Niagara-Wheatfield overcomes early 3-0 deficit vs. WSW
By David Yarger
Most people say you want to play your best baseball when the postseason rolls around. For the Niagara-Wheatfield Falcons baseball team, that’s pretty close to what they’re playing.
After defeating North Tonawanda, 1-0, in the quarterfinals, the Falcons defeated West Seneca West, 7-3, in the Section VI Class A1 semifinals Tuesday evening to move on to the sectional finals.
Versus North Tonawanda, the Falcons got their lone run off a fielder choice, which scored catcher Ethan Guthrie.
The rest of the game was pitching. Ryan Mellerski started and went five innings, while Tommy Peltier came in relief for a two-inning save.
In the semifinals, the Falcons used a big bottom half of the third inning to overcome what was once a 3-0 West Seneca West lead.
Down 3-1 in the third, with the bases loaded and no outs, Pete Lysiak laced a two-run single to tie things at three. Peyton Siegmann then hit an RBI single to give the Falcons a lead they wouldn’t let go of, 4-3. Junior Adam Liberti followed up with a two-run double to make it 6-3, N-W.
Andrew Stillinger hit an RBI single to top off the Wheatfield scoring and make it 7-3.
From there, Mellerski settled down and went five innings once again, then Peltier came in for another two-inning save, only to finish the game with a strike out to seal the deal.
The Falcons will face a familiar foe in Kenmore West for the Class A1 title. The Blue Devils defeated N-W both times during the regular season. West lost only one Niagara Frontier League game to finish the season as league champs.
To get to the finals, West defeated Williamsville South in walkoff fashion, 4-3.
After seeing the Blue Devils twice in the regular season, several Falcons players said the third time for a title would be a battle.
Siegmann, who drove in the fourth run, said, “It’s nice to play West again and this time get our revenge. This game means a lot to both teams and it’s going to be well played. The first two times we played them, we have learned almost everything there is to know about them. We just gotta come out and stick to our game plan. The team with less errors will most likely come out on top, and I plan on that being us.”
For Lysiak, he said it’s going to take a full seven innings to beat the league champs, and just because the Falcons have experience versus the Blue Devils, doesn’t mean the game can be taken lightly. Additionally, to see two NFL teams in the Section VI final seemed like the proper way for the season to turn out Lysiak added.
“We are really excited to play an inner division rival. It’s cool to see two NFL teams competing for the Section VI title,” Lysiak said.
Peltier, who notched his second two-inning save of the postseason, said, “It’s a huge opportunity for us to face West again, because that is the only team we have not beat yet this year. Every time we face them it’s a dog fight, but after the first two battles, I think we have a great opportunity to prepare and put together the right formula to get it done.”
The Falcons look to notch its first Section VI title since 1984 at 7 p.m. today at Depew High School.
Falcons Junior pitcher Ryan Mellerski throws a pitch during his five innings of work versus North Tonawanda.