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December 17, 2018 - 7:58am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

As we get closer to Christmas, it seems that even the pins have caught on to that “spirit of giving.”

Led by a pair of Mancuso Bowling Center kegler, league high scores around the Genesee Region for the week ending Dec. 16 included three 300 games, an 800 series, a 299 game, two other 11-in-a-row games and a pair of women’s 700 series.

At Mancuso’s in Batavia, Matt Balduf of South Byron notched his seventh USBC-certified 300 game and fourth USBC-certified 800 series with 247-289-300—836 in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday 5-Man League.

The 50-year-old right-hander had eight strikes in the opener, the front 11 in game two before leaving the 6-pin and all 12 in the finale.

Balduf said a couple of errant shots at the end of the first game cost him a chance at the GRUSBC-association record of 858.

“I screwed up in the 9th and 10th frames … I broke for seven in the ninth and seven in the 10th,” said Balduf, a longtime employee of Mitchell Machine in Rochester. “I could have gone out for 280.”

Still, he took over the league high series with the consistent effort on lanes 19-20, which raised his average to 218.

He said he used a Roto-Grip Idol – a ball he just got from a bowling buddy, Ron Brown.

“We talked Ron into buying it but he was having trouble with it, so last Thursday I tried it in the last game and threw 268,” Balduf said. “So Ron said, ‘I can’t seem to throw it, so why don’t you take it, and he gave it to me.”

Two nights earlier, Ron Sprague Jr. of East Bethany had a “career night” with 245-300-202—747 in the Antique World Coed League – his first 300 game and his first 700 series.

“My goal for the night was 600 because I had a bad night the week before,” said Sprague, a righty and once-a-week bowler who entered the session with a 173 average.

He said he finished strong in the opening game and “the strikes just kept rolling in.” But going into the 10th frame of the second game, nerves set in.

“My legs were shaking,” he said, noting that the last two strikes were of the Brooklyn variety. “Both of them crossed over but the pins went down. Someone was helping me there.”

Sprague, 26, an employee of Lor-Rob Dairy, bowls on the Rolling Thunder team that includes his father, Ron Sr.

Other high rollers for the week:

-- Diane Hurlburt and Michele Larson, who posted 715 and 712 series in the Monday Nite 5 League at Perry Bowling Center and the Synergistic Online Solutions League at Mancuso’s, respectively.

-- Curtis Foss of Medina, with a 300 game and 783 series in the Friday Night Mixers League at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

-- Mike Johnson of Batavia, with a 299 game and 734 series in the Toyota of Batavia League (he is Balduf’s teammate).

-- Brian Weber and John Huntz, who each had 11 in a row in the Monday Night 5 League at Perry Bowling Center. Weber, coming back from an injury, had 279—692 and Huntz posted 295—688.

For a list of scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

December 16, 2018 - 1:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo of Cheyenne Louie with driver Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

On a night when Drew Monti was to be honored as the top driver of the 2018 Batavia Downs meet, he put on a clinic and showed why he toted home the hardware again as he won seven races on Saturday night (Dec. 15).

Also it was no surprise that trainer JD Perrin, who Monti regularly drives for and was also honored as the top conditioner of the session, sent out six winners of his own.

Those winning connections put the exclamation point on their stellar season as they watched Cheyenne Louie cruise to the easiest of victories in the $20,000 Dash for the Holiday Cash late closer final, which was the feature race of the night.

Cheyenne Louie (Drew Monti) left strong and grabbed the lead past the eighth pole and from there the race was history. Cruising along in level fractions of :28.2, :58.2 and 1:27.4, Monti had the field stacked up behind as he sat chilly in the bike. At the top of the stretch several horses fanned wide to try and close the gap but Cheyenne Louie was four-lengths gone and under wraps when he hit the wire first in 1:57.

It was the seventh win of the year for Cheyenne Louie ($3.20) whose share of the purse pushed him to $26,983 for 2018. Cheryle Perrin owns the winner that is trained by JD Perrin.

Then the same driver/trainer pair hooked up to win the $11,000 overnight featured Open Handicap pace with Lucky McTrucky.

Getting away fifth in the short field of five, Lucky McTrucky tracked the early pace before pulling past the half, tipping three deep at three-quarters and clearing the front at the top of the lane to win by three in 1:55.2.

It was the 56th career win and 14th tally of the year for Lucky McTrucky ($5.70) who is now only $1,095 shy of $100,000 in earnings for 2018. Tessa Roland owns the 9-year-old McCardle gelding.

Other winners Monti steered besides the aforementioned Cheyenne Louie and Lucky McTrucky were with Cobble Beach (1:57.2, $4.70), Rock To Glory (1:56.4, $3.10), RM Hawk (1:55.3, $4.10), Heaven Rocks (1:56.3, $3.70) and OK Galahad (1:57, $4.10).

Perrin's training double Hat Trick consisted of five that Monti drove (Cheyenne Louie, Lucky McTrucky, Rock To Glory, RM Hawk and Heaven Rocks) along with Foreign Officer (1:56.4, $7.70) who was driven by Ray Fisher Jr.

After the 11th race this dynamic duo was named top driver and trainer of the Batavia Downs meet by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA).

 

This is the second driving title for Drew Monti (in photo above with trophy) at Batavia Downs and third overall of his career. The 24-year-old Monti put together another stellar year in the bike; to date starting 572 times, winning 122 races, finishing second 90 times and third 72 times. Those starts earned his connections $724,805 in purses and earned himself a Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .337.

JD Perrin (above, center) won the training title at the Downs three straight years from 2014-2016 making this his fourth title at the track. With 208 starts, Perrin trainees have won 61 times with 31 seconds and 19 thirds giving him a Universal Trainer Rating (UTR) of .409. His stable banked $333,648 for the session.

Batavia Downs will resume live racing in 2019 on Wednesday (July 24) and is the host track of the New York SIre Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions which will be held on Saturday (Sept. 14).

December 15, 2018 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, basketball, sports.

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Cal-Mum's Kyle Wade found his way to the basket as time expired and flipped a layup through the hoop to tie Friday's Oatkan Knights vs. Red Raiders boy's basketball game and send the game to overtime.

In overtime, Le Roy lost 59-54, even though Reece Tresco had a big night, scoring 25 points, including hitting three three-point shots in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Eric Wilson scored 11 points for Cal-Mum.

The boys game was the second half of a doubleheader that included a girls game against Cal-Mum. Click here for coverage.

In other boys basketball on Friday, Prattsburgh beat Notre Dame, 84-74.

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To purchase prints (including pictures from the girls game) click here.

December 15, 2018 - 2:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Le Roy.

The Lady Knights fell to the Cal-Mum Red Raiders in the first game of a rivalry doubleheader in Le Roy on Friday night, 48-42.

The game was tied going into the final minute but Cal-Mum was able to pull ahead to secure the win.

For Cal-Mum, both Elyse Van Auken and Brianna Raniewicz scored 15 points. Baylee Miller scored 10.

For Le Roy, Jillian Curtis scored 12 points and Kiaya Condidorio scored eight.

In other girls basketball games Friday:

  • Pembroke beat Byron-Bergen, 45-40;
  • Pavilion beat Perry, 45-38. For Pavilion, Lindsay Lowe scored 13 points, Lauren Kingsley, 9, and Aprile Beehler, 8. For Perry, Chelsea Pascoe scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds;
  • Elba beat Kendall, 69-22;
  • Notre Dame beat Wheatland, 45-30.

There's no report available for Batavia's game.

Le Roy lost the boys' game nightcap. Click here for coverage.

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December 15, 2018 - 9:09am

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The host Attica Blue Devils split with Notre Dame/Batavia in swimming action last evening at Attica High School. 

In the girls meet, Attica prevailed 58-37, paced by double individual winner Reagan Bifarella, who won the 200 Free (2:10.07) and 100 Free. Jordan Stachowiak added a win in the 500 Free (6:19.54); Jackie Keicher in the 50 Free (:28.38); Libby Kibler in the 100 Breast (1:20.43); and Brianna Acker in the 1 meter Diving (164.63). 

The Blue Devils also took all three relays with Regen Orlowski, Emily Gersitz, Kibler, Keicher in the 200 Medley (2:18.96); Keicher, Stachowiak, Gersitz, Bifarella in the 200 Free Relay (1:57.16); and Bifarella, Stachowiak, Abby Baratta, Kibler in the 400 Free Relay (4:28.73). The Irish got two wins from Rachel Nickerson in the 200 IM (2:35.53) and 100 Fly (1:09.32), and another win from Skye Colantonio in the 100 Backstroke (1:12.08).

The Fighting Irish boys dominated over Attica 60 - 36 behind double winners Cooper Mattice in the 200 Free (1:57.84) and 500 Free (5:11.64); Aaron Treleaven in the 100 Fly (1:09.26) and the 100 Back (1:04.36); and Dan Nickerson in the 100 Free (:55.69) and 100 Breast (1:16.03). Harrison Southall picked up the win in the 200 IM (2:20.98) for the Irish. 

The Irish also won all three relays with Mattice, Tyler Fuller, Treleaven, and Matt Doeringer in the 200 Medley (1:59.49); Southall, Treleaven, Nickerson, Mattice in the 200 Free Relay (1:4.90); and Southall, Harry Schafer, Doeringer, Nickerson in the 400 Free Relay (3:54.85). 

Eric Peters was a double winner for the Blue Devils in the 50 Free (:25.90) and the 1 meter Diving (161.48).

Story submitted by: Eric Geitner, Swimming and Diving head coach.

To view or purchase photos click here.

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December 13, 2018 - 2:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, president, UNY USHWA

The final weekend of racing at Batavia Downs kicks off on Friday (Dec. 14) and although 26 more races are yet to be contested, there are two that have already been settled. 

The dash winning driver and trainer for the 2018 meet are Drew Monti and JD Perrin.

This is the second driving title for Drew Monti (inset photo, right) at Batavia Downs and third overall of his career.

The 24-year-old Monti put together another stellar year in the bike; to date starting 560 times, winning 115 races, finishing second 89 times and third 72 times.

Those starts earned his connections $686,305 in purses and earned himself a Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .337. 

Those numbers were solid additions to Monti’s overall figures for the year where he has 252 wins, 194 seconds and 174 thirds out of 1,260 starts with more than $1.52 million in earnings and a UDR of .332. 

JD Perrin (inset photo, below left) won the training title at the Downs three straight years from 2014-2016 making this his fourth title at the track.

With 192 starts, Perrin trainees have won 55 times with 31 seconds and 19 thirds giving him a Universal Trainer Rating (UTR) of .409.

His stable banked $298,248 for the session. 

Perrin’s annual numbers show 442 starts yielding 126 wins, 68 seconds and 51 thirds earning his group $633,623.

Also, Perrin currently ranks fourth in North America for UTR among trainers with less than 500 starts this year. 

Drew Monti and JD Perrin will receive their trophies in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle at Batavia Downs after the 12th race on Saturday night (Dec. 15).

Please note that post time for Saturday’s card is early at 4:45 p.m.

Also on Saturday night, there are many opportunities for the fans to take advantage of before the lights go off for the last time this year. 

The $20,000 final of the Dash for the Holiday Cash series is the feature event and goes as the sixth race. 

There is a free Pick-6 contest with a mandatory payoff of $1,000.

The Pick-6 starts in race four and runs through race nine.

Entry blanks can be picked up at Players Club and can be deposited with your selections prior to the start of the fourth race.

Entries are limited to one per person. 

The Pick-6 is cosponsored by the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association. 

Then there will be a random drawing from all the Pick-6 entries to win 10 “Driver of the Meet” Drew Monti bobble heads and 10 official Dan Patch Awards baseball caps.

Ten winners will be drawn and each will receive both prizes. 

The bobble head and baseball cap give away is sponsored by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) and TAG Jewelers. 

Friday night (Dec. 14) is the UNY USHWA Night of Distinction awards presentations at Batavia Downs that will take place in the winner's circle between races. Post time on Friday is 6 p.m.

December 13, 2018 - 10:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, basketball, sports.

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The Blue Devils, missing a couple of key players to start the season, dropped to 0-2 with a loss in their home opener to Athena, 64-51.

Andrew Francis scored 15 points for Batavia and Jake Humes added 11, with nine coming on three-pointers. Cam White scored six points. White also had three rebounds.

Joe Martinucci had seven rebounds and scored three points.

Ethan Biscaro, who suffered a knee injury in the state championship football game, Mason McFollins, and Caden White did not play.

For Greece Athena, Melvin Council Jr. scored 17 points and Kelvin Reaves Jr. scored 14 points.

The Blue Devils travel to Pittsford Sutherland for a game Tuesday.

In other boys basketball action Wednesday, Pavilion beat Letchworth 52-39.

In girls basketball: Attica beat Byron-Bergen 61-44; Oakfield beat Holley, 64-33; Alexander beat Pembroke, 43-36; Elba beat Wheatland, 65-45.

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To purchase prints of photos click here.

December 13, 2018 - 8:44am

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Battle of high school hockey teams headlined the Falleti Ice Arena last evening where Notre Dame dominated Genesee Ice Devils 8-1.

In first-period action, the Irish came out flying led by Alex Totten who scored two goals and one assist. Max Hutchins added two assists and outshot Genesee 10-3 to lead 3-0 after the first period.

Second period Genesee had some opportunities and led in shots 10-8 but did not capitalize in the Irish zone. Hutchins added a goal and assist. Alonso Storey added his second goal of the night and Notre Dame led 5-0 after two periods. Storey also added a goal and assist later in the game.

The Irish added three more goals by Totten, Hutchins and Scott Tanner to lead 8-0. Ice Devils Ian Kemp replaced Alex Hunt midway through the third period. Goalie Mitchel Pangrazio for Notre Dame lost his shutout attempt with 12 seconds left in the game, where Carter Wasilewski put the puck over his glove to score for Genesee. Matt Frieday and Cameron Smith each picked up assists.

Pictured above is Alex Totten of Notre Dame scoring the first goal against Genesee’s Alex Hunt.

To view or purchase photos click here.

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December 13, 2018 - 8:09am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

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North Stars -- Members of the North team, which continues to domilnate the Karl Marth Cup challenge match, are from left, Mike Allis, Jake Rosenbeck, Rob Sease, captain Tom Allis, Alex Allis, Hayden Allis, Scott Gibson, Jason Mahnke, Rich Culver, Aaron Verheyn, Mike Lavender and Roger Allis. Scott Shields also is on the squad.

The North’s blowout of the South on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Medina Lanes has brought the Karl Marth Cup series to a crossroads.

With its seventh win in the past eight years, Captain Tom Allis’ squad held onto its grip of the annual competition between bowlers from the Medina-Albion and bowlers from the Batavia area and points south and east of the city.

Sparked by 22-year-old Hayden Allis -- who averaged 240 and won all four of his matches -- the North rolled to a 76.5-46.5 victory. For his efforts, Allis was named the Scott Wright Memorial Outstanding Bowler.

The North’s dominance (it won five of six doubles matches and eight of 12 singles matches) left Paul Spiotta of the South team, the only bowler to participate in all 25 tournaments, wondering where to go from here.

The North leads the series, 15-10.

“I was watching some of their rev rates, especially the younger kids, and they we’re throwing pins all over the place,” said Spiotta, the only bowler to participate in all 25 tournaments. “Some of our guys just don’t have the rev rate and were leaving weak 10-pin after weak 10-pin.”

Tom Allis concurred with Spiotta’s assessment, adding that ball speed is a major factor in today’s game.

“Speed, even more than rev rate, is the key factor when bowling on lanes with a lot of backend,” said Allis, a bowling ball driller for many years.

Spiotta also noted that the North has infused its lineup with younger, stronger players, such as Hayden Allis, 19-year-old Alex Allis, and “thirty-somethings” Jake Rosenbeck and Mike Allis (who subbed for Scott Allis).

In fact, the average age of the North squad this year was 41, compared to the South’s average age of 51 ½.  The only South bowler under the age of 40 was Matt Slocum.

“We’re at a point where we have to decide whether this is a serious thing for bowlers who want to represent Batavia and points south or a casual thing where the losers buy dinner (for the winners),” Spiotta said. “The initial concept was that it was a competitive thing, and personally, I would like to keep it that way.”

For the latter to happen, the South may have to look to some of the up-and-coming younger bowlers in Batavia, Bergen, Le Roy and even to the Wyoming and/or Livingston county bowlers (as in the case of recent additions Slocum and Brett Van Duser, both of Perry).

With the competition set for Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, which has become a left-hander’s paradise in recent years, the South would be wise to recruit Rich Wagner (245 average) and some of his southpaw mates such as Jason Gallo (233) and Tom Baker (224).

Mike Johnson, another lefty who is averaging 215 at Mancuso’s, was on the South team this year.

Other Mancuso bowlers deserving of consideration include Mike Sputore (214), Nate Cordes (213), Matt Balduf (213), Steve Krna (213), Rob Stefani (211) and Alex Morris (211) and lefty Brian Green (208).

Chris Bardol has been tearing it up in Bergen for the past few years – and has fared well in tournament play at Mancuso’s – while Frank Jarkiewicz, Jerry Menzie Jr., Jason Heimlich and Rob Husted are among others who could be considered.

Just how to weave in some fresh faces into the mix is something that Ed Doody, the current South captain, and Spiotta will have to figure out.

Summarizing this year’s event, Alex, Roger and Hayden Allis won all four of their matches (two doubles and two singles), averaging 221, 216 and 240, respectively, for the North. Rob Sease, Mike Lavender and Mike Allis each went 3-1, with Sease averaging 231 and Lavender 223.

Other members of the winning team were Rich Culver, Scott Gibson, Aaron Verheyn, Scott Shields and Jason Mahnke.

Johnson led the South with a 227 average while Spiotta averaged 220, Slocum 218 and Gregg Wolff 216. Slocum had the high game of the day – 289.

Other members of the South team were Todd Mortellaro, Rick Saunders, Geoff Harloff, Steve O’Dell, Joe Trigilio and Jim Pursel.

On a sad note, Pursel, a self-employed contractor, suffered broken ribs, neck fractures and bruises last Friday when he fell from a ladder while working.  The 51-year-old Batavian returned home yesterday after several days at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

Speaking (writing) for the bowling community, we all wish “Jimbo” a speedy and full recovery and hope to see him back on the lanes before the end of the season.

YOUTH ROUNDUP: YBT AT MANCUSO’S, GR TRAVEL LEAGUE

Some of the best young bowlers from upstate New York converged upon Mancuso Bowling Center on Sunday, Dec. 2 for a Youth Bowlers Tour event and five of them traveled home knowing they had qualified for Junior Gold competition.

Earning spots for the national Junior Gold tournament in Detroit next July were Anella Tillman of Keuka Park (U12 Girls), Kenny Haslip of Hilton (U15 Boys), Nicholas Santacroce of Utica (U17 Boys), Kaylee Hodson of Auburn (U20 Girls) and Zack Day of Victor (U20 Boys).

YBT champions for the day were Kenny Muhleisen of Arkport, handicap division; Edward Pietrasz of Dryden, scratch division, and Connor Brink of Penfield, classic division.

In Genesee Region Youth Travel League action on Dec. 2 at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Oak Orchard I moved into first place with a 20-4 win over Rose Garden Bowl I as Dallas Ecker notched a 507 series – well above his 136 average.

Perry Bowling Center went into second place with a 16-8 win over Rose Garden Bowl II behind Dennis Van Duser’s 227 game and 565 series.

High series: Trent Willis, Mount Morris, 621; Ben Lennox, Oak Orchard II, 619.

The league bowls again on Dec. 16 at Livingston Lanes in Geneseo.

GRUSBC LISTS TWO TOURNAMENTS IN JANUARY

The 65th Genesee Region USBC Scratch Memorial Tournament is scheduled for Jan. 5-6 at Perry Bowling Center.

The singles tournament features qualifying squads (four games) at noon, 3 and 6 p.m. on Jan. 5 and 10 a.m. on Jan. 6. Semifinals and finals will follow.

First prize, based on 80 entries, is $1,000, and one in five bowlers will cash. Re-entry is allowed. The entry fee is $55.

Two oil patterns will be used – a 40-foot pattern during qualifying and a 45-foot pattern during the semifinals and finals.

Scott Culp of Lima won the tournament in 2017 and 2018.

To enter, send an email to [email protected].

The fifth annual GRUSBC Adult-Junior Doubles Tournament is set for Jan. 11-13 at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Squad times (three games) are 7 p.m. Jan. 11, noon and 3 p.m. Jan. 12 and noon and 3 p.m. Jan. 13. The entry fee is $45 per team and at least one in five teams will cash.

Competition will take place in two divisions – 12 & under and 13 & over.

To enter, send an email to [email protected].

Entry forms for both tournaments can be downloaded from www.bowlgr.com.

TONAWANDA BOWLERS CAPTURE LE ROY SCRATCH EVENT

Pete Maduri of North Tonawanda and Kevin Volker of Tonawanda posted a wire-to-wire victory Saturday in the Le Roy Scratch Doubles tournament at Legion Lanes.

Maduri and Volker shot 980 in the two-game qualifying round to lead the field of 30 entries, and went on to win three single-game matches for the $800 first prize.

Rob Sease of Brockport and Ryan Kretchmer of Rochester placed second, good for $400, while Rochester’s Sarah Germano and Dan Vick, and Sam Capizzi and Shannon Chapelsky took the third-fourth spots for $200 each.

In the Brian Morasco Memorial tournament last month at Mancuso Bowling Center, the trio of James Townsend, Matt Temple and John Wolff took the $640 top prize with a 2,351 no-tap score.

They won by a single pin over Dennis Maid, Tim Maid and Chase Cone ($320), and 16-pins over third-place Leon Hurd, Recco Jewell and Tony Gallo ($210).

The event drew 43 entries and raised more than $2,000 for Genesee Cancer Assistance.

MORE THAN THEIR ‘FAIR’ SHARE OF GREAT BOWLING

To say that bowlers in the Fairview Juniors and Fairport High varsity bowling programs have a bright future wouldn’t do them justice because for these talented individuals, the future is now.

A quartet of teen bowlers from the Rochester suburb had been nothing short of amazing thus far this season.

-- Alex Linnenbrink, 16, has games of 298, 299 and 300 with high series of 834 and 829 since the start of the high school campaign just a few weeks ago.

-- Bentley Hilbert, 15, and Stefano Cittadino, 17, notched their first perfect games during high school competition.

-- And Michael Eichner, 16, rolled a 300 last Friday in the junior league.

The success of these boys – and of boys and girls in our area as well – gives me hope that there truly is a “future for our sport.”

December 12, 2018 - 1:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, GCC, baseball, U.S. Baseball Academy.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is hosting a four-week baseball camp starting Jan. 20.

GCC Head Coach Skip Sherman will direct the program in conjunction with U.S. Baseball Academy.

Classes are available for players in grades 1-12 and are limited to seven players per coach.

Sessions are offered in advanced hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and baserunning.

Space is limited. Registration is now underway.

For more information, visit www.USBaseballAcademy.com, or call toll-free 866-622-4487.

December 12, 2018 - 1:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs, horses of the meet.

By Tim Bojarski, president, UNY USHWA

Akron, NY --- With the Batavia Downs meet coming to a close this Saturday (Dec. 15) the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) has announced their horses of the meet.

Horse of the Meet -- In Runaway Bay N

In Runaway Bay N (Mach Three-Pullover Brown) raced in the top pacing class at Batavia Downs 13 times in 2018, more than any other horse at the meet. From 17 total starts he won five, finished second twice and third five more times and earned $39,455.

That total surpassed any other male pacer this season. He also defeated the legendary Foiled Again on Saturday (Sept. 21) in that great horse's last career appearance at the Downs. 

In Runaway Bay N is owned by Mark Jakubik, trained by Angelo Nappo and driven primarily by Kevin Cummings. 

Mare of the Meet -- Sportsmuffler

Sportsmuffler (Sportsmaster-Whatifthere’smore) competed in 14 Mares Open paces at Batavia Downs this year and won six of them. And when she won she did it with an exclamation point. In her 16 total starts this meet she also had three seconds and three thirds giving her an earnings total of $42,363 collected at the Downs. 

Sportsmuffler is owned by Rose Campbell, trained by Steve Kiblin and driven primarily by Billy Davis Jr.

Trotter of the Meet -- Lougazi

Lougazi (Lou’s Legacy-Winning Blade) had a rough start to the meet, making breaks with frequency. But in mid-September everything seemed to click and he turned into a monster. Making his way up through the classes, he hit the Open I and looked unbeatable there for a month.

He won three in a row and four out of six and took a lifetime mark of 1:56.3 in the process. When the dust settled he had 14 starts with six wins, three seconds and one third and earned $38,231.

Lougazi is owned by Mary Warriner, trained by Ryan Swift and driven by Ray Fisher Jr. 

Iron Horse of the Meet -- Empire Earl N

Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita) is a 10-year-old trotter who came to North America from the New Zealand in 2016. In the little over two years he’s been racing here he has more than doubled his previous lifetime bank and almost tripled his wins as well.

His steady work continued at Batavia Downs this meet where he raced 19 times, won four times, finished second six times and third four more. These efforts earned him $43,736 in purses. 

Empire Earl N is owned by Kim Asher, trained by the 2018 Rising Star Award winner Riley Asher-Stalbaum and driven primarily by Drew Monti. 

The connections of all four horses will receive their trophies in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle during the Night of Distinction at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Dec. 14).

December 12, 2018 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, news, basketball.

Boys Basketball:

Attica beat Byron-Bergen 66-58 on Tuesday night. For Attica, Dawson Nelson scored 19 points, snagged 16 rebounds, and had three assists, two blocks and a steal. Frankie Bisceglie added 17 points, six assists, and six rebounds. Marco Magarelli scored 11 points.

Head Coach Rob Crowley said, "I was really happy that we stayed together tonight. Bergen played a good game, Stuccio was on fire from outside and we weathered the storm to come away with a hard fought game on the road. Nelson played great in the second half and showed some good leadership for us. Bisceglie came threw for us from the free throw line as well."

Le Roy improved to 2-1 on the season with a 52-30 win over Perry. Reece Tresco scored 23 points. He had 16 rebounds. Colm Roster scored nine points and had seven rebounds. For Perry, Michael Hockey scored 13 points.

Oakfield beat Holley 55-39.

Lyndonville beat Notre Dame 72-58.

Girls Basketball:

Perry 38, Le Roy 29. Perry led 17-10 at the half and kept the lead through the fourth quarter. It was Perry's first win of the season.

For Perry, Bailey Fisher scored 11 points and had five rebounds. Chelsea Pascoe scored six points and grabbed 14 rebounds and six assists. For Le Roy, Kiaya Condidorio scored 10 points and Bryn Luckey scored five points.

Perry is 1-2 opens division play Friday at home against Pavilion.

See also: Batavia girls win second straight, 66-42 over host Greece Athena

December 11, 2018 - 10:10pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, Batavia High girls basketball.

Three players scored in double figures tonight as the Batavia High Lady Devils defeated host Greece Athena, 66-42, in a Monroe County girls basketball interdivisional game.

Senior guard Ryan Stefaniak led the way with 20 points -- nine of them in the first quarter, which ended with Batavia up 16-13. 

Sophomore guard Bryn Wormley had six of her 14 in the second quarter as the Devils expanded the margin to 34-21. They stayed comfortably in front the rest of the way, with junior forward Emma Krolczyk scoring eight of her 15 points after intermission.

Mackenzie Reigle (six), Kennedy Kolb and Jenae Colkey (four each) and Meghan Houseknecht (three) rounded out the scoring for Batavia, 2-0. Stefaniak also grabbed nine rebounds and came up with three steals while Reigle dished out four assists.

For Athena, 1-3, senior guard My'Ana Davis and junior forward Kelechi Dimgba tallied 14 and 13, respectively.

Batavia plays at Class AA powerhouse Bishop Kearney on Friday night and opens the home portion of its season next Tuesday against Eastridge.

December 11, 2018 - 1:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, president, UNY USHWA.

She was born to race and hit the ground running this, her first year of training. And hard work and perseverance has paid instant dividends for Riley Asher-Stalbaum and that is why she was named the 2018 Rising Star at Batavia Downs by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). 

Asher-Stalbaum was brought up in the business, the daughter of accomplished trainer Kim Asher and longtime driver Larry Stalbaum. And having them first as parents and then as tutors have helped her to become very successful in life as a young lady and also in harness racing in her first venture as a full-time conditioner. 

This year, Asher-Stalbaum has raced a small but powerful stable that featured win-machines Quicksilvercandy A, Kaitlyn Rae and Empire Earl N who combined have a total of 38 victories and $231,488 in purses earned in 2018. 

At Batavia Downs her numbers showed 124 starts with 17 wins, 15 seconds and 17 thirds and $133,409 in earnings. 

All those statistics are very impressive for a first-year trainer only 11 days removed from her 19th birthday. 

Asher-Stalbaum aspires to make a living doing what she loves and follow in the footsteps of her parents. And if the results of her first year are any indication, the business better take notice of the girl in the red and white silks in the coming years. 

Riley Asher-Stalbaum will receive her trophy in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle during the Night of Distinction at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Dec. 14).

Submitted photo from Riley Asher-Stalbaum on social media.

December 10, 2018 - 5:18pm

Press release:

The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund has announced that the 2019 New York Sire Stakes Finals will be hosted on Saturday, Sept. 14 at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel.

The richest night of racing in New York, the “Night of Champions” will hand out $1.8 million in purse money to the top state-bred 2 and 3-year-old Standardbred horses.

The Fund’s Board of Trustees previously selected Batavia based on its impressive proposal to host the event and offer an exciting fan experience. This will be Batavia Downs’ first time hosting the event.

The New York Sire Stakes program promotes the breeding, buying, and racing of Standardbred horses in New York State, and is administered by the Fund. It was the first program of is kind, featuring 2 and 3-year old colts and fillies, and has become the model for state-bred racing programs in North America.

About the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund

The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965).

The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races.

Additionally, the Fund provides assistance to county agriculture societies and contributes to the statewide 4-H program and to the Harry M. Zweig Fund for Equine Research.

December 10, 2018 - 5:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, sports, Genesee Sno-Packers.

Press release:

The Millgrove Sportsmen Club, Alden Rod & Gun Club and the Genesee Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club are sponsoring a NYS Snowmobile Safety course to be taught at Alden Rod & Gun Club next month.

Part 1 will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 17 and Part 2 will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 19.

The Alden Rod & Gun Club is located on 12 County Line Road in Alden.

The course is free to children from 10 to 18 years of age.

New York State’s Snowmobile Law requires that youngsters ages 10-18 acquire a safety certificate before they may lawfully operate a snowmobile. Youngsters may qualify for their safety certificates by taking an eight-hour safety course and passing the examination given at the end of the course. The course and all materials are furnished free.

The course is also open to adults.

The instructors for snowmobile Safety Course are certified by NYS. 

You must sign up for the course and attend BOTH classes, where you register. All materials for the Snowmobile Safety Course will be furnished. Those who pass the written exam will be issued a patch, certificate and a license. 

If your child is interested in taking the course and would like to law-fully drive a snowmobile, pre-register by calling 716-481-2623 after 5:30 p.m.

December 10, 2018 - 12:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs, USHWA, steve pratt.

By Tim Bojarski, president, Upstate New York USHWA

The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) has announced that Steve Pratt (inset photo) will receive their Lifetime Achievement Award during the Night of Distinction at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 14).  

Pratt first got his grooms license in 1970 and from there has been involved in harness racing ever since. He has been training and racing horses in Western New York since the late seventies when the star of his barn was an Open trotter named Willow Hill Boy who under the reinsmanship of the legendary Gaston Guindon, won 42 races in only five years against the best horses on the grounds at the time. 

Pratt moved on from racing overnights to concentrate on breaking and developing young horses. He became a presence on the New York county fair circuit but made the move to the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) in the mid-'90s. There he found early success with horses like Sal The Barber (1:58.2, $114,887) and Choyote’s Miss (1:59.1, $121,785). But he really got on a successful roll in the NYSS starting in 2012. 

For the last seven years Pratt has been a trotting force in the state-bred series with a string of “Barn” named horses that have competed in the NYSS, the Excel series and also at the county fairs. The parade of his champions is led most prominently by Barn Doll (1:52.1, $874,083), Barn Bella (1:51.3, $742,350), Barn Girl (1:52.3, $734,668), Barn Babe (1:54.2, $350,463) and Barn Winner (1:56, $165,273).   

During those seven years Pratt-trained horses have earned more than $2 million in only 227 starts, winning 97 races which gave him a phenomenal 42-percent win percentage. Pratt’s Universal Trainer Rating (UTR) for that same period is a stellar .558 and all this was accomplished racing primarily in stake competition. 

Steve Pratt will receive his trophy in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle between races during the live card. 

December 10, 2018 - 12:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of driver Kevin Cummings courtesy of Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After being involved in an accident at Batavia Downs late last week, perennial Western New York driving leader Kevin Cummings will not return to action until next year. 

While driving in the first race on Friday night (Dec. 7) Cummings horse made a break causing the horse directly behind to collide into him, hitting Cummings on the left-side back at full speed. The two horses became entangled but were brought to a stop in the clubhouse turn just past the half. 

Cummings and the driver of the other horse, Mike Caprio (who also became unseated), were evaluated on site immediately after the track was cleared. Caprio returned to drive the remainder of the night however Cummings was sent for further medical evaluation. 

After being examined in the hospital it was determined that Cummings had three broken ribs, torn cartilage and internal bleeding. He was sent home and is in the process of healing under the care of his personal physician. 

Given the severity of his injuries, Cummings estimated his time away from the sulky to be two to three months. 

“I always wear my safety vest under my colors. It’s paid off in the past and it certainly paid of Friday. If I didn’t have that thing on I would have crushed my entire rib cage and had extensive organ damage,” Cummings said.

“I always tell the young guys to make sure they use theirs because you never know when you are going down.” 

Cummings, who is a four-time dash champion at Batavia Downs, is currently second in the standings this year with 102 wins and had a legitimate shot at taking a fifth title. This season saw him earn more than $1.2 million in purses, which is the 10th straight year he has gone over the million-dollar mark. 

For his career Cummings has won 3,820 races and over $17 million in earnings.

December 9, 2018 - 8:23pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

A pair of 299 games and a bunch of lofty 700 series highlighted Genesee Region league bowling action for the week ending Dec. 9.

On Monday at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Robbie Hanks came within a pin of his fifth USBC-certified 300 game with a 299--743 effort in the Sneezy's Monday Night League. He left the 2-pin on his last ball.

Robbie's father, Randy, posted a 300 game in the league on Nov. 19.

On Wednesday at Scopano's Lanes in Oakfield, substitute Charlie Pangrazio posted a 299 middle game en route to a 749 series in the County Line Stone League. Pangrazio's 12th ball came high on the headpin, leaving the 3-6. The 6 then fell and rolled into the 3, but didn't knock it down.

Series-wise, at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Jason Heimlich registered 267-259-266 for a 790 series in the Wednesday Men's Handicap League while Kevin Wezelis fired a 289 game and 783 series in the Every-Other-Saturday League.

Also, in the Sneezy's league, Curtis Foss led all shooters with a 771 series.

For a list of scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page. Mike Pettinella's next Pin Points column is scheduled to be posted this Thursday.

December 9, 2018 - 2:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Lucky McTrucky with driver Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Lucky McTrucky got back to his winning ways taking the $11,500 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 8).

The feature field got away in post position order leaving Cultural Paradise (Jim McNeight Jr.) on top calling the shots and with no pressure to the half, it was a soft fraction of :58 flat. However that would soon change when In Runaway Bay N (Truman Gale) came calling first-up on the outside where the race began to get interesting.

In Runaway Bay N paced along with Cultural Paradise up the backstretch in a quick :28.3 third panel and while that was going on, Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) joined the party late but came with lots of pace. Halfway through the turn Monti tipped Lucky McTrucky three-deep and caught the leaders by the top of the stretch and then went right by in the lane to win by two-lengths in 1:55.4.

It was the 55th lifetime win and 13th of the season for Lucky McTrucky ($10.60) who now has earned $93,405 in 2018 for owner Tessa Roland. JD Perrin trains the winner.

The $9,900 Open II pace saw Western Rockstar A (Shawn McDonough) close sharply after chasing an early speed battle between Linkjack Hanover (Bob Verney) and Littlebitofabrat (Ray Fisher Jr.) to pull the upset in 1:56.2. Western Rockstar A ($24) captured his fifth win of the year for owner Super Mile LLC. Angelo Nappo is the trainer.

Three drivers won 10 of the 12 races on Saturday evening. Drew Monti was the big dog copping a Grand Slam of wins. Then Shawn McDonough and Denny Bucceri were right behind, each having a triple on the card.

Next week is the final week of racing at Batavia Downs and it starts on Friday night (Dec. 14) with post time set at 6 o'clock. There is no racing on Wednesday (Dec. 12).

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