CHURCHVILLE, N.Y. – An early one-run deficit didn’t discourage Churchville-Chili on senior day, as the Saints scored five in the first inning highlighted by a three-run double from senior Jonathan Bunk. The Saints (6-6) defeated the Spencerport Rangers (5-9) by a score of 10-4.
The Saints batted nine in the opening frame, and put together five hits alongside one walk. Alan Michael LeFrois led the inning off with a single, and Shane Pray followed suit with a ground rule double. Catcher Cooper Romich evened the game with an RBI single.
Dylan Clark drove in Pray the next at-bat with an RBI single and moved up to second on an errant throw. Four batters later, the bases were loaded with two outs and the eighth hitter Bunk stepped up the plate. The senior stepped up with one idea on his mind, “put the bat on the ball.”
Bunk swung at the first pitch and cleared the bases with a double.
“I was looking first-pitch fastball, I was ready, and I was just trying to put the ball in play,” said Bunk. “Not really a big hitter if you are at the bottom of the order, but you have to capitalize when you can.”
Spencerport did not give up. The Rangers got three runs back in the fourth on a three-run double from senior Devin Cannon.
The Saints responded with two in the bottom of the fourth. Senior Cade Costanzo drove in Brian Benedetto with an RBI triple, and LeFrois plated Costanzo with a sacrifice fly the next at-bat.
“Proud of our guys, those runs were important for breathing room,” said Churchville-Chili coach Guy Puglia.
The insurance runs were all the Saints needed as junior Daniel Derleth came in relief and hurled three shutout innings to close the game.
“It was big, we really needed it, he has done a good job in that situation,” Coach Puglia pointed out.
“My mechanics were a little rusty in the first inning, but then I started pounding the zone and getting ahead,” said Derleth. The junior noted how important it was to get ahead and throw strikes, “I had to, or I was going to keep walking people, but I was able to get the job done.”
Derleth finished the game allowing zero runs over his three innings of work. The right-hander struck out two, walked three, and allowed just one hit.
The Saints tacked on its final three runs of the game in the sixth behind a LeFrois two-run triple that plated Benedetto and Costanzo. LeForis came in the next at-bat as Pray drove him in with a sacrifice fly.
Pray ended the game 2-for-3 with an RBI, Romich went 2-for-4 with an RBI, LeFrois finished 2-for-3 with three RBI, Benedetto went 2-for-3, and Bunk ended 1-for-3 with three RBI.
Coach Puglia believed his Saints broke a curse tonight. “We always seem to play Spencerport on senior night and lose, but today, we were able to break that curse.” Puglia noted, “Scoring five runs in the first was huge, got the monkey off our back.”
Zack Miner started the game for the Saints and pitched the first four innings. The left-hander allowed four runs on three hits and eight walks while striking out six.
For Spencerport, captain Devin Cannon drove in all four runs and went 1-for-3. Shaun Cannon, Joseph Marcello, and Gianni Pellett collected the other Ranger hits. Pellett, Marcello, Louis Bivone, and Frank Grad all scored.
Churchville-Chili will travel to Gates-Chili to take on the Spartans Thursday at 4:45 p.m. The Rangers will face off against the Victor Blue Devils Friday in Victor at 4:45 p.m.