Cazenovia The Cazenovia Babe Ruth East Team won the Tri-Valley Babe Ruth Championship Game on Aug. 1 at Vet’s Field against a team from Vernon-Verona-Sherrill by a score of 5-0. Matt Regan pitched a shut-out, aided by a great throw in the first inning by Cole Wilson to emergency catcher Kevin Stalder who made a diving tag on a VVS runner preventing the visiting team from getting an early lead and momentum.
This year, Cazenovia fielded Babe Ruth teams in the Tri-Valley League (age 13 to 16) and the Diamond Pioneer League (ages 13 to 15). The majority of the players on the team in the Tri-Valley League were 14- or 15-years-old and had to compete against teams with many 16-year-olds on their rosters.
After losing their first couple of games, the Cazenovia team adjusted to the level of play and finished the season in second place, winning with good pitching by Josh Bauder, Eric Ketcham, John Henry Light-Olsen, Judd Spaulding, Kevin Stalder and Matt Regan, and stellar catching by Jack Gabor who made numerous diving catches of foul balls and beat many a hitter to first base as he backed up plays.
The infield, led by Paul McLaughlin and Eric Ketcham at shortstop and Noah Race at second base, turned three double plays in a single late season game. Contributions to the defensive effort as the team headed toward the playoffs were also made by Dom King in center field, Ben Nichols at third base, Jake Wells, Anders Hansen and Light-Olsen at second base and Nick Monroe at first base.
The offense was led by leadoff hitter Paul McLaughlin, who had a high on-base percentage and a green light to steal bases, which he did early and often. Anthony Halligan also had a high on-base percentage and was a consistent contributor to the offense. Noah Race, Judd Spaulding, Ian Marshall and Matt Regan provided a formidable middle to the line-up and drove in the majority of the team’s runs. Harry Dydo was the first base coach and source of much joy and laughter for his teammates throughout the season.