Dunkirk turns it on

Marauders pull away from rival Hillbillies

OBSERVER Photos by Jay Young Dunkirk’s Phil Messina hits an RBI double during Monday’s CCAA Division 1 West game against Fredonia at Al Stuhlmiller Field in Dunkirk.

DUNKIRK –Visiting Fredonia (6-7, 4-5) was able to keep pace with Dunkirk (10-3, 5-1) through three innings of Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 West play on Monday afternoon, but the Marauders offense continued to build speed throughout the evening on the way to an 11-4 win at Al Stuhlmiller Field.

The game was all even at 4-4 heading into the fourth inning of play when Dunkirk was able to find some separation.

Helping turn the tide on defense was right fielder Donovan Lockett, as he grabbed a hard-hit ball from Joe Vandette and fired a laser to home plate where Joey Gullo was tagged out for the final out of the top half.

With the Dunkirk bench energized from that play, the Marauders set to work at the plate.

“Donovan plays a solid right field,” Dunkirk head coach Joe Jagoda said. “(The runner) took a chance but the throw was dead on. If the ball hits the ground it might pop up, you know you have to take the chance, and Donovan made a great throw.

OBSERVER Photos by Jay Young Above, Dunkirk’s Alex Ahlstrom dives back into first base while Fredonia’s Trevor Persch awaits a throw during Monday’s CCAA Division 1 West game at Al Stuhlmiller Field in Dunkirk. Next, Persch makes a catch.

Heading out on offense, Alex Ahlstrom and Michael Norton both got started out with singles, bringing Philip Messina to the plate.

Messina promptly ripped an RBI double to left field, Javy DeJesus struck an RBI single over second base and Lockett plated another run on a sacrifice fly to make it 7-4 Dunkirk.

“We had missed opportunities,” Fredonia head coach Vince Gullo said. “I thought it was a great game for three innings. I think we hung in with them and we tried our best.”

Owen Ludwig threw his way through 3 1/3 innings for Fredonia, striking out three and walking one while allowing seven earned runs and giving up nine hits. Gabe Schrader pitched the rest of the way, striking out three and giving up four more hits on the hill.

One of the keys to Dunkirk’s recent success has been consistency on the mound. In Monday’s win, Nick Zatorski threw 3 1/3 innings with three strikeouts and three walks before giving way to Scott Korzenski, who fanned four and shut out the Hillbillies in the second half of the game.

“We kept our heads and didn’t lose our composure,” Jagoda said. “Scott Korzenski came in and just did an outstanding relief job. He picked up the win for us, and Javy and Phil were really solid at the plate. Javy had a great day and Phil had a great day.”

DeJesus finished the win 4 for 4 with a double and three RBIs; Messina went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a double; and Ahlstrom was 2 for 3 with a triple and an RBI.

The Marauders would add their final four runs in the sixth, thanks to an RBI single from DeJesus, a triple from Lockett that scored a pair of runs, and a fielder’s choice.

In the opening inning of play the Marauders picked up a 2-0 lead courtesy of an RBI double by Messina and an RBI single from DeJesus.

Fredonia would make the most of a walk and a pair of errors in the bottom half to even things up at 2-2, and would take a two-run lead in the second after back-to-back singles by Simon Davis and Vandette, and a pair of wild pitches by Zatorski.

The fourth and final run of the day for Fredonia would come when Jake Helmer laid down a clean bunt to score Davis.

With bats starting to come alive, like that of Lockett, Dunkirk will look to build up its record with a five-game schedule this week.

“In the bottom of the sixth he had that nice triple too and really put a hurting on them,” Jagoda said. “Donovan has been playing great. Hitting in the five spot he has been doing a lot of good things. There are a lot of positives. We could have sat down, and we struggle sometimes in the field, but we closed it out pretty good.”


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