WELLSVILLE — Neither the weather nor the bats have warmed up just yet, but Wellsville got its new season off on the right foot.
Josh Cline struck out 12 in a two-hitter and delivered a game-tying double to ignite a rally for a 5-3 season-opening win over Wayland-Cohocton on Thursday.
With the temperature at 39 degrees at first pitch, the bats were also cold as the teams combined for only eight hits in a rematch of the last two Section V, Class B championship games.
Cline walked six, but shut down the bottom of the Eagles' order. Wayland-Cohocton's five through nine hitters combined to go 0-for-13 with 10 strikeouts.
"Josh had command of all four pitches that he throws and pounded the strike zone pretty well," said Wellsville head coach Dennie Miles. "He was in the high 70's and touched 80 once and used his breaking ball as his out pitch. He really put us on his back."
Wellsville (1-0) trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Cline doubled off the fence in left-center to tie the game. Cline did not start the game in batting order as Logan Milligan served as the designated hitter, but the right-hander delivered one of the biggest hits of the game.
"That was a huge hit," said Miles. "I know he is going to get his chances to hit, but I wanted him in the dugout staying nice and warm while we were on offense. He certainly showed that he deserves to be in the lineup."
Brett Migliore led off the fifth with a single and Jason Dixon walked with one out before Cline's game-tying double. A walk to Justin Fisher loaded the bases with two outs before Hunter Kane beat out a slow roller to third to allow the go-ahead run to score.
Migliore finished 2-for-3 with a double and a walk and two runs scored and Jared Costello singled and scored twice for the Lions.
Spencer Brown struck out 10 and walked six over five innings for two-time defending Class B champion Wayland-Cohocton (0-1).
Kyle Tokarz slugged a two-run home run on top of the elementary school behind the fence in center to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth.
"That was a no-doubter," said Wayland-Cohocton head coach Steve Wager. "He's got a little power, but for this early in the year to hit a ball that hard is a good sign for him."
In the bottom of the sixth, Costello singled with two outs and stole second and third ahead of a walk to Dixon. When Dixon took second on a wild pitch, Costello scored on the throw to second to give the Lions a two-run lead.
Both teams had games postponed earlier this week due to the cold and snowy weather in the area.
"We have not had a legitimate practice on the field yet," said Wager. "We practiced a couple of days on a messy soccer field, but the guys got down early and then battled back and Spencer really competed well on the mound.
"It's still early with the bats," added Wager. "This is really the first time we've seen any live pitching with no scrimmages, no nothing. We were happy with the chance to play because nobody likes to be in a gym at this time of the year. Even though we lost we're happy we were able to play."
Rece Chapman had the only other hit for Wayland-Cohocton, a first-inning single in which C.J. Ellis actually came around to score after the Lions' only error of the game.
Wellsville took advantage of four walks in the bottom of the first to take the lead. Dusty Baldwin drew a walk with the bases loaded to tie the game before Fisher's infield single made it 2-1 after one full inning.
The Lions won despite leaving the bases loaded three times and stranding 11 runners overall.
"We certainly have to improve our hitting, but defensively, considering the conditions, I thought we played very well all-around," said Miles. "The infielders didn't have any errors which is encouraging and Hunter Kane really handled himself very well behind the plate. Hopefully when the weather gets warmer the bats will get warmer too."
Wayland-Cohocton was scheduled to host Penn Yan on Wednesday before taking on Keshequa on Friday.
"Penn Yan is another top tier team in Class B, so it'll be interesting to see how we do against them," said Wager.
Notebook: Cline struck out six consecutive batters during one stretch and Brown had a streak of five straight strikeouts ... Wayland-Cohocton and Wellsville have met in the postseason in three of the last four years.
WAYLAND-COHOCTON ab r h bi Spencer Brown P/SS 4 0 0 0 C.J. Ellis C/P 1 1 0 0 Rece Chapman 3B 1 1 1 0 Kyle Tokarz CF/C 3 1 1 2 Ethan Young SS/CF 3 0 0 0 Robert Murphy RF 3 0 0 0 Tyler Hamsher 2B 2 0 0 0 Zach Belanger 1B 2 0 0 0 Tyler Becker PR 0 0 0 0 Noah Nobles LF 3 0 0 0 Totals 22 3 2 2
WELLSVILLE ab r h bi Kirby Weinhauer RF 4 0 0 0 Brett Migliore 2B 3 2 2 0 Jared Costello SS 3 2 1 0 Jason Dixon 1B 2 1 0 0 William Brace PR 0 0 0 0 Logan Milligan DH 1 0 0 0 Josh Cline P 1 0 1 1 Dusty Baldwin 3B 2 0 0 1 Justin Fisher CF 3 0 1 1 Dylan Griffiths PH 0 0 0 0 Hunter Kane C 3 0 1 0 Mike Giopulos LF 2 0 0 0 Luke Seeley PH 1 0 0 0 Totals 25 5 6 3
Wayland-Cohocton 100 200 0 — 3 2 2 Wellsville 200 021 X — 5 6 1
LOB — Way-Co 4, Wellsville 11. 2B — Migliore, Cline. HR — Tokarz. SB — Brown, Migliore, Costello 2.
Way-Co: Spencer Brown (LP, 0-1) (10K, 6BB), C.J. Ellis (6) (1K, 3BB) and Ellis, Tokarz (6) Wellsville: Josh Cline (WP, 1-0) (12K, 6BB) and Hunter Kane