Canton Modified Baseball opened the 2022 season with a scrimmage game at home against Heuvelton that featured two former teammates who are now coaches, with their former modified coach.
The Bears, led by Head Coach Mark Mende and Assistant Coach Francesco Palumbo, kicked off their season in a fantastic manner with a scrimmage against a Heuvelton Bulldogs squad coached by Bryant Wentworth. Palumbo and Wentworth, who is the son of Canton softball coaches Mike Wentworth and Carla Wentworth, played for Coach Mende in the late 2000s.
Wentworth, who graduated from Canton in 2013 and went on to play college baseball at Jefferson Community College, played for Mende in 2008 and 2009. Palumbo, a 2014 Canton grad, played college baseball at SUNY Canton and played for Mende in 2009 and 2010.
“Bryant reached out to schedule games this year, and it was a special experience, having both Bryant and Francesco there as coaches,” said Mende “Bryant has been coaching for a number of years and having Francesco here to help this season has been great for me and the players.”
Canton used two big innings, a three-run inning and a five-run inning, to pull away from the visiting Bulldogs. The Bears never looked back thanks to two big hits in the sixth. A double by Jon Gidney was followed by walks to J.J. Ahlfeld and James Trombley to load the bases for Charlie Todd, whose double cleared the bases. Nate Gidney was hit by a pitch before Jackson Ames doubled to score Todd and Nate Gidney.
Todd went 3-for-3 with three runs scored to go with the three runs batted in. Ames was 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBIs. Zadok Roiger was 2-for-2 with a double, a run and an RBI. Nate Gidney reached base three times and scored two runs.
The Bears used six pitchers and all the players were used in the batting order throughout the game to get the players needed action.
Canton plays its first regular season game Saturday at Salmon River at 10 a.m. Bryant Wentworth and Heuvelton will host the Bears for a regular season game June 2.