N I  A  G  A  R  A      G  A  Z  E  T  T E   -  May 13, 2008

HS BASEBALL: Klock pitches GI into the driver's seat

By Nate Beutel
GRAND ISLAND — Senior Matt Klock allowed only seven hits and one run as Grand Island topped Niagara-Wheatfield in the first time through Niagara Frontier League play this spring.

His younger brother, Joel, showed him up Monday as he tossed a two-hitter against the three-time defending league champs. The sophomore southpaw went the distance on the hill with 11 strikeouts as the host Vikings won, 5-1. The win, coupled with Lewiston-Porter’s loss to Niagara Falls, puts GI (13-1 overall, 9-1 NFL) three games up in the NFL standings with only four games remaining.

“Coming into this one, we knew how important it was and we needed all aspects of the game to be clicking,” Klock said. “It was a big win.”

GI coach Dean Santorio agreed.

“This was huge,” he said. “We knew we’d get good pitching from Joel, so if we played good defense and made the routine plays we’d be all right. It was a big, big win.”

Both teams got a run in the third inning, but it was the fourth when GI did its damage at the dish. Mike Heftka opened the frame with a walk and came around when Shaun Winter roped an RBI triple to left-center. Neal DeMartin added in a sacrifice fly to score Winter. Joe Oliverio then ripped an RBI single back up the middle to bring around Matt Klock, who had walked, and make the lead 4-1.

That would be plenty of offense for Klock as he allowed only one baserunner over the final four innings.

“He pitched great,” Santorio said of his ace. “His breaking ball was really good.”

Klock added, “They’ve got a lot of good hitters, so you have to watch out for all of them. I just tried to keep them off balance with different pitch combinations.”

The Falcons (9-7, 6-4), meanwhile, spoiled a solid start by junior Carl Graff. The right-hander tossed a complete game, allowing only four hits, but N-W’s offense was silent all game long.

“We didn’t make enough good contact,” N-W coach Jim Hagerty said. “The couple little mistakes we made, they made us pay for it. They’re just too good of a team to make any mistakes against.”

Oliverio and Winter were both 2-for-3 with an RBI in the win. Winters scored twice, while Matt Klock walked twice and stole two bases.

For N-W, Paul Smith had the lone RBI on a bloop single to right field. Matt Attfield had the other hit.

Contact reporter Nate Beutel at 282-2311, ext. 2262.

NFL Baseball

Team W L

Grand Island 9 1

Niagara-Wheatfield 6 4

Lewiston-Porter 6 4

Kenmore East 5 4

North Tonawanda 5 5

Niagara Falls 4 6

Kenmore West 2 7

Lockport 2 8