Weekly Feature

2017-05-18 / Sports

Hernandez hits pair of milestones in wins

Maryvale baseball
by JASON NADOLINSKI
Reporter

Anthony Hernandez solidified Maryvale baseball coach Ryan Mohr’s belief that Hernandez “will go down as probably one of the best players to come out of Maryvale when his career’s all said and done” last week by picking up both his 100th career hit and school-record 63rd career RBI during a pair of the Flyers’ wins last week.

Hernandez hit triple digits in the hit department with a single in the fourth inning of Maryvale’s 4-1 win over Depew on May 10, and became the career leader in driving in runs with a triple in the second inning of the Flyers’ 14-1 conquest of crosstown rival Cheektowaga on Friday.

Hernandez was already Maryvale’s record holder for career hits before achieving his latest milestones.

“Anthony has just been such a consistent player throughout his four-year career,” Mohr said. “I didn’t tell him until after the game [Friday] that he was close to record because I didn’t want to put extra pressure on him. So, when he found out, he was definitely excited about it, and his teammates were happy for him. It’s definitely a team thing to achieve records like these, and it’s a nice thing for him to have while also helping the team be successful.”

Maryvale actually kicked off its week on May 9 with a 12-1 victory over the top-ranked small school at the time, Alden. A six-run sixth inning sparked Maryvale to the victory, with Mike Flemming blasting a bases-clearing double to do most of the damage. Zach Amato and Simon Krywcun also drove in runs with singles, while an error on a ball DeAnte Mecca put in play also led to a run for Maryvale.

Maryvale’s other big inning was the third, with Flemming putting a ball in play that led to an error on which both Trey Esquilin and Hernandez scored. Mecca’s single drove in Flemming for the inning’s other run.

Mecca also had an RBI double in the second inning, while Justin Croce drove in a run in the seventh with another single.

Hernandez went the distance on the mound to earn the win, striking out seven and allowing just one hit. Alden’s only run for the game, which came in the fourth, was unearned.

“I’m not too surprised we won — I feel we’re as good as them — but the score was a little surprising,” Mohr said. “We got a great game from Anthony, and after we broke it open in the third we kept things rolling.”

Maryvale continued to roll the next afternoon against Depew. Amato’s RBI groundout in the third produced the first run of the day for Maryvale, while consecutive two-out hits by Mecca and Paul Tripi (triple) in the bottom of the sixth provided the bulk of the rest of the scoring.

Depew did threaten in the top of the seventh, scoring its lone run with two outs and advancing runners to second and third, but Esquilin shut the door with a solid play on a deep shot to right field.

Mark Bailey went the distance for the Flyers, tossing a four-hitter with seven strikeouts.

“It was really big to get two straight complete games; it really helped our pitching staff,” Mohr said. “Last time the offenses were showcased more, so to come back and win the rematch in a pitcher’s duel — where we kept our guy’s pitch count down — was just what we needed.”

Former league rival Amherst then tasted the Flyers’ wrath on Thursday in what was Maryvale’s 11-4 win in this season’s Coaches vs. Cancer game.

Maryvale wasted little time in setting the tone for the game, posting six runs in the top of the first. Four of those runs came on two-run singles by Tripi and Krywcun. The Flyers added single runs in the third and fourth to take an 8-0 lead before the Tigers responded with single-run efforts of their own in the fourth and fifth.

Maryvale tacked on another run in the top of the sixth and two in the top of the seventh to secure the victory.

Hernandez and Tripi (2 RBIs) each had a pair of hits, while Krwycun and Flemming added two RBIs each. Hunter Desiderio (three hitter with four strikeouts in four innings of work) earned the win and Connor Desiderio (three hitter with five strikeouts in three innings of work) recorded the save.

Maryvale put crosstown rival Cheektowaga away early, but drove the dagger in the Warriors’ back with an eight-run seventh inning that saw Mecca blast a two-run home run and Dante Caruana smash a two-run double over the center fielder’s head to highlight the efforts.

Mecca — who also earned the win with 13 strikeouts in six innings of work — paced Maryvale at the plate with four hits and three RBIs. Hernandez added three hits and three runs to go along with his record-setting RBI, while Krywcun chipped in with two strikeouts in one inning of relief.

“Teamwise, we knew it was a big game for us going into it where sectional seeding was concerned,” Mohr said. “Had we not won, it could’ve potentially cost us a home playoff game or maybe two. Plus, they’re our crosstown rival, and you always want to win that game.”

The Flyers then returned to non-league play Monday by defeating Frontier by an 8-6 count to improve to 13-4 on the season.

Frontier made Maryvale work hard for the win, rallying from a 5-0 deficit with a six-run sixth inning to put the pressure on the the Flyers’ bats in the top of the seventh. Maryvale responded with an RBI double by Mecca that tied the game at 6-6, and run-scoring singles by Bailey and Krywcun that gave Bailey the cushion he’d need to earn the save in his one inning on the mound.

Hernandez (3 hits, 2 RBIs) struck out five in four innings of work to start the game, while Tripi (2 hits, 3 runs) recorded the win in relief.

Maryvale returned to action Tuesday with its Senior Game against West Seneca West and then traveled to Sweet Home Wednesday to close out the regular season, but information was not available for either contest at press time.

Information was also not available prior to The Bee going to press regarding the Flyers’ playoff seeding, as that meeting was scheduled to take place Wednesday evening.

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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