BATAVIA — It’s not too often the opposing pitcher steals the show from Cam Voss, when the hard-throwing, left-hander is on the mound for Fredonia.
Livonia’s Zack Kolodziejski is one exception.
The Niagara University-bound Kolodziejski tossed a three-hitter to outduel Voss, as Section V Livonia defeated Fredonia, 3-1, in the Far West Regional at Dwyer Stadium Saturday night.
“He’s a very good pitcher, there’s no doubting that,” Voss said. “He kept us off balance all day. He had a quick fastball, that got on us quick and he had a really good curve ball.”
Kolodziejski pitched a complete game, surrendering just one unearned run in the second inning and striking out five to earn the win and send Livonia, the No. 1 Class B team in the New York Sportswriters Association baseball poll, to the state final four at Binghamton University.
“They made some plays and he was tough,” Fredonia coach Vince Gullo said. “He had a lot of velocity. We were pretty fortunate he wasn’t getting the curve ball over too much.
We had some good at-bats, but we didn’t hit the ball.”
Voss, a junior, entered the game with a sparkling 21-0 record that spans three varsity seasons. Livonia snapped Voss’ unbeaten streak with two runs in the third inning and an insurance run in fifth.
Voss had far from a bad outing — pitching six strong innings and allowing three runs on six hits, two of which were bloopers and another was an infield single.
With no outs and a runner aboard in the third, Livonia’s Mike English hit a blooper into left-center field, but Fredonia’s Mike Pucci couldn’t make the sliding catch and the ball got away, allowing Derek Demartinis to score from first. Three batters later, it was deja vu.
Livonia squeaked another blooper into shallow left-center, this time, it was center fielder Tyler DiRusso who couldn’t make the diving catch and the ball got away from him, allowing another run to score.
“We made a couple mistakes in the field and we lost a close one,” senior second baseman Weston Ley said.
“You can’t make those mistakes in close games like this … That’s what baseball is – little hit there, little bloop there and that’s what wins it. If we made the plays, it probably would have been a different outcome.”
Fredonia stranded a runner at third base three times and left eight runners on base altogether. Despite having just three hits, the Hillbillies drew four walks and reached base three times because of errors.
“Obviously, it’s frustrating,” Lee said. “That’s how you win games. You have to step up in those moments and we just didn’t do that today.”
Fredonia, the reigning Class B state champion, made its third-straight appearance in the Far West Regional and finished the season 20-4.
Not too shabby for a team that started two freshmen and four sophomores.
“We’ve had a great season getting this far,” Gullo said. “We’re a young team, and our seniors gave it everything they had.”