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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Mustangs Maul Knights, Advance to State Semi Final

At first glance, it appeared that the Far West Regional showdown between the Medina Mustangs and Le Roy Knights was going to be a close, tightknit affair.

Then the third and fourth innings occurred. And any sort of dramatic conclusion turned into a cakewalk.

A nine-run explosion in those two stanzas helped the Mustangs win by a score of 10-2 and punched their ticket to the Class B state semifinal where they will take on the winner of Schuylerville and Ogdensburg Free Academy. That offensive output didn’t surprise Mustangs coach John Sherman though, as he knew he had the kind of team who could score seemingly at will.

“We have hitters that are pretty solid up and down our lineup,” Sherman said. “Once we’ve seen that pitcher one time through, our batters have the ability to make the adjustments that they need to. And usually on the second time through, if we haven’t hit him on the first time, we’re going to start getting those hits and start putting runs on the board.”

The Mustangs struck first on an RBI single by Brian Fry in the bottom of the first inning and the Knights answered back in the top of the third when Reece Tresco scored a run off of a base hit. But when AJ Seefeldt and pitcher Trevor Luhart each drove in a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning to make it 5-1, the dam broke for Medina.

Seemingly flustered, the Knights removed pitcher Tim McMullen at the start of the fourth and replaced him with reliever Tom Saunders, hoping he could stop the bleeding for a bit. Saunders, however, wasn’t up to the task, as Chris Goyette collected two RBIs of his own and Seefeldt notched both his third hit and third RBI of the game to increase their team’s lead to 8-1.

Again, the Knights opted for a pitching change, subbing in Kenny Saunders on the mound to replace his brother. But it was to no avail, as Zach Fike and Luhart drove in two more runs to cap off the scoring for Medina.

“We’ve been working with these guys the last few years on approaching the plate and letting the ball get deep and working on hitting to the opposite field,” Sherman said. “When you let the ball get deep, you can make a better decision on whether to swing or not. The kids have bought into that through the years and they get to take a lot of batting practice all winter long. It’s paid off.”

Luhart not only did his damage in the batter’s box, but on the mound as well, allowing just two runs across seven innings of work.

“Trevor did what he’s been doing all year long. He throws strikes, he throws hard and his ball has good movement on it,” Sherman said. “He really doesn’t think a lot out there, he just does what he has to do. He also kind of broke out a little bit with his at-bats today, he’s been struggling the last few games there but he definitely had some big hits for us.

“His money pitch is his fastball, but when his ‘Uncle Charlie’ is working, he’s unhittable. I’ve got to hand it to Le Roy, they put some good at-bats on the board against him. They forced him to work, 70 pitches is a lot for Trevor to throw in one game. But he did really well today.”

Even though the Mustangs head into the state semifinal boasting a roster with few seniors and heavy on youth, Sherman was unfazed by the task that lay ahead for his team.

“This has been our goal for a few years. We’re a young team and these guys have gained a lot of experience along the way,” Sherman said. “We’ve got a core of five players that have played a lot of championship baseball. Most of the kids on our team play travel ball and they get 50-60 games during the summer, so we know what they’re capable of.”

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