By Paul Casey Gotham
GENEVA, N.Y. — Webster Yankee head coach, Dave Brust has his concerns. With his team clinching the New York Collegiate Baseball League’s West Division on Saturday, the Webster skipper wants his team to remain focused for the upcoming playoffs.
If Tuesday night’s effort is any indication, the Webster nine have blocked out all distractions.
Nate Sermini (Franklin Pierce) and Jon Massad (So. New Hampshire) combined on a no-hitter as the Yankees won for the 13th consecutive time downing the Geneva Red Wings, 4-0 in NYCBL action at McDonough Park.
Sermini picked up his fifth win of the campaign striking out 12 in eight innings of work.
“I am happy for him,” said Brust. “He is one of the most popular players on the team. He has been a model and mentor for the younger players.”
Sermini started the season on a 50-pitch count and has gradually increased that number from 60 to 70 before Tuesday’s night game. Couple the pitch count with his easy-going manner, and the young starter almost overlooked his chance at a milestone.
“He came to me before the seventh inning, and said he was ready to come out if he let anyone got on base,” Brust explained. “I asked him to look at the scoreboard and re-think that decision.”
Control problems resulted in ten walks issued by Sermini, and forced Brust to make a decision.
“The standard rule is if you have a no-hitter, you stay in the game,” Brust noted.
After eight innings Sermini had thrown 120 pitches.
“(Pitching coach) Bob Shaffer put it best when he said ‘a team no-hitter is as great as an individual one.'”
With that Brust went to his bullpen. Massad came on and retired the side in order with one strike out.
“That is probably the most we have celebrated on the field ever,” Brust said.
The no-hitter was the second in club history. Brian Pullyblank tossed a gem on June 19th, 2009 as the home nine defeated the Niagara Power, 1-0. On that night, Webster won in dramatic fashion. Geoff Dornes (R.I.T.) slapped a one-out hit in the ninth, and Nate Koontz (Ball State) plated Dornes with a triple just inside the right field foul line.
On Tuesday night, the pinstripes were methodical scoring all four of their runs in the second inning.
Ben Bostick (St. John Fisher) cleared the bases with a double as the Yankees got all the runs they would need.
“Once it got to 4-0, I simplified the play book,” Brust commented.
Bostick finished the game with two hits and three RBI for the Yankees.
“He is a model of consistency,” Brust said of his outfielder. “He shows up to play everyday. He has received my message that everything counts.”
Bostick finished the regular season hitting .362. His 19 stolen bases tie him for the club record with Tyler Grogg (Toledo) who set the mark last season.
Tyler Huntey (Central Michigan), Tyler DeClerck (University of Rochester), Kevin Spatkowski (So. New Hampshire) and Kevin Johnson (Pittsburgh) scored the four Webster runs. Johnson also drove in a run.
Webster finishes the season 30-14. They await the winner of Wednesday’s playoff game between the Red Wings and Power. Webster hosts game one of the NYCBL West Division championship on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 pm.