OGDENSBURG — Gouverneur’s first Section 10 Class B baseball title in 17 years came Saturday thanks to an aggressive baserunning strategy and solid pitching and defense.
The Wildcats (14-1 overall), the top seed, defeated No. 2 Canton 9-3 on a warm Saturday afternoon at Ogdensburg Free Academy.
Gouverneur pitcher Connor Wood held the Golden Bears (6-8) to just three hits and struck out seven, including the first and last batters of the game. He walked none and hit two batters.
The Wildcats began the game with a quick one-two-three inning and then started their offense with leadoff hitter Kyle Gaumes.
Gaumes, a Gouverneur native who in the past had also attended Lyme and LaFargeville, is playing baseball for the first time since he was 12.
Gaumes walked to lead off the bottom of the first for Gouverneur, and as he’s done nearly every time he’s reached base this season, he wound up scoring.
“We work nonstop running bases and we put pressure on teams,” Wildcats coach John Free said. “Sometimes we’re too aggressive, but it works for us. These kids work hard. If (Gaumes) gets on first, he’s usually on third in three pitches, and he had 26 stolen bases in 12 games. That’s pretty good.”
Gaumes, who will play men’s basketball at SUNY Potsdam next year, immediately stole second base, went to third on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt and scored on a single by Wildcats catcher Gabriel Wainwright. The Wildcats’ second batter, Nolan Reed, walked, too, and also scored on Wainwright’s single.
body text: “We brought the energy, that was the biggest part,” Gaumes said of his team. “We never stopped having energy. As soon as I get on base I trust my teammates to bring me in. My main job the whole season has been to get on base. Coming back to the hometown, and winning a championship, it’s nothing you can really describe in words. It’s special.”
Canton responded to the 2-0 deficit by scoring twice in the top of the second to tie the game.
Scotty Ahfleld was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a hit by Colby Young. Ahlfeld scored on a single by Gavin Thompson and Young scored on a fielder’s choice.
Gouverneur added three more runs in the second to pull away for good.
After the first two batters reached on a walk and a fielder’s choice, Gaumes then singled in a run and once again stole second. Gouverneur’s Nolan Reynolds scored the fourth run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Jared Wilson and Gaumes scored the fifth on a double by Wainwright, who finished with three RBIs.
Wainwright led the team with three hits and Wood added two.
Only Young is a senior on Canton’s roster so the Golden Bears could challenge again for a Class B championship next season.
“We’re very young,” Canton coach Matt Caufield said. “We still made a couple young mistakes but I said to them that we will be back in this position again. We got some real valuable experience.”