The JV Gold baseball team traveled to Cooperstown, NY, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, last weekend to play Xavier High School from New York City.
The team arrived at the hotel Thursday night. After getting situated into their rooms, they went out to eat with Xavier players and coaches at Sal's Pizzeria to get to know each other. There, Xavier's coach explained the history behind the game. Canisius and Xavier are both Jesuit high schools. The coaches and other school administrators from each school know each other. In addition, Canisius High School President Fr. Ciancimino, S.J. attended Xavier High School. The coaches decided that it would be fun to get their freshman teams together each year at Cooperstown for a game. This tradition lives on today. The only thing that wasn't mentioned was Canisius's undefeated record in the series. After this brief history lesson, the players stocked up on Italian food and pizza before going back to the hotel. Coach Wolf held a brief team meeting before it was time to rest up for the big game the following day.
The players woke up early for Friday's game. They arrived at Doubleday Field, one of baseball's oldest and most historic fields. The teams warmed up and got ready to play.
The game started slowly with two scoreless innings. Ryan Lynch '21 shut down Xavier on the mound in the opening innings. In the third, Lynch hit a ground ball hard enough to force the fielder to make an error. David Barbara '21 and Robi Bonilla '21 scored on the play. In the fourth, Jake LaDuca '21 started the inning with a double followed by Charles Piggot '21 drawing a walk. After a double-steal, Barbara brought both of the runners home with an RBI double. After the fifth, the Crusaders led 4-1. Lynch exited the game after allowing only one run on three hits and no walks.
In the sixth, Piggot drew another walk and scored on a double from Aiden Keane '21. In the bottom half of the inning, Sean Melligan '21 shut down Xavier with a beautiful performance on the mound. In the seventh, the Crusaders rallied to gather more insurance runs. Steven Czarnecki '21 hit an RBI double to knock in Charlie Seifert '21. Barbara singled to score Melligan and Czarnecki for his third and fourth RBI's of the game. To cap off the inning, Aidan Ward '21 hit a line drive double which one-hopped the fence to score Barbara and Keane. Barbara took the mound to close out Xavier's last three batters in the bottom of the seventh. The final score was 10-1 Canisius.
After the game, the players ate lunch and met at the Baseball Hall of Fame. They took part in a scavenger hunt that took them across the complex. After their visit at the Hall of Fame, the teams went souvenir shopping and went home. The players, coaches, and parents had a great time. Canisius and Xavier's Freshman teams will meet again next year in Cooperstown.
Photos from the game are available for sale at the following link: