Bulldogs Down ‘Jacks to Secure Spot in Postseason
Sometimes in baseball you need to rely on pitching, defensive play, and timely hitting instead of offensive firepower to succeed.
Case in point – the Kenmore East Bulldogs. The first three categories were the main catalysts in their narrow 3-1 win over the North Tonawanda Lumberjacks, and winning that way suited coach Leslie Simon just fine.
“Obviously pitching and defense gives you a great chance to win any game you’re in,” Simon said. “This was a big game for us. I call this ‘big field baseball’. It had a playoff feel to it because we’re trying to reach the postseason, and they beat us about two weeks ago so we’re thrilled to get some revenge on them.”
After Gavin Smyth walked in a run early in the game, the Lumberjacks promptly tied up the score soon thereafter and it remained that way until Will Markott drove in two runs on a double in the sixth inning. In the meantime, pitchers Nate and Aidan Bova not only shut down their opponent on the mound but also got a ton of help from their teammates on the field in the form of highlight reel-worthy stops.
“We played great fundamental defense today,” Simon said. “It was tremendous everywhere on the field, for sure, but in particular Ryan Hahn was outstanding at third base. He and our outfield of Colin Daigler, Joe Crimi and Aaron Huddleston, who were also really strong for us, have been that way all year long.”
The win earned the Bulldogs a playoff game and while the opponent was to be determined at press time, Simon felt good about the challenges that lay ahead.
“It’s going to be tough, for sure,” Simon said. “But I like that we were able to close the season with three straight wins and get hot. Now it’s single-elimination baseball, and I like our chances going forward.”