WILCOX – The Wilcox American Legion baseball team remained undefeated on the season with a 7-0 victory over Bradford Monday night at Jones Township Community Park.
Wilcox (3-0) took the lead in the second inning and never looked back as Bradford could only record two total hits off of three Wilcox pitchers.
"Pitching, everybody did real well," Wilcox coach Jeff Peterson said. "It was a nice mix of the three."
Quinn Luhr pitched three innings of 2-hit scoreless baseball with a walk and a strikeout. Mitchell Holmberg then threw two scoreless innings and finished with a walk and a strikeout. Cole Peterson pitched the last two innings in perfect fashion as he struck out four Bradford hitters in the process.
Wilcox opened the bottom of the second inning as Cameron Grumley lined a hard-hit ball off of Bradford starting pitcher Anthony Miller for a single. Taylor Feronti then walked. After a flyout, right fielder Kyle Sheldon legged out an infield single down the third base line to load the bases.
Cole Peterson was then hit by a pitch which allowed Grumley to trot home for the game's first run. Peterson was a frequent visitor to the basepaths, reaching four times in four plate appearances with two hits, a walk and the hit by pitch.
With the bases still loaded, Holmberg hit into a fielder's choice to second. While trying to get the double play, Bradford's throw slipped and went well wide to the right of first base. Feronti and Sheldon scored on the play to push the Wilcox lead to 3-0 after the second inning.
Bradford did have an opportunity in the third. Dan Rinfrette singled up the middle with one out and Keagen Goodliff walked to put a pair of runners on for Bradford with one out. But Luhr was able to get Aaron Eishkin on a strikeout and Noah Colebert to fly out to center to diffuse the threat.
Wilcox would take advantage of runners reaching base in the third inning and extended the lead. CJ Herbstritt walked and Grumley was hit by a pitch. Herbstritt and Grumley each stole bases on a double steal to put two runners in scoring position. Frank Kocjancic then bunted to third on a squeeze play. An error on the throw to first would score both Herbstritt and Grumley as Wilcox took a 5-0 lead after three innings. Kocjancic finished 2-for-4 with one RBI for Wilcox.
"Overall, we're just aggressive," coach Peterson said. "We put the ball in play, we played small ball. It worked out well."
Wilcox was poised to threaten the 10-run rule in the fourth inning. Peterson and Holmberg hit back-to-back singles to leave runners at the corners for Wilcox with no one out. After Holmberg stole second, Luhr singled to bring both runners around as Wilcox would take a 7-0 lead.
Wilcox's defense limited Bradford on the bases in the fifth inning. Sawyer Packard led off with a walk but was erased from the bases on a fielder's choice from Alex Miller. Rinfrette then flew out to center. Miller tried to advance from second to third on the long flyball but was thrown out easily on an 8-6-5 double play to end the inning. Coach Peterson said Wilcox's defense is a strong point on the team.
"Our defense played nice," coach Peterson said. "Our defense has been our strong point all year, all the way through. Even now, with the extra kids, we're stronger yet. It was a nice turnout, a nice win."
Wilcox is scheduled to play at Smethport Wednesday for a 6 p.m. game.
Wilcox also has a scheduled game at Bradford at 6 p.m. Friday. Bradford came into Monday's game without a loss on its ledger.
"We got them again this week, we play them on Friday," coach Peterson said. "It's a nice win."
It was announced that Wilcox's home game with Fox Township originally scheduled for last Wednesday will be made up on June 27.