MARCY – One seeing-eye single.
That’s how close Griffin Baur came to pitching a no-hitter during Whitestown Post’s 9-0 victory over New Hartford Post Tuesday night at SUNY Poly’s Peter A. Spina Field.
Baur pitched 5 2/3 innings of no-hit ball, until New Hartford’s Ryan Faro hit a roller up the middle that took a huge hop over the outstretched glove of Whitestown shortstop Jack Acquaviva. Baur finished with nine strikeouts and his one-hitter was preserved by a tremendous game-ending diving catch by center fielder Patrick Galer.
“Obviously we wanted the no-hitter,” said Baur, a graduating star from New York Mills. “But a one-hitter was just as good as long as we win. That’s what matters.”
Baur was extremely dominant early, striking out five in the first two innings behind a good mix of heat and off-speed pitches.
“I was able to locate my fastball,” Baur said. “I was throwing hard today and used my curve when I needed it. I kept them off balance early, and then my teammates made plays behind me.”
Ryan McAndrew had three hits, including a triple and Jack Acquaviva doubled and tripled for Whitestown Post.
Whitestown gave Baur all the help he needed in the bottom of the first as Acquaviva’s triple trapped the wall in right-center and scored Nick Casper. Acquaviva scored on McAndrew’s groundout to short to make it 2-0. Baur (2-0) quickly got Whitestown (4-2, 8-2) back to the dugout by striking out the side in the top of the second and his offense responded by tacking on three more runs, all unearned, off New Hartford pitcher Chris Hillman.
“He worked ahead of hitters early,” Whitestown Post manager Paul Engelhart said. “It was nice to get the two spot in the second and three spot in the third. It settles everyone down. Then it was just a matter of him throwing strikes. His slider wasn’t working, so it was mostly all fastball and curveball today. He only had two walks and we’ll take that every night.”
New Hartford (3-6, 3-6) committed three consecutive errors to begin the second inning and Galer made the visiting team pay by driving the first pitch he saw to the fence in the right-center gap for a two-run triple to make it 5-0.
“The thing is we have been playing great defensively all year,” New Hartford manager Angelo Faro said. “We almost equaled that in one inning … but that’s baseball. Those things are going to happen.”
Through four innings, Whitestown (had just three hits – all triples. The hit total changed in the fifth as they erupted for five straight hits, culminated by a two-run single by Jimmy Bushey to push the lead to 8-0.
McAndrew added an RBI single to right in the sixth for the final margin. All three of his hits were to right field and that’s a good sign for McAndrew.
“When I’m hitting my best, I’m always hitting to right, right-center,” McAndrew said. “When I’m struggling, I usually ground out to the left side, so it’s good to be able to go opposite field.”
Engelhart was very pleased with his entire team’s ability to go with the pitch Tuesday.
“We were phenomenal going oppo,” Engelhart said of his team’s ability to hit to the opposite field. “We really preach that and today we did that really well.”
Whitestown hosts Oriskany Post Wednesday at SUNY Poly, and then plays Utica Post Thursday night at Murnane Field. With such a busy schedule, pitching depth is paramount and Engelhart believes his team’s depth on the mound will prove to be a strength.
“It’s only our third week, but our strength is pitching,” Engelhart said. “We have everyone back from last year … and we added Ty Gnatek, who took a year off and (Patrick) Galer. We are deep and have five solid starters and some good relievers.”
McAndrew, who is one of Whitestown’s pitchers, believes one aspect of the game will determine how far they will go this season.
“Our defense is probably our key,” McAndrew said. “We have seven or eight solid good pitchers and we have a strong lineup that will figure out how to score runs. So, our defense will be the key to how far we go.”
Hillman finished with four strikeouts for New Hartford Post, which has a five-day break before hosting Smith, Oneida and Moran on consecutive nights beginning Monday. New Hartford is a relatively young squad and Faro hopes to get more production out of his the few veterans he does have on the roster.
“We are very young, but our veterans need to find themselves,” Faro said. We have some kids returning from college who just need to find their swings.”
Whitestown 9, New Hartford 0
New Hartford 000 000 0—0 1 3
Whitestown 230 003 1—9 9 0
W-Baur (2-0). L-Hillman. 2B, Wboro, Acquaviva. 3B, Wboro, Galer, Acquaviva, McAndrew.