Weekly Feature

2016-05-26 / Sports

Legends move to baseball semifinals


The Lancaster baseball team defeated Clarence 5-2 in the quarterfinal round of the Section VI, Class AA playoffs Monday.

“I knew it was going to be a tough game,” Lancaster Coach Mark Dalfonso said. “All the teams in Class AA are well-coached with quality players. We had the kids ready to play and so did they.”

The Legends will take on Williamsville North Thursday in the semifinal round at 5 p.m.

Colin Reformat got the start and the win for Lancaster, pitching five innings while allowing two earned runs and striking out five batters. Ben Monti closed out the game with two perfect innings.

“Reformat was doing great, but he was starting to tire in the fifth inning,” Dalfonso said. “We had an untimely error. We had Monti ready to go, but he wasn’t ready to step in just yet. So we were happy Colin was able to end the inning with a big strikeout.

That was very important.”

The Legends broke a scoreless tie in the second inning when back-to-back RBI singles by Kevin Walter and Mike Kopecki made the score 2-0.

The score remained the same until the top of the fifth inning when Clarence scored two runs to tie the game.

The Legends struck right back in the bottom half of the fifth. Dominic Monti got on base and LG Castillo was intentionally walked, sending number four hitter Ben Closson to the plate. He made the Red Devils immediately regret that decision, clocking a three-run homer over the left-field fence to give the Legends a 5-2 lead.

“It’s kind of a slap in the face when a team intentionally walks the guy in front of you because it means they think they can get you out,” Dalfonso said. “But he got everything on that ball and smashed it over the left-center field fence. He knew it was gone as soon as he hit it.”

The score would remain that way as Lancaster rolled to a 5-2 win. That victory marked the 16th in a row for the Legends.

The team now turns its attention to a strong Williamsville North team.

“They’re a very good team,” Dalfonso said. “We played them twice before. They didn’t have their full lineup the second time we played. They have some good pitchers too so we anticipate a tough match up.”

As a top seed that hasn’t lost for more than a month, the team doesn’t necessarily have to do anything differently. The Legends just have to keep doing what’s made them so successful in 2016.

“I think we have to continue to focus on ourselves,” Dalfonso said. “We can only do what we can control. If we do everything we’re supposed to do, things will end up in a positive way. Hopefully, we can clean things up even more and not have any errors.”

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