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2nd WNY Baseball/Softball Showcase in North Collins this weekend

By Keith McShea

The second annual Western New York Baseball/Softball Showcase will be held at North Collins this weekend. 

All players are underclassmen, and they compete on teams that are organized mostly by high school league. 

The event begins Saturday with the baseball side, with the ECIC taking on CCAA at 11 a.m., followed by the Monsignor Martin/Buffalo Public Schools vs. Niagara Frontier League/Niagara-Orleans League at 2 p.m., with the winners playing at 5 p.m. 

On Sunday, the same matchups occur in softball at noon, 2:30 and 5 p.m.

Here are the rosters for the event, supplied by event organizers:

Continue reading "2nd WNY Baseball/Softball Showcase in North Collins this weekend" »

Clarence's Armstrong taken in third round, Amherst's Heim in fourth, in MLB draft; with the history of WNY HS picks

By Keith McShea

Today was a momentous day for Western New York baseball as two high school players were selected in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft. 

Clarence pitcher Mark Armstrong was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the third round, 104th overall.

Amherst catcher Jonah Heim was taken by the Baltimore Orioles in the fourth round, 129th overall

Below are the Western New York players who were drafted as high school players, according to's database (the search is set for players from New York; many are from NY colleges).

This list includes last time a player was selected (Hoppy in 2009), the last time a player was selected as high as Armstrong (Rehbaum in the second round in 1979), as well as back to the last time a Western New Yorker was taken in the first round out of high school (Matt Winters, who is listed as being from Williamsville, in 1978).  

2009 Kyle Hoppy, Orchard Park; 28th round by the Orioles

2003 Ricky Brooks, North Tonawanda; 11th round by the White Sox

1999 John Andrianoff, Portville; 19th round by the Astros

1996 David Wesolowski, Williamsville North; 15th round by the Marlins

1996 Aaron Bouie, Albion; 33rd round by the Rays

1996 Gerald Perkins, Roy-Hart; 71st round by the Marlins

1989 John Vandemark, Lockport; 62nd round by the Astros

1983 Louis Monte, Bishop Turner; 29th round by the Yankees

1980 John Sullivan, Grand Island; eighth round by the Athletics

1980 Mark Gabriel, Niagara Catholic; 24th round by the Pirates

1979 Chris Rehbaum, St. Joe's; second round by the Indians

1978 Matt Winters, Williamsville; first round by the Yankees

Continue reading "Clarence's Armstrong taken in third round, Amherst's Heim in fourth, in MLB draft; with the history of WNY HS picks" »

Live from Far West Regional softball, with baseball #preptalkscores updates: Hamburg softball wins (with VIDEO)

2013 Class A Far West Regional champion Hamburg Bulldogs. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
By Keith McShea

The spring season's most important week begins today -- because it's the last week. Today there Far West Regional playoffs in baseball and softball

I'm at Brockport State for the Class AA, A and B softball games. The C and D games are at Olean. The baseball games are at Niagara Falls (AA), Batavia (A & D) and Jamestown (B & C). We will have reporters providing updates from all baseball games. 

If you are at one of today's big games on the diamonds, be sure to tweet updates with the hashtag #preptalkscores. Those tweets will automatically appear in the live blog below. 

Check out our SCOREBOARD PAGE for today's complete schedule, which will be updated with results as soon as we have them.

* * *

The final out for Hamburg, more highlights and interviews:

Continue reading "Live from Far West Regional softball, with baseball #preptalkscores updates: Hamburg softball wins (with VIDEO)" »

Live from the Section VI baseball finals at Sal Maglie: Clarence, Will South win

9:17 -- FINAL -- 2-1 CLARENCE: The top of the seventh was a chaotic affair that ended with Armstrong striking out the final batter with a man on third and being mobbed by his teammates. Clarence claims the Section VI Class AA championship 2-1 over Lancaster and advances to the Far West Regionals. Read the full game stories for both of tonight's matchups in tomorrow's Buffalo News. This is Aaron Mansfield signing off. Thank you for reading. Have a great night!

9:06 -- END 6 -- 2-1 CLARENCE: Armstrong got Lancaster 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. He's been dominant. Stekl allowed an infield single and hit a batter in the bottom of the inning, but he bounced back to close the frame without any damage. We head to the top of the seventh: last licks for Lancaster.

8:54 -- END 5 -- 2-1 CLARENCE: Armstrong walked one batter and a successful but advanced the runner to second with one out, but the impressive hurler closed out the inning without any damage. Clarence jump started its offense in the bottom of the frame. With a man on first and one out, second baseman Bryan Jost doubled to deep right to put runners at second and third with Armstrong coming to the plate. He was intentionally walked for the second time in the game, loading the bars with one out and DH Ryan Jelonek coming up. Stekl walked Jelonek on five pitches to even the score. Stekl struck out first baseman Evan Harof for the second out, but he walked home third baseman Mark Materise to make it 2-1 Clarence. Stekl got left fielder Matt Nawrot on three pitches to get out of trouble.

Continue reading "Live from the Section VI baseball finals at Sal Maglie: Clarence, Will South win" »

Today's Georgetown Cup opener moved to St. Joe's at 4:30

By Keith McShea

The Georgetown Cup opener between St. Joe's and Canisius, pushed back from Tuesday due to rain, will be played today at 4:30 p.m. at St Joe's because Coca-Cola Field is unplayable. 

Thursday's Game Two is scheduled for Coca-Cola Field at 4. 

A potential series-deciding Game Three in the Monsignor Martin Association's baseball championship is now scheduled for Saturday at 3 at Coca-Cola Field. 

Baseball postseason schedule

For nightly updates and day-by-day schedules, go to our scoreboard page. Games are updated moments after they are reported to us. Also check Twitter and the hashtag #preptalkscores.


All Section VI playoff games 5 p.m. unless noted.

Higher seed is home team until finals. 


Monday’s prequarterfinals
9-Jamestown at 8-Kenmore West
12-West Seneca West at 5-Niagara Falls
11-North Tonawanda at 6-Niagara-Wheatfield
10-Frontier at 7-Wmsv. North
Wednesday’s quarterfinals
James/Ken West at 1-Clarence
W.S. West/Nia. Falls at 4-Orchard Park
No. Tona/Nia-Wheat. at 3-Lancaster
Frontier/Wmsv. North at 2-Lockport
Semifinals: Friday at better seed
Final: May 30 at TBA

Continue reading "Baseball postseason schedule" »

Video: St. Joe's 81, Bishop Timon-St. Jude 58

Playing catch (up) with some summer hoops

I had a summer break that started as soon as the 2010-11 season concluded, and now I'm back -- and here to throw some notes out regarding some summer news and notes ... 

* Late in the spring season we told you about the BCANY Hoops Festival set for Johnson City from Aug. 5-7. The event seems like a great one, and it's one that came about due to the unfortunate absence of the Empire State Games this summer. 

The roster has been selected by the coaching staff of head coach Larry Jones (Depew) and assistants Mike Haskell (retired Pioneer) and Mike Berkun (Medaille):

Reggie Agbeko (St. Joe's), Stan Wier (who has transferred back home to East Aurora), Sterling Taplin (Williamsville North), Ryan Whelpley (Walsh), Matt Hart (Canisius), Aaron Frasier (Seneca), Aaron White (Canisius), Jamaal Carter (City Honors), Adam Weir (Canisius), Jordan Williams (Bishop Timon-St. Jude).

Alternates are: Matt McDonald (Canisius), Demone Harris (Timon), Kyle Kobis (Timon), Derrick Sekuterski (Depew).

The team will play Long Island on Friday, Aug 5 at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 6, the Buffalo team plays New York City at 9 a.m. and Hudson Valley at noon. Saturday's evening session includes a dunk contest and three-point contest at 4:30 p.m.; a parent clinic on recruiting at 5:30 and a player clinic with college coaches at 6:30.

The event concludes on Sunday, Aug. 7 with the seventh-place game (9 a.m.), fifth-place game (10:30 a.m.), consolation (noon) and championship (1:30 p.m.).

While the event is being run by BCANY, there are some expenses that will need to be covered for teams and players (food, lodging, transportation -- costs mostly taken care of by the ESG during the Games). The squad is seeking sponsorships -- if you are interested in helping the team defray some costs, call Jones at (585) 746-8327.

This team deserves some serious commenting -- that squad is a really good one, a much better collection than I expected for what is a startup event this year. Great talent, great depth, great mixture of schools. Excellent job by the basketball community in getting the word out and credit the coaching staff for what must have been some difficult choices after the tryouts. 

* Speaking of some good hoops competition, this weekend might be the Taste of Buffalo but fans can get a taste of hoops up in Niagara Falls. Some top programs are in action at the Niagara PAL Team Camp at Niagara Falls. Here's the lineup: 

Friday: 5 p.m. -- Main gym, Niagara Falls vs. Canisius; Aux. gym, St. Joe's vs. Niagara-Wheatfield; 6 p.m. -- Batavia vs. Grand Island; Aux. gym, Wilson vs. Holland; 7 p.m. -- Main gym, Jamestown vs. Sweet Home.

Saturday: 9 a.m. -- Main gym, St. Joe's vs. Niagara Falls; Aux. gym, Canisius vs. Jamestown; 10 a.m. -- Main gym, Sweet Home vs. Wilson; Aux. gym, Batavia vs. Niagara-Wheatfield; 11 a.m., Main gym, Grand Island vs. Holland.

Single elimination tournament begins at noon, with championship at 5 p.m.

There is a $2 admission for fans 13 and older.

* I will hopefully hit some summer events of all sorts -- I'll be soon selling raffle tickets to benefit the Tom Borrelli Award and Scholarship Fund. We have some great prizes and it's a great cause as we continue to honor our fallen coworker. 

The third Borrelli Award for boys and the inaugural Borrelli Award for girls will be announced later this month and the winners will receive their trophies at the July 27 Tom Borrelli Golf Tournament at Holland Hills. For those interested in golfing ($100 per person) or donating, please email me at 

* By the way, the spring All-WNY teams and all-league teams (for baseball, softball and boys and girls lacrosse), which have been published over the last month, have all been collected at the high school home page.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Live from Class A Far West Regional baseball: Hamburg falls to V-Pittsford-Sutherland, 6-0 (with video)

A beeeeeautiful night for baseball at Batavia's Dwyer Stadium. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

Hello from Dwyer Stadium in Batavia -- as the baseball announcers would say -- on a beeee-autiful evening for baseball. We're here for the Class A Far West Regional game between Section VI champion Hamburg and Section V (Rochester area) champion -- and defending state champion -- Pittsford-Sutherland.

This is my first visit to Dwyer and I love the place. Gotta put it on my list to get out here to watch the Muckdogs muck it up some night.

7:11 p.m. Game time was scheduled for 7, but Hamburg is still taking infield at the moment, with Pittsford-Sutherland yet to do so. The start was pushed back due to the Section V Class D final being played beforehand.  

If you are computer bound instead of out enjoying this lovely evening at a high school baseball game ( :-) ), check out some fine work by two of our summer interns.

Ryan Marfrut covered Game Two of the Georgetown Cup championship series, which Canisius closed out with a thrilling, come-from-behind, 5-4 victory over St. Francis. Check out the live blog from Coca-Cola Field. Bryan Tenney and the Crusaders win their third straight cup. Those guys love playing for the Cup in June. 

Sam Kilb is now in the driver's seat at Coca-Cola Field, covering the Class AA Far West Regional between Clarence and Victor. Check out the live blog.

7:27 p.m. Umpires and coaches meeting at home plate. 

Usually you just hear the synthesizers of Europe's "Final Countdown" when you are at a sporting event. We have had the pleasure of hearing the entire song while the coaches and umpires meet. 


Hamburg (15-9): Leadoff Jordan Pytlak ss, Tyler Herr 1b, Brian Castonguay 2b, Michael Kerr 3b, James Zemla cf, Tyler Shaw dh (for Sam Hogan p), Eric Simoncelli c, Jake Dehlinger rf, Nolan Ringo lf. 

Pittsford-Sutherland (22-2): Leadoff Hunter Merill lf, Jordan Swisher c, Brad Kacza ss, Zach Salvia 1b, Nick Barra 2b, Grand Heyman cf, Jeff Kay rf, Matt Barra dh (for Michael Gibbs p), Spencer Lowe 3b.

Solid, enthusiastic crowd on hand for Hamburg, including about 20 purple T-shirt-wearing students at the top of one bleacher. No such student section from Pitt-Sutherland. 

7:38 p.m. First pitch, and its a strike from Gibbs. 

There's a big glare as the sun is setting over left field. Right now it is hovering over the foul pole so it shouldn't be too much of a problem, if at all, for batters. It's a slight problem for sportswriters. 

7:45 p.m. The top of the first was a very eventful one for Hamburg, which is NOT happy, and it appears they have good reason to be.

After a pop out by Pytlak, Herr and Castonguay each reached on slow rolling singles between third and short. Kerr bounced one to short, but the last one was a big hop that couldn't be handled for an error -- could have been a double play, but the bases were loaded. 

Zemla bounces one to third, and Lowe does well to get to third for the force, then he plants and throws to first. The call of "Out!" is one that is disagreed with by most of the press box, and many in the stands, certainly if the fans were from Hamburg. 

The first base umpire (there are four working this championship game), did the standard umpire move after a controversial call and immediately went for a walk out into right field. Hamburg coach Steve Chaffee came out and walked all the way out to right and was very demonstrative in his disagreement. 

I have the iPhone video and I'll post it as soon as I'm able, which might not be until after the game. The play is closer than it appeared in person, but the video looked safe as well.

Here it is (posted in the seventh): 

Middle of the first, no score. 

7:56 p.m. A great response from Hogan on the mound, as he strikes out the side -- the last two sandwiched around a walk. End of the first, no score. 

8 p.m. No drama in the top of the second. Three straight grounders and three straight 6-to-3s in the scorebook for Shaw, Simoncelli and Dehlinger. 

8:07 p.m. A strikeout of Nick Barra starts the inning, and after an error on the second baseman, Jeff Kay grounded to second and it became a 6-4-3 double play on which first baseman Herr made a very nice stretch. End of the second, no score

8:14 p.m. Hamburg not happy again. After a leadoff sharp single up the middle by Ringo, Pytlak hit a very high pop to right. On an I-got-it-you-got-it, the ball lands in between the right fielder and the second baseman. The right fielder picks it up and throws to second for the force, and while it was a close play, it appears that Hamburg again gets a tough call as Ringo is called out. It goes as a 9 to 6 fielder's choice.

After a stolen base by Pytlak, it got even worse for Hamburg fans. Herr grounds to the shortstop, who forces Pytlak to scamper back to second and he throws wide to first. The first baseman comes off the bag and does the sweep tag, but I didn't see any contact. The better evidence is another shocked reaction by Hamburg's first base coach, and even better is Herr's instantaneous reaction that he wasn't touched. More hollers from the Hamburg fans and more incredulousness from the press box (not just me). 

Chaffee again comes out to express his frustration. Every trip has been deserved. 

But that's that. Middle of the third, no score.  

8:26 p.m. After a lineout to center on which Zemla makes a nice play to come in and nab as he went to the grass, and a groundout to third by Lowe, Merill gets Pitt-Sutherland's first hit of the day with a sharp liner to left. Merill stole second.

Swisher followed with a sharp single up the middle on a 2-2 pitch and Merill came around to score.

Ouch. Slow grounder to second on what looks like an inning-ender, but the throw is wide of first and Sutherland has runners at second and third for clean-up batter Salvia.

Salvia lines one down the third base line for big trouble for Hamburg -- the ball rolls around in the corner as the two runs score. The ball is dug out in time to nab Salvia -- who inexplicably stopped between second and third -- on a tag-out play at third to end the inning.

After three innings, Pitt-Sutherland 3, Hamburg 0. 

8:32 p.m. Hamburg with a mini-threat as, after a Castonguay strikeout, Kerr reached on an error by the shortstop after a high throw, then moved to second on a groundout to third by Zemla. But the inning ended with Shaw softly lining to second. Middle of fourth: Pitt-Sutherland leads, 3-0.

The sun has gone down over left field. Whew. View from the press box is now a sunglass-free deal.

8:39 p.m. Pitt-Sutherland adds another run and Hamburg makes a pitching change. Nick Barra grounded out to lead off, then lefty Heyman fisted a single to left and moved to second on an errant pickoff throw. Kay then rapped a single to left to drive in Heyman and, soon after, Chaffee was walking to the mound for the change.

Zemla comes in to pitch while Shaw, who had been the DH, goes to left field, and Ringo moves from left to center.

8:44 p.m. One batter and two outs for Zemla as Pytlak fields a grounder to short, steps on second and throws to first for the double play. End of the fourth: Pitt-Sutherland leads, 4-0.

8:49 p.m. A quick inning for Hamburg. Simoncelli gave a ball a ride to deep left center but it was tracked down smoothly by Heyman, Dehlinger grounded to short and Ringo flew out to right. Middle of fifth: Pitt-Sutherland, 4-0.

9:02 p.m. After the rough start with the umpires, Hamburg hasn't helped itself. Too many mistakes. A groundout to short by Lowe is followed by a walk to Merill; a fly out to center by Swisher is followed by a walk to Kaczka, and a passed ball gives P-M runners at second and third. A Salvia grounder to second could have ended the inning again, but the ball stays down and through the legs of the second baseman and both runners come in to score. The inning ends with a Barra groundout to second.

End of fifth: Pitt-Sutherland leads, 6-0

9:16 p.m. Three-up, three-down in the top of the sixth; Zemla strikes out two in the bottom of the sixth. Hamburg has three outs left. End of six: Pitt-Sutherland leads, 6-0.

9:23 p.m. Two singles, two strikeouts and a pop-out and it's over. 

We have a FINAL SCORE: Pittsford-Sutherland 6, Hamburg 0.

---Keith McShea
(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Live from Georgetown Cup Game Two: Canisius beats St. Francis, 5-4, for title

4:02 p.m. We're live from Coca-Cola Field as Canisius and St. Francis are getting ready to take the field. Just a reminder that this is game two of a three game series. Canisius won game one on Sunday at Northtown Center, 5-1.

Senior Josh Vaccaro gets the start on the mound for Canisius, with senior Evan Briggs, who will attend RIT next year, starting for St. Francis.

4:38 p.m. Mid 2nd St. Francis 1 Canisius 0: The Red Raiders draw first blood as Dallas Szustak starts the second inning off with a hard line drive that made it's way into the far corner of the stadium. The senior hustled for a triple and was driven in on the next at bat by senior Nicholas DiRienzo on a ground out.

St. Francis threatened in the inning again after a single and a walk. But Canisius avoided further damage with a Vaccaro strike out and a jumping catch by first baseman Joe Gagliano. 

5:17 p.m. Mid 4th St. Francis 4 Canisius 0: St. Francis strikes again this time with a two RBI single from senior Robert Harrington in the top of the fourth. The inning started off with a walk, followed by a bunt that Canisius failed to get an out on. Another walk loaded the bases and Harrington struck.

On the very next at bat, Canisius over threw second while trying to get Harrington. The play allowed for Junior Craig Matthew to advance from third and score the third run of the inning.

5:32 p.m. Top 5th St. Francis 4 Canisius 0: Canisius gets it's first hit off Briggs in the fourth with two outs. Senior Gordon Lyons followed the hit with a lengthy at bat, resulting in a walk. But, Briggs pulls out a great play by picking Lyons leading off at first for the third out. So far Briggs has 6 strike outs with three walks.

5:36 p.m. Mid 5th St. Francis 4 Canisius: Update on Vaccaro now. The senior just struck out two more in a 1-2-3 fifth. That gives him six strike outs with five walks, while allowing four hits.

6:16 p.m. Top 7 St. Francis 4 Canisius 4: After starting off the sixth by giving up a single and a walk St. Francis decided to pull Briggs. The senior gave up three hit with three walks and seven strike outs. 

Mercyhurst bound senior Michael Wagner came in to replace Briggs and walked his first batter. Up next was junior Tom Maxwell who drove two runs in with a hard double to left center. Wagner regained his composure with a strike out.

But, Canisius struck again though when Vaccaro grounded out to drive in senior Alex Heuer. Canisius then brought in junior Maurice Jordan to pinch hit. With two outs Jordan hit a hard line drive to left center to drive in the games tying run. In the sixth inning alone Canisius got three hits with four runs. Before that the team only had one hit.

6:30 GAME OVER St. Francis 4 Canisius 5: Senior Alex Heuer clinched the Georgetown Cup for Canisus with a walk off double to deep left. Heuer drove in junior Marc DiLeo who was on base after a one out single. 

Canisius has won the Georgetown Cup in an amazing comeback victory.


---Ryan Marfurt

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN |