Bigham fans baker’s dozen; Odyssey blanks Olympia

By PAUL GOTHAM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Pat Bigham didn’t have his best stuff on the mound, Wednesday. Considering the results, his opponents might want to sit up and take notice.

Bigham scattered four hits over a complete-game effort, and the Greece Odyssey Leopards defeated their Maiden Lane neighbors, Greece Olympia, 8-0 in Monroe County Division 4 action.

The senior right-hander surrendered a leadoff double and one-out single in the third but worked out of the jam with two of his 13 punch outs on the afternoon.

“It was a matter of getting warmed up and locating the ball better,” said Bigham who will continue his career at SUNY Fredonia in the fall. “I left a couple pitches up in the beginning. Once I settled down, I started hitting spots when I wanted to. I started mixing in that curveball I got hitters off-balance and allowed me to be successful.”

Bigham retired the side in order in four separate innings and set down the last eight batters he faced.

“This probably wasn’t even the sharpest of his outings,” Odyssey coach Roger Klimek stated. “He didn’t have his good fastball today, but they looked really off-balance on the curveball. That’s just a tribute to him. It’s nice when you don’t have your best stuff, and you pitch a four-hitter and have 13 strikeouts. He’s been tough all year.”

He struck out six of the last eight batters who came to the plate.

“Bigham’s been pitching great all year,” Klimek added. “He’s going to Fredonia to play baseball. I don’t really know where he’s going to play because wherever he plays for me, he does awesome. He’s a third baseman, first baseman, pitcher and catcher. He’s done everything really well.”

Bigham improved to 4-1 on the season, and the Leopards ran their mark to 7-4 and moved into a first-place tie with Batavia at 4-0 in Division 4 play.

“His only loss of the season came to Livonia,” Klimek said referring Odyssey’s season opener against the reigning Section V Class champion Bulldogs. “That was actually because he had a bad first inning. That was the first inning of the year. He got roughed up in his first inning, and then he settled down. He’s had one bad inning all year for us.”

Bigham gave Odyssey all the runs it needed with an RBI-triple to score Jeff Wilson in the first. Vince Alongi followed with a bloop single to shallow left center for a 2-0 edge.

The Leopards didn’t stop there. Justin Russo made it a 4-0 game in the third. One at bat after getting fooled, Russo plated a pair with a two-out single to left center.

“I got up there and got angry,” Russo said of his second at bat. “Sometimes, that’s what you need to do. You need to get up there and just get angry and hit the ball. The third pitch he fooled me a little, and I just stuck the barrel out and it went in the right spot.

“The first at bat I watched two outside strikes. I’m not a fan of the outside strike to be honest. The third one I had to protect. It was in and I took a little hack at it.”

Russo made it a 8-0 game with a two-run blast in the fifth inning.

“I kinda told myself to just take a breather when I get up there,” Russo explained. “Two strikes I protected and just put my hip into it, and it went over.”

Bigham put it in cruise control from there.

“It’s very comfortable going out there especially when you have that kind of run support,” Bigham noted. “When your offense give you four or five runs, it gets me in groove right away.”

Bigham had two hits and scored twice. Alongi collected two hits including a double, two RBI, a walk and a run scored. Wilson walked and doubled. Jesse Cardinal drove in a run with a triple and also walked.

Jack Berbert had two hits for Greece Olympia including a double and a single.

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