WAVERLY FENDS OFF LATE RALLY; EDGES DRYDEN, 3-2, IN CLASS B QUARTERFINALS
By: Kevin L. Smith | Waverly Athletics | May 23, 2022 | Photo courtesy Kevin L. Smith
CORTLAND — Sixth-seed Waverly fended off a late comeback attempt from
third-seed Dryden in a 3-2 win Friday in the quarterfinals of the
Section IV Class B baseball playoffs here at Gutchess Lumber Sports
The Wolverines will now move on to the semifinal round, where they will host seventh-seed Chenango Valley. The Warriors knocked off second-seed Susquehanna Valley, 10-8, in and upset victory on Tuesday.
“My boys fought like heck today,” said Waverly coach Kyle McDuffee. “They responded well, showed up and we were ready to play baseball. I’m really proud of them for that.”
The Lions drew first blood in the bottom of the second inning. Ryan Wiser led off with a single to right field. Colton Dow was then hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second base.
After Wiser was tagged out in a rundown, Owen Strickland took first base on a dropped third strike, and an errant throw to first base allowed Dow to score to give Dryden a 1-0 lead.
Heading into the top of the third, the Wolverines prepared to answer the Lions. With one out, Traub singled to right. After two outs and a stolen base from Traub, Bryce Bailey drove his teammate home on a single to center. With that, the game was knotted at 1-1.
In the top of the fourth, the lead was Waverly’s for the taking.
Jay Pipher was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. With one out, Caden Hollywood hit a fly ball to Dryden center fielder Mitchel Shipman, but Shipman was unable to haul it in. Pipher rounded the bases, and crossed home plate to give the Wolverines a 2-1 advantage.
Waverly added some insurance in the top of the fifth. Thomas Hand kicked off the inning with a single. When Bailey reached base on an error, Hand moved over to third base. Beeman then sent Hand home with a sacrifice fly, extending the Wolverine lead to 3-1.
“We had a great plan going into today’s game, and it worked,” McDuffee said.
It was the last licks for Dryden in the bottom of the seventh. Wiser popped a fly-ball single down the right-field line, but Dow grounded into a fielder’s choice, which forced Wiser out at second.
However, following a single to right from Strickland, Dow scored on a passed ball to cut the lead to one run. Despite Dryden having runners on the corners, Brody Casterline flew out to center and John Pascarella, Jr. struck out on a high fastball to end the game.
“This game could’ve gone either way,” McDuffee said. “I give credit (to Dryden) and Coach Pascarella. He has a nice team over there.”
Hollywood pitched efficiently for the Wolverines, earning the win with 5-plus innings. He gave up a run, two walks, and two hits, while striking out four.
“Talk about a senior stepping up,” McDuffee said. “(Caden) stepped up big time. He’s always been my big-time pitcher.”
Pipher and Beeman, who earned the save, combined to toss two innings of relief, giving up two hits, a run, and a walk, while recording a strikeout.
“We’re getting our younger guys some exposure to this plan,” McDuffee said. “They responded well, too. They threw strikes.”