 lead, before Thompson added an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
For Fredonia, the title is its second in the last eight years, and like the 2006 team, that beat Babylon on the same field, these Hillbillies were led by their seniors, as Hart, Buckley, Gardner, Thompson, McAfee, Saden and Matt Coyle ended their season the best way imaginable.
Saden, who batted eighth in both games, picked the best time to have his most productive day at the plate as he finished his career with a 3-for-4 effort, including a double and an RBI.
For Clinton, six seniors played the last game of their high school careers. Austin Bouse, Jordan Chrobak, Steven Ford, Michael Hayduk, Jordan Malecki and Anthony Rizzo all ended their careers in style with the run to states.
Speaking of states, Jordan Chrobak was not able to be with the baseball team this weekend as he was off taking part in the New York State Track & Field Finals.
Fredonia 7 Clinton 0
123 456 7 R H E
Fredonia 500 001 1 – 7 10 0
Clinton 000 000 0 – 0 1 2