Monday, October 20, 2014

Wellsville season ends on high note despite forfeit

By CLINTON DICK, Herald Staff Writer | 7/31/2013

Following arguably one of the biggest wins in program history, the Wellsville American Legion baseball team was forced to forfeit the championship game July 27 against Rock Creek in the Zone 2 tournament. The team would have played for a state tournament bid.

The team only had seven players on the roster Saturday available to play as opposed to the nine players needed to start a game, head coach Chris Caruthers said Wednesday. One player was ineligible because of an illegal slide made in the previous game that got him kicked out. Two other players were unable to attend the game because of a family vacation that was scheduled at the same time, Caruthers said.

Following arguably one of the biggest wins in program history, the Wellsville American Legion baseball team was forced to forfeit the championship game July 27 against Rock Creek in the Zone 2 tournament. The team would have played for a state tournament bid.

The team only had seven players on the roster Saturday available to play as opposed to the nine players needed to start a game, head coach Chris Caruthers said Wednesday. One player was ineligible because of an illegal slide made in the previous game that got him kicked out. Two other players were unable to attend the game because of a family vacation that was scheduled at the same time, Caruthers said.

“We could have brought some of our younger kids up [to play the game] from the single A team,” Caruthers said. “We didn’t because their season had been done for a couple of weeks, so a lot of them probably hadn’t picked up a baseball in a couple of weeks.”

Despite the unfortunate situation for the team, the coach said, Wellsville had an impressive championship run that ended with a 6-4 comeback win in the seventh inning in Friday’s elimination game, and then a 7-0 Friday night shutout against Rock Creek to advance to the championship.

“We played pretty well [through the tournament] I thought,” Caruthers said. “We competed about as good as we did all year.”

It marked the first time in the program’s four-year history that Wellsville had advanced to a state tournament bid game. Caruthers, who has coached the team all four years, said junior pitcher Shamus Kearney was key in the win over Rock Creek.

“[Kearney] set the tone early and kept it going for us the whole game,” he said. “He pitched a shutout game.”

Caruthers said his team ended the season on a high note with the win. Wellsville previously lost to Rock Creek Thursday in the tournament 11-0.

“[Friday night’s win was] easily the best game we played all season, and one of the better games I’ve seen,” Caruthers said.

Wellsville finished out the summer season with an 18-8 record.

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