Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Chris Falk has never shied away from the spotlight. Over the past two seasons, the junior pitcher has gained a lot of experience, which has helped him anchor the St. Joe’s pitching staff.
His moxy has established himself as a consistent and reliable arm for the team, and that trend continued Wednesday afternoon.
Falk pitched a complete game, two-hit shutout with seven strike outs for the Marauders (17-5, 7-3 MMA) in a 3-0 victory over the Crusaders (13-5, 8-3 MMA) in the first of a three-game series for the Georgetown Cup.
Going into the game, Falk had a simple game plan: get ahead and stay ahead.
“He has veteran ability,” said head coach Paul Nasca. “He was on the mound last year during the clincher. He’s gotten a lot of opportunities for a lot of innings for us.”
St. Joe’s scored two runs in early on to take a 2-0 lead, but in the fifth Canisius looked to be battling back. The Crusaders got a pair of runners aboard as a result of a hit by pitch and a fielder’s choice, followed by a bunt.
Falk found himself with runners on second and third with two outs, so he stuck with the game plan and pounded the corners of the strike zone. He forced Kyle Lizewski to fly out to end the inning.
“He’s very confident,” Nasca said. “But he just battled back, settled down and got us out of the inning.”
Offensively, the Marauders got enough run support for Falk. Donny Killian finished the game with one hit and two RBIs, including an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to give St. Joe’s the 3-0 lead.
Jose Alemany pitched 5 2/3 innings for Canisius, allowing three hits and recording one strike out. Both teams will be back at it today in game two at Coca-Cola field.
“I think what people have to look forward to (today) is one of the best pitchers in Western New York (in) Matt Matre,” Nasca said. “He’s coming off of a two or three hitter on Saturday. He’s hungry. He’s a senior and this is his last shot and his last start as a Marauder.”
First pitch is slated for 4:30 p.m.