Alex Brasky |@BataviasBestHS
Saturday, May 26, 2018 | BataviasBest.org
NEWARK – It wasn’t Batavia’s day today at Colburn Park, as the Blue Devils Baseball team dropped their eighth Section V Championship game since 1998, a loss to #6 seed Wayne.
Despite Batavia’s effort in coming back from an early 2-0 deficit and tying the game at two in the fourth, a big fifth inning from the Eagles, followed by a couple of base running errors by the Blue Devils which thwarted a potential rally, sank the hometown team’s chances and gave Wayne the championship – their first since 1955.
Batavia went with right-handed senior Hunter Mazur to begin the game on the mound earlier this afternoon, but the Devils’ starter hit some turbulence and allowed two runs during his two innings of work. Up next was junior left-hander Andrew Francis who threw two scoreless, which then opened the door for sophomore closer Jake Humes.
Humes has done a nice job finishing games for the Blue Devils as of late, but today didn’t seem to be as on-point as he’s been, and the Eagles took advantage with three runs in the top half of the fifth inning – which gave them the advantage at 5-2.
From that point on, although Humes settled in and did not allow a run over his final two innings of work, the Blue Devils’ offense remained stagnant as it had been for much of the game, and failed to push another run across during their final three at bats.
Wayne won the game by the three-run margin.
For Batavia, a familiar taste has been left in their mouths once again, as it just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for this program to win another Section V Baseball title. Since 1998, no matter how many times they get there, no matter who they play, no matter where they play, things just never seem to work in their favor.
The biggest take away from the latest championship disappointment is without a doubt the continuation of Devils’ head coach Rick Saunders’ misfortune in the Section V Championship game. However, although he has had his doubters since taking over the program in 1998, you can’t put today’s loss on him. Wayne just made more winning plays than Batavia this afternoon.
Next year it will be back to the drawing board for Saunders’ Blue Devils, as the team graduates eight seniors this spring – five of which played major roles in the team’s success this season.
With that being said, a trip to the finals wasn’t necessarily expected of this team this year, so they’re hoping, even with the long list of key departures, that they can make another run with what they bring back to the team in 2019 – which includes Della Penna, Humes, Francis, and lead-off hitting shortstop Sam Sallome.
Therefore, this loss isn’t a death sentence for the program. In fact, they might be better next year than they were this year.
However, when you’re a part of a program with the snakebitten history of Batavia Baseball, it must be hard to take this as just another loss. At this point, the Blue Devils’ continued misfortune seems to have grown into something bigger than that.