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Big second inning pushes Niagara Falls past North Tonawanda

Fri, Apr 28th 2017 12:10 pm

Wolverines put up all their runs in two innings in win

By David Yarger

One day after being shutout, the Niagara Falls Wolverines offense came back to life.

The Wolverines defeated the North Tonawanda Lumberjacks, 9-0, behind a big offensive performance and a complete game from starting pitcher Dustin Newman.

After a one-two-three inning from Newman, the Wolverines added a quick run in the first. AJ Kinney singled to lead off the game and then stole second base. After a wild pitch, and a walk from Michael Laurrie, Ross Pochatko hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Kinney. After one inning, the Wolverines led, 1-0.

Newman kept rolling in the second with another one-two-three inning.

The Wolverines offense exploded in the second inning. The Falls put up 8 runs on five hits and five walks.

The first five batters of the inning walked, adding 2 runs. After a flyout, Laurrie hit a bases-clearing double to make it 6-0. Pochatko singled, and then Anthony Coty drove in Laurrie with another basehit.

Pat Sisler followed with an RBI single, and then, a batter later, Jason Walker hit an RBI single to finish the scoring. This gave the Wolverines a secure 9-0 lead.

The second inning ended up being the outcome of the game.

For N-T coach Neil Turvey the inning was dreaded.

"It was an inability to throw strikes," he said. "We had five walks, and that makes it tough to play defense. We're not exactly crushing the ball right now offensively, so we have to hold teams better."

For Wolverines coach Rob Augustino, the inning was huge. He said he was proud of his team's ability to come back a day after getting shutout.

"After yesterday's performance, where we were one-hit and didn't look like we had a clue at the plate, today we went in with a little bit of a process," Augustino said. "We talked about it beforehand, about seeing pitches, not jumping at the first pitch we see, and at the same time just having good at bats."

Augustino said the walks turned into singles and doubles, and good at bats led to more good at bats.

The rest of the game, the offense was stagnant.

Jacob Warriner came in for N-T and shut down the Wolverines lineup for four innings. In five innings of relief vs. Niagara Falls, Warriner hasn't given up a run.

Turvey said he was pleased with the outing.

"He did it again; it's the second time on this field," Turvey said. "He's earning himself more innings. It's nice for a junior to come in and throw well. It kind of gets lost in the game where you lose 9-0. Personally, he's doing well."

Newman pitched all seven innings for the Wolverines and finished the game with one of his six strikeouts. Newman also kept his pitch count to 89, which is low for a seven-inning performance.

Augustino said he was happy with Newman's ability to keep his pitch count low.

"We have our fourth game on Saturday, so we're already a little stretched out," he said. "Both of our starters, yesterday and today, went the distance, which allowed all of our relief pitchers to not be used up."

For the Lumberjacks, Max Jeswald finished 2-2 at the plate. On the mound, Warriner went four innings and gave up one hit.

For the Wolverines, Laurrie led the way with three RBIs, while Sisler went 2-2 with and RBI.

The Wolverines move to 4-3 in league play. Their next game is in Lockport at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 29.

For the Lumberjacks, they fall to 2-5 in league play. Their next game is on the road at Niagara-Wheatfield at 4:45 p.m. on Friday, April 28.

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