Tonawanda News — TONAWANDA – Victor Wilson had two RBIs and Tom O’Connor pitched five innings, struck out three and allowed one run and three hits for the North Tonawanda Lumberjacks boys baseball team in their 4-2 win over the Kenmore East Bulldogs in their Class A-1 Pre-Quarterfinal matchup on Friday.
The Jacks (2-13) will advance to the Class A-1 Quarterfinals and take on the Grand Island Vikings.
“That’s one heck of a win for our guys,” Jacks coach John Chiarmonte said. “We got good hitting when we needed it. I think our pitching was great today and our defense was solid. You can’t ask for much more than that.”
The first two innings saw a pitching duel between O’Connor and the Bulldogs’ Jeff White. Neither pitcher gave up many hits in their first two trips to the mound. When they did allow the opposition to get on base, both O’Connor and White denied those baserunners the opportunity to cross home plate.
In the third inning, Wilson batted in the first run of the game with a hit to left field and reached second base for a double. Connor Priester then put the Jacks up by two in the fourth inning with an RBI single and it looked as if the two scores would be enough to give the Jacks the win.
However, the Bulldogs would not go quietly. The team got runners on base in the top of the fifth inning and an error by the Jacks led to two runners scoring for Ken East, tying the contest up at two runs apiece.
A mental mistake such as the aforementioned error could be enough to deflate any sports team’s momentum. Yet Chiarmonte wouldn’t allow his team to fold.
“I just told our team to not give up,” Chiarmonte said. “A lot of kids who find themselves in that type of situation would just flush the toilet and say, ‘We’re done.’ But we found a way to keep the enthusiasm going on our team and we didn’t get down on ourselves at all.”