Sunday Sports: South Jeff baseball optimistic for post-season run

Published: May. 21, 2023 at 11:07 PM EDT
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ADAMS, New York (WWNY) - Pairings and seedings for the upcoming Section 3 baseball, softball and girls’ lacrosse tournaments were announced on Sunday. You can check out where all the Frontier League teams are seeded and playing here.

For the South Jeff baseball team, perfection in the regular season earned them a number one seed in Class B.

The Spartans wrapped up a perfect regular season Saturday, beating Liverpool 7-4 to move their record to 18-0 on the season.

South Jeff Coach Kyle Peters says he’s pleasantly surprised with his team’s record, but not surprised with the way the Spartans have played this season.

”Over the course of the last 3 years really, this group they’re sitting 49-7 over the last 3 years. It’s not a surprise where we are. This was what our goal was to run through the league undefeated and get a couple good non-league games in,” said Peters.

South Jeff has been firing on all cylinders this season, scoring 217 runs over 18 games with the pitching staff giving up only 41 run along with tossing 4 shutouts.

The players feel if they can continue that trend they will have a chance to not only win Sectionals, but make a deep run in States as well.

”Definitely, it all starts with pitching and our defense. Our defense is really good, our pitchers always throw strikes. We have confidence in every pitcher. If our pitchers can go deep into games and get us a lot of innings and get them to put the ball in play, we know our defense is gonna make outs,” said Zach Blevins.

”I think the key is gonna be pitching. We gotta have guys that are just gonna throw strikes, keep us in games, not walk a lot of guys, not give up too many balls in play. Just let our defense work behind us and get as many outs and not give up free runs,” said Jack Buckingham.

”Well, we gotta throw strikes with our pitchers and hit the ball well, which we’ve been doing all year. Just do those 2 things, defend like we know how to defend, and hopefully we’ll make a deep run,” said Evan Widrick.

”Well, we’re gonna have to play good defense behind our pitching. We’ve got a lot of confidence in our pitchers. They just know to go up there and throw strikes and do what they’ve been doing all year,” said Nolan Widrick.

The Spartans are a veteran team, with 9 seniors on the roster, and Peters says each individual has played a key role in the Spartans success this season and have left their mark on the South Jeff baseball program.

”We have 9 seniors this year, and you can’t put a premium on having leadership like that at the top of your order, middle of your order and bottom of your order. All through 1-9, each group of 3, they’re hitting well over 400. We have a plus 500 on base percentage. They’ve played a lot of baseball over the course of the last- since they were probably 10 years old- and right now, I’m gonna hate to see them go but they’ve left an indelible mark definitely on the Spartan baseball program,” said Peters.

With the Spartans earning the top seed in the Class B playoffs, which begin this week, it’s a mark they hope will include a Section 3 Class B title as well.

Turning to the gridiron, the Watertown Red and Black picked up a non-league win in their season opener Saturday night at the Alex Duffy Fairgrounds, beating Genesee County 35-12.

A good tune-up before they open their Gridiron Developmental Football League schedule on the road against the Troy Fighting Irish.

”So, those men that we thought would be able to pull it together on the defensive side of the ball did what they were suppose to do and it worked out well. Offensively, Jason Williams had a pretty good night. Like I said, there was a few dropped balls, sloppy conditions. We turned the ball over 6 or 7 times, and still, when you put 35 points on the board you can’t complain,” said Coach George Ashcraft.

Victory Cage Fighting Championships made their return Saturday night to the Alex T Duffy Fairgrounds Ice Arena.

There were 17 scheduled fights, with two main event fights.

There were fighters from all over the state, out of state, and Canada representing martial arts gyms.

The vast majority of fights ended in TKOs, exciting both the fans and fighters.

Part of the proceeds from the night’s event went to Hospice of Jefferson County.