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Lightening over Keuka by Robert Scharf

Arkport-Canaseraga reaches NYS Baseball Finals; B-R drops 4-1 decision in semi’s

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BINGHAMTON — Batman and Robin were called the Dynamic Duo. Arkport-Canaseraga baseball has answered the last two games with their own version, sophomore Micah Marvin and freshman Caden Carey.

Going against seniors and upperclassmen the past two weeks, the duo pitched the Wolves to a Section V title, a Far West Regional win and now into the New York state baseball finals.

However, on Friday, Marvin and Carey got some help on the mound and help with the bats to defeat two-time defending Class D state champion Chapel Field, 6-2.

Arkport-Canaseraga (16-3) will take on Section III champions Oriskany this morning at 10 a.m. at Binghamton University. Oriskany beat Hadley-Luzerne, 9-3 .

Bryer Drake , who also does pitching, ripped a double and Arkport-Canaseraga was on the way. Eli Merry walked then Jacob Bacon tripled. Caden Carey laid down a perfect bunt down the first baseline. Chapel Field had no chance getting the runner at the plate and had to quickly attempt to get Carey out. Suddenly, Arkport-Canaseraga was up, 5-0 and cruising behind Marvin throwing three near perfect innings.

Marvin and Carey can pitch today in the title game.

To get to this game, Arkport-Canaseraga was tied 3-3 in the top of the 8th in the Far West Regionals when Carey had a RBI single to give Arkport-Canaseraga the lead, then he pitched a perfect bottom of the inning for the win.

Arkport coach Nick Smith, who was named Section V coach of the year, is impressed with the team.

“The resiliency of this team has always been amazing focal point of this group. With one senior, the rest are juniors sophomores and one freshman; we have been through a lot together,” Smith said. “Multiple heart breaks over the years during our sectional run. It’s made us all forge a  bond and made us all feel and understand that this game of baseball. It is so hard. It is grueling, it is at times to be unfair or unfortunate sometimes. But, it is all worth it to see a team be forged and bond and tie into one and see them set the bar to heights it hasn’t been too in a long time.”

Smith said he’s let the kids play and he’s been his normal, excitable self.

“I’ve let them be themselves all year; as a coach I’m like the Energizer bunny. Keeping the energy up and vibes positive. Because there is no hiding in baseball.,” Smith said. “There is no stalling. Like I said, the resilience of this team is strong. I believe we have yet to play our best and full complete game and that’s scary. The future is more than bright for this group.”

There is also the community support.

“The outpouring of support from our community, the schools, the teachers and staffs, former coaches of mine, former players that played for Mr. Wood and Mr. Theilin who coached before me here at Arkport-Canaseraga,” Smith said. “It’s amazing and awesome to have these boys see who is there for them. They know I’m there for them and know that they are there for each other as well as their parents. But to see strangers support you and people you don’t even know. That’s the power of sport and it has such a huge giant ripple effect into the future of our younger athletes. It’s truly what it is all about. I couldn’t be more proud but we aren’t done yet.”

When Arkport won a state title in 2009, 15 years ago Smith was the catcher. But his 2024 assistant coaches and JV coach, Stanley Ells, Vincent McDaniel and Ethan Lewis were a part of that team.

Smith added, “Can history repeat itself?”

Class C

Burke Catholic 4, Bolivar-Richburg 1

For the first time in 10 years, the Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg reappeared as one of New York State’s last four teams standing in Class C.

All the pieces have fallen into place. The bats, the defense, the pitching, the three ingredients to your typical championship-winning recipe were prepared by the Wolverines over the course of the last several weeks following their five-inning loss to the hands of Wellsville back in the beginning of May.

They have struck all chords since then, winning their eighth Sectional title in the last 11 years and a Far West title in dominant defensive fashion over Wilson last week in Salamanca. Now, the hunt was on for even more glory.

The kind of glory that Bolivar-Richburg has longed to chase since their last go-around back in 2014.

Standing just two steps from reaching their ultimate destiny, there was still business to attend to in order to get there. Next on the docket was Section IX’s Burke Catholic, who defeated the team that the Wolverines last met in the Final Four a decade ago — Pierson, to claim their spot in this year’s Semifinal composition.

Bolivar-Richburg has made the provision of a fast start a top priority during Sectionals and leading into the Empire State’s tournament. With it, they have been able to establish their footing and attack from every single angle possible to collect the upper hand they desired.

But the road ahead? It was going to be as tough as it gets.

Burke Catholic proved that right away.

After keeping the Wolverines empty-handed in their first at-bats of the game, the Section IX reps took matters into their own hands to commence the festivities, posting an early lead to aid their defense in a flawless seven-inning stand on the field. With Bolivar-Richburg attempting to claw back immediately following the opening frame, Burke Catholic chipped in two more insurance runs to branch their lead ultimately in insurmountable fashion, as they went on to score a big 4-1 victory to end the season of the Section V stalwarts at Binghamton University.

“We got off to a rough start, but we were able to bounce back and pick up one in the second to keep it close,” said Wolverines coach Dustin Allen. “They were just able to capitalize on our mistakes, and we couldn’t get anything going. Not to take anything away from them, they are a solid team. They made no errors in the field and their pitcher threw a ton of strikes. It was great to be in the position we were in again, but we were hoping to get over that hump. We have nothing to be unhappy about the season we had. We came together and it gave us some great memories to look back on down the road.”

Following the first two runs in unearned fashion going in Burke Catholic’s direction in the first inning, Bolivar-Richburg went to work on a response to provide in return, as they foresaw an opportunity to strike with a pair of runners on base. With Kingston Loucks stepping into the batter’s box, he would deliver a base hit straight up the middle to plate Landon Barkley on the RBI single to cut the deficit in half.

The run would be all that the Wolverines could muster, as Burke Catholic proceeded to toss five straight shutout innings to keep their opposition completely at bay for the remainder of the contest. All while issuing two more massive pieces of insurance to tack onto their advantage in the bottom of the fourth inning.

An advantage that would then remain untouched until the game’s conclusion, as both defenses issued numerous scoreless innings to close the action out.

The one run for the Wolverines stemmed off just four hits at the plate, with Trey Buchholz and his 2-for-3 outing leading the charge. In addition to Loucks and his RBI single in the second inning, Landon Barkley also chipped in with a hit.

NY Land Quest congratulates all student athletes

On the mound, Barkley advanced his start into the fourth inning, where he struck out three and walked three.

Bolivar-Richburg’s masterful 2024 campaign has reached its ultimate conclusion, as the team puts the wrap on a 24-3 record behind another Section V title for the trophy showcase, as well as a Far West Regional championship for the first time in a decade.

The Wolverines will lose seven seniors to Graduation in just a couple of weeks, saying goodbye to Buchholz, Caden Allen, Aydin Sisson, Reiss Gaines, Caleb Miller, Landon Arnold and Aiden Smith.

Allen held back his emotions talking about the endless contributions his seniors have made for the program during their time.

“This is a tough one to swallow for sure,” he said. “We’re going to lose seven great seniors. Four of them have been with me for three, four years. All of them are just incredible and great kids to be around. They were all a pleasure to coach, and it’s a group that will miss coaching dearly, because I watched them grow up together. They’ve put in so much work to become better players since the beginning.”

Bolivar-Richburg 010 000 0 – 1 4 4

Burke Catholic 200 200 X – 4 7 0

B-R – Landon Barkley (LP) (3K, 3BB), Trey Buchholz (4) (K, BB) and Aydin Sisson.

BC – Mason Gove (WP) (CG, 8K, 3BB) and John Cook.

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