Canton 3 – Massena 1
The Bears held their season/ home opener in Canton on Tuesday against the Massena Red Raiders. The probable starters of David Zuhlsdorf for Canton and Hunter Young for Massena predicted a pitchers duel, and that’s exactly what happened.
Zuhlsdorf, the 2022 Central Division co-MVP, started his 2023 campaign by striking out the first Raider on three pitches. The next two put the ball in to play, but both were retired via the Bears defense. In the bottom half of the inning, the Bears threatened early after Senior Nate Romano tried to go first to third on a base hit by Senior David Zuhlsdorf, but a good play from Massena’s Taylor Mitchell (and lack of a third gear from Romano) led to an out at third base. Nonetheless, Zuhlsdorf scored on Senior Luke Wentworth’s RBI single two batters later.
A miscommunication from pitcher to catcher (in this case brother to brother) led to a Red Raider run in the top of the second. The Bears got that run back in the fourth, after Freshman Zadok Roiger and Sophomore Paul Redfern laid down consecutive sacrifice bunts to move Sophomore Jackson Ames to third base. He would score on Senior Erich Zuhlsdorf’s booming shot to left to give the Bears the lead. Zuhlsdorf, who settled with a double after tripping over first base, was knocked in when Romano split the right center gap to make the game 3-1. The Raiders offense was completely shut down by David Zuhlsdorf, and the Bears won 3-1
David Zuhlsdorf finished 2-3 at the plate and struck out 12 in his seven inning complete game. Romano finished 3-3 with an RBI at the dish in the winning effort.
Canton 0 – Malone 3
The Bears went on the road Friday afternoon to play the red-hot Huskies of Franklin Academy. David Zuhlsdorf once again had the ball for the Bears, and Logan Peck was given the nod for the Huskies. After the Bears went down quickly in the top of the inning, the Huskies broke out in the bottom of the first. Errors off of a pop-up, a grounder, and a line drive led to three Husky runs. That would be all the offense in the game, as the Huskies lone two hits came in the first.
The Bears struggled offensively as well, and could never get out of the hole they dug themselves. They left runners at third in four straight innings, including an inning with a leadoff triple by Sophomore Charlie Todd. The frustration for the Bears was present after they popped out three times on three straight pitches in the seventh inning to lose.
Zuhlsdorf finished with ten strikeouts in six innings, and achieved his 150th career strikeout in the loss.