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Schmidt goes distance for Ken West

Dom Schmidt just shutout all the noise and pitched like he knows how to.

Schmidt threw a complete game as Kenmore West beat Niagara-Wheatfield, 3-0, in Niagara Frontier League baseball action that was played at the Ken-West Athletic Complex, Saturday afternoon. A game that was originally schedule to be played at Wheatfield, so the Falcons were recognized as the home team.

Schmidt spun a four-hit gem as he struck out seven and issued just two walks over his seven innings of work to pick up his first win of the season.

“The mentality coming out today was definitely just to pound the zone,” Schmidt said. “The first two starts I struggled with that.”

A senior captain and part of the Blue Devils 1-2 punch on the hill along with fellow senior Andrew Fron, Schmidt struggled in his earlier outings due largely in part to trying to do too much for his team. Taking the loss in the season opener against Grand Island was especially tough for Schmidt to process.

Schmidt, realizing that he was over throwing in his first two starts, took a step back and remembered that he didn’t have to take every batter single-handedly. He was still aggressive as he pounded the strike zone and fearlessly attacked batters with his best stuff. But he also knew he had a solid defense backing him up and he has faith that the boys would do their job.

“Yeah definitely,” Schmidt said. “I feel like it helped to take the pressure off myself a little bit. They did a great job. They did what they had to do.”

Left fielder Kyle Schmidt was definitely on his game in the third when he fired a pinpoint throw that got Andrew Stillinger at second base as he was trying to stretch a single into a double.

Kyle Schmidt (2-for-3) drove in Dom Schmidt with the winning run in the fourth.

Blue Devils coach Johnny Haynes said he definitely saw a more focused and more productive Dom Schmidt on the mound who gave his team the kind of start they needed out of him.

“Today he had an attitude out there,” Haynes said with a smile.

“He didn’t let anything get to him. He wasn’t agitated. He had a lot of confidence out there. He fulfilled the job.”

Wheatfield starter Peyton Siegmann was also on his game as he kept the Blue Devils off the board for the first three innings.

It was going to come down to which team was going to capitalize first on their opponents mistake.

Ken-West would get two insurance runs in the top of the sixth when Owen Green hit a grounder that Wheatfield shortstop Kyle Stenzel was unable to field cleanly. Which opened the door for Zach Laplante and Dom Schmidt to score.

“They’re kid (Schmidt) threw a nice game. My kid (Siegmann) threw a nice game. You gotta score a run,” Wheatfield coach Jim Hagerty said.

“We had a couple of opportunities earlier that we didn’t take advantage of.”

Schmidt being able to eat up all seven innings was even more significant as it saved arms for the Blue Devils who played rival Ken-East immediately after beating Wheatfield.

“It was huge. Honestly, in the eight years I’ve been coaching West this is the most pitching (depth) we’ve had,” Haynes said. “But it is huge. I think he threw 92 pitches today and we didn’t have to go to our pen and get anybody else in.”

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