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Published: April 19, 2007 11:20 pm    print this story   email this story   comment on this story  

HS BASEBALL: Vikings topple Niagara Falls on opening day

By Nate Beutel
Greater Niagara Newspapers

NIAGARA FALLS Grand Island senior pitcher Justin McInerney pitched 6 2/3 innings, struck out eight and allowed only one earned run Thursday.

But McInerney has coach Dean Santorio to blame for not allowing him to get the complete game victory.

Santorio replaced McInerney with Justin Vanderbrook in the top of the sixth, but the reliever could only muster one out until Santorio went back to his starter.

McInerney finished off the game and the Niagara Falls Wolverines, 11-3, in the Niagara Frontier League opener for both schools at Sal Maglie Stadium.

Even though I told him to be ready, that can be real tough, so Im proud of the way he came back, Santorio said. Im real happy with the way Justin pitched. He kept them off balance by changing his speeds.

While McInerney was shutting the Wolverines down at the plate, the Vikings (1-0 NFL) were piling up the runs.

GI took advantage of two errors in the second inning to get out to an early 4-0 lead. Chris Rajczak and Neal DeMartin each added an RBI to cap the inning.

After the Falls (0-1) got on the board with a double from David Guetta, GI came right back with another four-run inning. Matt McKenna ripped a two-run single and Rajczak followed that up with another RBI single.

Rajczak, DeMartin and Chris Podlucky each finished with two RBIs. Joe Oliverio added an RBI and two runs scored.

That widespread production is something Santorio knows his team will need to be successful this season.

Its great to see from top to bottom a lot of guys hit the ball hard today, the coach said. Its important that its not only the top two or three guys hitting the ball.

Junior left-hander Mike Bright took the loss on the hill for NFHS as he pitched four innings and allowed seven earned runs.

Walks and errors hurt us and the couple big innings they had put the game out of reach, Falls coach Joe Contento said. Its a long haul and this was just the first game, so its behind us now and were ready to move on.