CENTRAL NEW YORK – For the second time in as many seasons, Bishop Ludden baseball pitcher Joe Dunham managed to record a no-hitter.
Dunham’s gem took place last Tuesday against Mater Dei Academy, a game the Gaelic Knights won by an 11-0 margin, with the big story taking place on the mound.
Having no-hit Port Byron as an eighth-grader in his first varsity start in 2021, Dunham, now a freshman, constantly made Mater Dei batters swing and miss on his way to 17 strikeouts, which more than made up for his three walks.
An eight-run third inning gave Ludden a big cushion as Dunham had a pair of RBIs to help his own cause, matched by Spencer James and Patrick Towsley. Mike Masterpole, Tim Dunham and Andrew Janowski also drove in runs.
Ludden looked for back-to-back wins at Bishop Grimes a day later, but could not hold a late lead in a 3-2 defeat to the Cobras, seeing its batters strike out 17 times against pitchers R.J. Benedetto and Will Markwood.
Joe Dunham singled home Joey Adamo and Andrew Pullano in the top of the third, and Peter Dunham protected that lead until Grimes scored single runs in the fifth and sixth and won it when Nick Colgiovanni singled home Benedetto in the bottom of the seventh.
Rebounding quickly, Ludden beat Cato-Meridian 7-2 a day later, scoring in each of the first five innings as Masterpole struck out 10 in a complete-game pitching effort. James and Joe Dunham each got two RBIs, with John Michael Owens scoring twice.
Three consecutive close defeats – two to Cicero-North Syracuse, one to Baldwinsville – had slowed things for West Genesee baseball team in the wake of a perfect 11-0 run through April.
So the Wildcats needed to recover in the following week’s games – and did, for one game, break the skid last Monday when it went to Rome Free Academy and beat the Black Knights 8-3.
A three-run second inning erased an early 1-0 deficit. Five more runs followed in the fourth and fifth innings as Dan Flaherty went three-for-four and Aidan Leaf’s pair of doubles led to two RBIs.
Luis Suarez also had two hits as he, along with Jake DePalma and Talon Elkins, drove in single runs. Wyatt Braun pitched six solid innings, allowing three hits and four walks but striking out six.
Against Liverpool a day later, though, WG took another setback, falling 8-3 to the Warriors, who scored in each of the six innings and never trailed after the Wildcats netted a run in the top of the first.
DePalma did hit a two-run home run in the top of the third, but those would be WG’s last runs against Liverpool pitcher Lucas Bradley, who limited the visitors to six hits in a complete game.
WG’s struggles continued Thursday in a 7-1 defeat to Fayetteville-Manlius, who wasted no time getting in front with a trio of first-inning runs.
The Wildcats did get a run in the bottom of the first, but nothing more against Hornets pitcher Colin Mott, who gave up just four hits before Seth Albert pitched three innings of no-hit relief. Chris Hoalcraft hit a home run as he and Robert Mason both got a pair of RBIs.
Marcellus beat Vernon-Verona-Sherrill 5-1 on May 6. A wild 15-11 victory over Chittenango last Monday featured 18 hits, three each by Hunter Byrne, Ian Potter, Ryder Donahue and Colin Johnson, with Byrne and Adam Sullivan each driving in three runs as Flynn and Johnson had two RBIs apiece.
Then Marcellus made it three in a row with last Tuesday’s 10-3 victory over Phoenix, where John Francesconi only allowed one hit in six innings and struck out 11, before a 12-6 defeat to South Jefferson on Friday afternoon despite Sullivan’s three RBIs.
But Marcellus won 21-10 over Jordan-Elbridge on Saturday, the Mustangs scoring multiple runs in six different innings, including a five-run second and six-run fifth.
Ethan Snyder went four-for-five and amassed four RBIs. Sullivan, Johnson, Byrne and Dan Mitchell drove in two runs apiece as the Eagles saw Caspian Phillips, Jon Salmonsen, Hayden Curfman and Emerson Derby each earn two RBIs.