In Canton on Thursday afternoon at Tom Fay Field, Canton 3, Salmon River 5.

The Canton Central School Baseball program has been steadily improving over the past several seasons. The 5-3 loss in the Central Division Class B Championship game last evening may sting at the moment, but will one day be lost in the fabric of not only a successful season, but also by the momentum which has been generated by this particular team. Lead by a group of outstanding senior baseball players, the team has raised the level of expectation for Canton Baseball for many years to come. The 13-4 team has produced the most wins since the late 1990’s and along with Coach Mark Mende and Francesco Palumbo’s undefeated modified squad, the future looks promising for certain. The seniors are featured below.

Seniors include (from left): Evan Buchardt, Gavin Thompson, Lane Rayburn, Sam Roiger, Scott Ahlfeld, Tanner Hazelton, Daven LaFaver

One of the key components of this has been the support of the many parents and fiends of the team. Following senior night a couple weeks ago Coach Matt Caufield expressed his pleasure with the support which he has received from the baseball community. His remarks credited the families for developing the players at a young age and moreover, encouraging a love of the game of baseball. Baseball is in the blood with these players and their families. This is no more obvious or evident then to watch a game and see Alicia Wentworth running the walk-out music, Shelly Roiger managing the book, Zadok Roiger working the scoreboard or Ron Romano announcing the starting line-ups. The group is truly and team and it is no wonder why that team has solidified themselves as one of the finest in Canton Golden Bears Baseball history.

Another key person to the teams’ success this season was recognized prior to the game last night. Rick Ahlfeld was recognized by the New York State Athletic Administrators Association for his long tenure with the game. It was remarked by Mr. Shawn Martin, the current president of Section X Athletic Council that Mr. Ahlfeld has over 55 years of commitment to the sport of baseball in Section X to date. I would be remiss if I didn’t add…….. that number is still rising!

Shawn Martin presents Rick Ahlfeld with a plaque prior to the game on Thursday.
Mr. Ahlfeld being recognized by his former officiating colleagues.

It was clear from the start that Salmon came to play. They scored early on a Bears miscue to take an early 1-0 advantage. Canton then responded in the top of the second inning when Canton loaded the bases with walks and a hit batter. An untimely error by the Shamrocks following a Luke Wentworth hit drove in David Zuhlsdorf and Nate Romano for a 2-1 lead. This would be Canton’s only lead of the day as the Shamrocks were able to get some much needed hits and capitalize on errors by the Bears.

Although Scott Ahlfeld was able to move his team a little closer in the fifth inning edging the score to 4-3, the game would end with one more tally by the Shamrocks, ending the Bears’ hopes for more baseball.

Following the game, the Section X Awards were presented. Canton was credited with many individual award winners on the evening. They are featured below.

Tanner Hazelton- Outstanding Sportsmanship Award Recipient
Scott Ahlfeld and Daven LaFaver- First Team All Northerns
Co-Coach of the year Matt Caufield (left) along with the MVP’s and First Team All Northerns
Central Division Co-MVP David Zuhlsdorf (far right)
Coach Caufield, Bob Ahlfeld (dad), Scott Pinkerton Memorial Award Winner. , Shelly Pike (mom), Rick Ahlfeld (grandfather) and Section X Umpire’s Association President Steve Besaw.
Almost game time!
The Boys!
The Captains

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