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High school baseball: Indian River earns first sectional victory since 2006

May 25—CARTHAGE — After a rough start, Talfourd Wynne and his Indian River baseball teammates didn't back down and finished strong Thursday.

Wynne pitched a complete game and received timely run support as the Warriors rallied to defeat Carthage, 6-2, to win a Section 3 Class A quarterfinal at Carthage High School.

Sixth-seeded Indian River recorded its first sectional win in 17 years.

"It's huge win, to get this one out of the way feels really good," Wynne said, "We're going to keep playing our style of baseball and keep rolling with the punches, and see where it takes us."

The upstart Warriors, who were also playing in their first sectional game since 2017, will now advance to face No. 2 Jamesville-DeWitt in a semifinal at 4 p.m. Saturday at Onondaga Community College.

"It was a great day," Indian River first baseman Sawyer Honeywell said. "It's the best feeling, to beat Carthage in sectionals, we haven't been in sectionals for like forever, so it feels good to beat them. A great team win today, really."

The third-seeded Comets, who won the Frontier League's "A" Division title this year for the second straight season, finished 11-7.

After Wynne allowed two runs in the first inning, the senior settled down, pitching shutout ball the rest of the way.

"He's got a lot of grit, a lot of toughness," Indian River coach Austin Kenyon said of Wynne. "To give up a couple runs early after we leave the bases loaded, that can be tough. And then he just bounced right back and didn't allow many guys on base after that."

"After getting out of the first inning, I was fine. That was the jittery inning, that one was the hardest," Wynne said.

Wynne totaled 90 pitches, scattering six hits, while striking out three and walking one.

"My slider was working a lot, my fastball was there, I was just missing some velocity, so I went back to the slider," Wynne said. "And they made a lot of plays behind me, which really helped the pitch count."

After scoring their first run in the third inning as Wynne singled, stole second base and scored on a single from Chase Bearup, the Warriors then struck for four runs in the fourth to seize the lead.

"That was huge," Wynne said of the run support. "The support was great and I really trust these guys out here, it's a great group. I think Dom (Cappuccetti) had like a 12-pitch at bat that inning (that) was nice, he ate them up real good there."

Cappuccetti reached on a leadoff infield single and scored on Nathan Rush's triple to the right-center field gap to tie the game. Rush then scored as Logan Fults reached on an infield single and after Wynne walked, Honeywell followed with a two-out, two-run double to center.

"It's everybody's approach, really," Honeywell said. "Just everybody finding their pitch, seeing their pitch, hitting it and just putting the ball in play. If you put the ball in play, you can make things happen."

Indian River added a run as Rush doubled to lead off the sixth inning and came home on Wynne's single to left field.

"It's nice when you can string some runs together, especially off of Mono, he's an excellent pitcher," Kenyon said. "He's been absolutely dealing, he's a great pitcher and to be able to string some runs together. We got a couple of balls that bounced in between some outfielders and ran to the fence."

Wynne was also supported by solid defense by his teammates as the Warriors recorded a timely infield double play in the second inning and foiled Carthage in the third. Avry LaGasse singled, but was gunned down at home plate after Mason Moser doubled, with left fielder Austin Manning throwing to third baseman Owen Frans, who relayed the ball to catcher Nathan Rush to nab LaGasse.

"They made plays, Indian River played well, I thought they played really well," Carthage coach Joe Sech said. "I thought Wynne pitched well and they got outs behind him, some big outs. So you have to give them credit."

Carthage led 2-0 in the first inning as Moser singled and scored on Ethan Moser's double to left field. Thomas Storms then drew a walk and scored on an RBI groundout by Shay Sinitere.

After that, the Comets managed to reach base only six more times, with Wynne working out of a one-out jam in the bottom of the seventh with two runners on base.

Mono, a senior, was dealt the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits, while striking out five and walking two.

"These kids, these seniors have given me so much and a lot of wins over the last three years, they were successful," Sech said. "And that's baseball and we didn't have it today in some certain spots, so things didn't go their way. ... and it's hard. But we did not look past them one bit."

Indian River recorded its first sectional win since 2006, when it won a Class A semifinal against Mexico to advance to the title game.

"It's real exciting," Kenyon said. "There's only four teams left in Class A and anything can happen. So this is a great opportunity for us."

The Warriors won only three games last year before breaking through this season.

"With our program, the pieces have been coming together," Kenyon said. "There were a couple of years a few years ago where we didn't win a single game. And then last year we made some improvement and then this year, we've been battling throughout the year and just kept getting better."