Weekly Feature

2017-04-20 / Sports

EA baseball team posts split over spring break


East Aurora’s baseball team — minus a few key pieces due to the holiday break from school — made the most of its opportunities to get outside last week, splitting games with JFK and Akron to move to 2-1 on the year.

The Blue Devils opened their week with a 14-4 victory over JFK in April 10’s annual Peter Odrobina Memorial contest.

Alex Baase, who was named MVP of this year’s game, allowed just one run over the course of the first three innings. He helped his cause by collecting a pair of hits and four RBIs at the plate for East Aurora, which broke the game open with a five-run third inning.

The Blue Devils were up 4-1 heading into the third inning.

“We opened the game strong and just stayed with it, and they never really were able to challenge us,” coach Steve Sokolski said. “Everyone got in and contributed, which was nice.”

Nate Mucci paced East Aurora’s offense with three hits and two runs, while Matteo Duennebacke added two hits and four RBIs as well. Calvin Roberts chipped in with two RBIs and three runs scored.

Things didn’t go quite as well two days later against Akron, however, as errors at the worst possible times came back to haunt the Blue Devils in what would ultimately be a 9-6 decision.

East Aurora finished the game with five errors and came up empty in a couple of bases-loaded opportunities, yet still managed to stay within striking distance throughout the contest. Akron gave itself a little bit of a cushion by scoring four runs in the bottom of the third and added three more in the fifth to take a 9-3 lead.

The Blue Devils responded with three runs in the top of the sixth to cut Akron’s lead in half, and then loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh before things ground to a halt.

“We just couldn’t take advantage a couple of times that we were in prime position to do so,” Sokolski said. “We did do some positive things in the game, though, and it was just good to get outside. We only had nine guys that day, so some of the kids were able to get some extended playing time.”

Lucas Juliano led the way for East Aurora with three hits and two RBIs, while Baase added two hits and a run. Lucas McClaren chipped in with a hit and an RBI for East Aurora, which kicked off a busy stretch of six games in eight days Tuesday by traveling to Starpoint before hosting Depew Wednesday. Information about those games was not available at press time, however.

Weather permitting, the Blue Devils will close out their busy stretch with road games against Maryvale Friday, Pioneer Saturday and Cheektowaga Tuesday, as well as a home game against Springville on Monday.

“We’ve got guys coming back from vacation this week, so we’ll have our regular lineup in play,” Sokolski said. “Pitching is going to be key next week for sure; we’ve got to hold teams off the board and then score some runs when we’re at the plate. It’s a short but a long season at the same time, and the more we go, the better we’ll look hopefully.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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