Weekly Feature



2018-04-11 / Sports

Blue Devils baseball will be led by pitching staff

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI Reporter


Kenmore West pitcher Dom Schmidt hurls a ball during the second game of a doubleheader against Kenmore East last season. Schmidt is the top pitcher in a staff that is looking to carry the Blue Devils to another Niagara Frontier League Title this season. 
Photo by Jake French Kenmore West pitcher Dom Schmidt hurls a ball during the second game of a doubleheader against Kenmore East last season. Schmidt is the top pitcher in a staff that is looking to carry the Blue Devils to another Niagara Frontier League Title this season. Photo by Jake French The Kenmore West baseball team will bring a strong and deep pitching staff into its first season in Class A. The program moved down one class after years at the Class AA level.

The Blue Devils lost just one pitcher from last year’s team. Andrew Fron, Dom Schmidt, Chris Mang, Owen Green and Zach LaPlante all return from last year’s staff, while Kyle Schmidt has transferred in from St. Joe’s and Jack Reilly and Anthony Dolce are up from JV.

“We’ve had three scrimmages and two games so far, and it seems like pitching and defense will be our strength,” Kenmore West coach John Haynes said. “We put the ball in play, but it hasn’t fallen and we haven’t gotten hits. The bright spot has definitely been our pitching and defense.”

In the field, there are still three guys fighting it out for the starting catcher position. Nolan Sander, Owen Green and Matt Chimera are all competing for the starting job, but Chimera appears to have a leg up at the moment.

In the infield, Fron will play first when not pitching. When he is on the mound, Dom Schmidt will take first. Reilly will play second while Zach Boyes and Dolce will both see time there, too. Mang will play shortstop while Green will man third base. LaPlante, Cole Phillips and Angelo Eckert will play in the outfield. Schmidt will fill in for LaPlante when he is pitching. Meanwhile, LaPlante and the Schmidts appear to be the team’s strongest hitters thus far.

The Blue Devils are 1-1 through their first two games with a 5-2 loss to Grand Island and a 2-1 win over Tonawanda. The former featured a four-run first inning for the Vikings. The Blue Devils were solid from there on out. In the win over the Warriors, Fron threw a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts. LaPlante hit a triple and scored on a passed ball. The first run was also scored on a passed ball, by Cole Phillips.

The team has a goal of repeating as Niagara Frontier League Champions and then making a run in the sectional playoffs. However, it will not be easy, as Class A features nearly as many tough teams as Class AA.

“There is a lot of competition in Class A,” Haynes said. “It’s just as good as Class AA, if not better. We’ve already scrimmaged Williamsville East. They’re the runners-up for the state title; they’re very good with the Mack brothers. There’s also Hamburg, too. Grand Island is very good. They’re always up there. There are a lot of good schools around here.”

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