The Kenmore West Blue Devils traveled to Clarence Thursday afternoon for their Class AA semi-final baseball game against the Red Devils. Despite the gloomy weather the home team cruised to a 9-2 win securing themselves a spot in the finals Saturday. Clarence will play the winner between Lancaster and Will North who play on Friday.
Sophomore Jake Putney and Senior Bennett Cavaretta hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the fourth that really took the wind out of Ken West’s sails. Clarence Coach Dave Smith sent Andrew Lorenz to the mound and the Senior gave him four solid innings, giving up just 1 run on four hits.
“Andrew has been solid for us all season and he had a solid outing once again today,” Coach Smith said after the win. “They (KW) made some base running mistakes I think that certainly helped us. We brought Nick Ciraolo in at the end, he’s been our best guy and at this time of the year we need to use our best guys.”
The teams were tied 1-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth and that’s where Clarence showed that they have a very deep lineup. Isiah Corry (So), batting in the nine spot came through with a 2-out single that scored the go-ahead run. The next batter, lead-off man Tyler White hit a bases loaded triple, giving Clarence a 4-1 lead.
In the top of the 5th the Blue Devils stranded two runners as were unable to maintain any momentum. Clarence made them pay with their next at bats, Putney’s blast was a three run shot followed by Cavaretta’s dinger.
Putney who is also the school’s starting QB, felt great after the game.
“There was some adversity early, we fought through it” he said after the game. “It was great to get the win. There were a lot of great hits, my home run and then Benny came up and hit a good one too.”
Clarence is making its first trip to the finals since 2013, they have 5 titles since 2007 under Coach Smith.
The Red Devils lost to Lancaster in both earlier meetings this spring by a combined score of 16-2. They did however defeat North in the two times they played. The Lancaster team did some scouting while they sat idle. Clarence were aware the Legends were scouting.
“I’m going to say we match-up better with North, because we beat ‘em twice,” said Cavaretta, adding “but it’s tough to beat any team three times but we haven’t beat Lancaster so, we’ll have to wait and see who we play, can’t worry about it”
Ken West went into the top of the seventh trailing 9-1. The Blue Devils scored a run with two outs to trim the deficit but the lead was too much to overcome.
“Clarence is a great team, Dave does a real nice job over there” Ken-West head coach Johnny Haynes said after the loss. “Hats off to them they played a great game. I was very proud of our guys, not just today but the entire year. We really thought we had a chance. The guys came into today with a lot of confidence. It was a little crazy with the weather, we thought they might call it at one point but there’s no excuses we both had to deal with the rain.”
After the game Haynes had to say goodbye to three guys that had been on varsity since they were freshman. Ben Serrano, Kyle LaPlante and Rich Fries, all captains played their final high-school game. “That was tough I’m going to miss them tremendously. I told them though, look what you left here. We are building something big here and those guys have a lot to do with it. Taking us all the way to the semi’s is a good start.”
All of the parts were there for the Kenmore West Blue Devils this season. Coach Johnny Haynes has been building up his program and caught a huge break four years ago when three freshman made the Varsity squad.
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