Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — It had been a disappointing Thursday afternoon for Kenmore West first baseman Ryan Hussar.
After three plate appearances, he was hitless. Three at-bats, three strike outs.
So when he came up to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning, with his Blue Devils one run away from knocking off rival Kenmore East in early-season Niagara Frontier League action, the junior was looking for some redemption.
“I just went up to the plate thinking to myself ‘I am going to get a hit because of how bad I did the previous three at-bats,” Hussar said. “I just wanted to come through for the team. I believe there was (extra motivation) because I was hanging my head earlier in the game and I just wanted to come through.”
That's exactly what he did, blasting a single on the first pitch he saw to lift his Blue Devils to a 3-2 walk off win over Kenmore East (0-3 NFL).
“I like jumping on the first pitch because it’s usually a fast ball right down the pipe,” Hussar said. “A lot of people like taking the first pitch for a strike, but I don’t enjoy that very much because then I (may not) see another great fastball to hit.”
Kenmore West coach John Haynes said this is a situation the team replicates all the time at practice.
“We practice that upstairs in the cage — we will tell them it’s an 0-2 count and stuff like that or call out bases loaded two outs, like ‘here it is, game on the line, bottom of the seventh, what are you going to do?’” Haynes said.
Hussar’s heroics wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the pitching performance of Jimmy Faso. He threw all seven innings, striking out six hitters while allowing only two runs, keeping the Blue Devils in a position to win the game with one swing.