Three’s A Charm!
Canton 6, Salmon River 5
The Canton Golden Bears defeated the Salmon River Shamrocks for the third time this season on Wednesday afternoon at Salmon River Central School. The victory secured the bid to play in the Class B Section X Championship on Saturday. The first pitch is slated to be thrown at 12:00 noon at the Ogdensburg Free Academy Field.
The Class B Semi-Finals was a teeter totter of a game….. the Bears played well and David Zuhlsdorf pitched a masterful 7 innings. Zuhlsdorf gave up 8 hits and five earned runs, striking out 6. The Bears held Salmon to no runs in the first 3 innings, despite having runners on second and third in the first inning.
On offense, the Bears stuck early, with Nate Romano and Sam Roiger both scoring on a hit by Scotty Ahlfeld. The fourth inning was productive for both teams, with the Bears scoring Lane Rayburn on a squeeze bunt by Luke Wentworth and Eric Zuhlsdorf scored on a balk drawn by Tanner Hazelton.
The game took a turn for the worse for the Bears as the Shamrocks scored 2 in the following 2 innings, making the score 5-4 in the top of the 7th. With one chance to score more runs, the Bears’ Scotty Ahlfeld stepped up to the plate and took the first ball the other way, where the outfield was shifted left. The play was at third, and a throw was on target for the out, but it ricocheted off the sliding Ahlfeld’s head, allowing him to score. Lane Rayburn then singled and scored on Eric Zuhlsdorf’s second hit of the night.
The Bears had to defend the lead for one inning, and a fly ball to left field looked like it was going to be a hit for Salmon. But left fielder Gavin Thompson had other ideas, and made an unbelievable sliding catch to make the first out. Tanner Hazelton scooped up a ground ball up the middle and threw a dart to Wentworth at first base, recording the second out. The final out of the day occurred when a popped up ball sored into the air just above the home plate area. Coach Matt Caufield excitedly described the grab by his catcher Scott Ahlfeld. “Scotty’s catch was incredible! It seemed like the ball hung in the air for an an hour as he tracked it. He kind of staggered around under it but never lost sight of it! Its was awesome!” As the ball found it’s way into Ahlfeld’s glove, the Bears charged their catcher in celebration of their first play-off victory since 2017! The final catch below!!
An all around team effort by the Bears to beat the Shamrocks propels them to 6-7 on the season and they will look to continue their success in the Championship against the Wildcats of Gouverneur, Saturday at Noon in Ogdensburg.
Photos compliments of Shelly Pike.