LIVONIA — From 2009 until 2012, the Livonia baseball team finished 56-54, making some early exits in the sectional playoffs.
That’s when things changed.
With a talented group of players waiting in the wings, Livonia would finish 17-6 in 2013 before a sectional semifinal loss.
From 2014 through 2017, Livonia baseball stood alone as the Bulldogs reeled off four straight LCAA D-I titles, four straight sectional crowns, three trips to the NYS Final Four, two trips to the state finals and one very memorable state championship (2017) finishing that four-year run a more than impressive 95 victories against just eight losses (.922 %) and catapulting the Bulldogs into Section V’s elite baseball program.
After winning the LCAA’s first NYS title, Livonia went 12-9 in 2018 and finished 18-3 a year ago before losing in the semis to Batavia.
In all, from 2010 to 2019, Livonia baseball finished 173-46, arguably the area’s top program during the past 10 years.
In fact, two of Livonia’s top local rivals — both Geneseo and Avon — who combined to win eight sectional titles during the decade, were a combined 0-16 against the Bulldogs from 2013 until current. Overall this decade, Livonia is 17-3 against the duo going 8-2 against Geneseo and 9-1 versus Avon.
In 2012, Geneseo defeated Livonia 5-2 and also beat the Bulldogs 3-2 in 2011.
Avon’s only win came back in 2010 when they beat Livonia 10-7.
In 2018, the same year Avon went on to win the NYS title in Class C, their only loss that year came against a 12-9 Livonia team, by a 3-1 count as Bulldogs pitcher Noah Fasso outdueled Avon’s Max Countryman.
Livonia’s dominance against Geneseo and Avon didn’t just come by wins and losses as they outscored the Blue Devils 61-29 during that time and outscored the Braves 116-46.
Geneseo, coached by Chuck Nesbitt (73-19) during the first part of the decade and Nick Drollette (109-28) the second half, going a combined 182-47, had some memorable moments as well winning eight LCAA titles and four Section V titles (2012, 2013, 2015, 2018).
The Blue Devils came one single run from winning two more titles as they lost 1-0 in the 2014 sectional finals to Bolivar-Richburg and fell 4-3 to No. 8 seed Le Roy in the 2017 finals.
From 2011-2017, Geneseo baseball went 135-28 or a .828 winning percentage.
Avon, who started off the decade very slow — going just 17-36 in 2011-2013, caught fire in the middle part of the decade going 90-23 from 2014-2018, winning all four of their sectional titles in that span under head coach Rob Fries.
Incredibly, three LCAA teams — Livonia, Geneseo and Avon — all played in a total of six state title games (winning two) while capturing 12 Section V championships during the past decade.
Individual accolades also came out of the state’s Final Four during each team’s appearances that got them to their respective finals.
In Livonia’s two state finals (2015 and 2017), the Bulldogs were led offensively during those trips to the Final Four by Brody Metcalf’s eight hits and five RBIs, with Reid VanScoter adding six hits, Alex Minnehan four hits and four RBIs, and John Smith with three hits and four runs scored. Billy McDevitt and Kyle Feldman also added three hits total.
Minnehan’s clutch two-run single followed by Metcalf’s walk-off hit to score Smith gave the Bulldogs the 9-8 win over Private school power Albany Academy in the 2017 state title game. Ron Loomis picked up the win on the mound.
VanScoter was nearly untouchable in his two state semifinal wins as he pitched 14 innings allowing just two runs on five hits with 14 strikeouts.
Geneseo,who made the NYS title game in both 2013 and 2015, was led offensively by Trevor Mothersell’s four hits, all during the 2013 Final Four, while Ben Kelly tossed nine total innings with nine K’s and just one run allowed.
Ryan LaGrou had three hits during his four games while Brian Linton and Blake Phelps each has two hits with four RBIs.
Avon also made two state title games winning it in 2018.
During their two separate Final Four appearances, Countryman led the way with six hits, four runs and three RBIs followed by Aaron Ghent’s five hits and two RBIs.
Brandon Gingher, Avon’s workhorse during the 2015 season and NYS trip, pitched a total of 9 1/2 innings striking out 10 batters during his two appearances.
Countryman picked up the seven hit shutout in Avon’s 1-0 semifinal win in 2018, striking out eight while Ian Read and Peyton Parmeter combined to pitch Avon’s 6-5 title game win in the finals.
If you add up Livonia, Geneseo and Avon for the decade, the trio finished with 481 victories and a .737 winning percentage combined.
Overall, GLOW region programs captured 29 sectional titles during the 2010-2019 decade with Livonia, Avon and Geneseo each winning four Section V titles and Albion claiming four crowns in Section VI.
Lyndonville earned three Section V titles with Way-Co and Le Roy capturing two blocks apiece.
Cal-Mum (2010), Bath-Haverling (2010), Hornell (2011), Notre Dame (2014), Holley (2015) and Batavia (2019) each captured one.
1. LIVONIA BULLDOGS
Coached by Scott Gilman, Bulldogs finished decade with a record of 173-46 (.790 winning %), including four consecutive sectional titles from 2014-2017 where they went a red-hot 95-8 with three trips to the NYS semifinals, two state title games and one NYS championship (2017). Early decade accolades for getting the program back on track go to Zack Kolodziejski, Jack Horan, Matt Feldman, Michael English, and Josh Henderson, who gave the blue and orange a shot in the arm that sparked them to an unprecedented run of four straight sectional crowns including their first-ever trip to the state semifinals in 2014. After last year’s 18-3 season, but disappointing semifinal loss to Batavia, the Bulldogs returned almost their entire line-up this spring and were a strong bet to win yet another title heading into this year’s season.
2. GENESEO BLUE DEVILS
Coached by both Chuck Nesbitt and Nick Drollette, this has been a tremendous decade for Geneseo baseball including their seven LCAA D-III titles, one LCAA D-II crown, four Section V titles, two NYS Final Four appearances and two state finals appearances.
The Blue Devils finished a blistering 182-47 (.794 winning %) during their decade with Nesbitt going 73-19 during his tenure and current skipper Drollette at 109-28 and counting. Finished 10-2 against Avon in head-to-head match ups. The Blue Devils got things rolling early in the decade with strong play from Erik Graham, Alex Yarton, Xavier Copeland, Ben Kelly, Connor Ragan, Jon Ridler, Taylor Semmel. Tony Belfiore, Conor Herlihy and Rick Hilimire. It all started over at Highland Park for this special program, who also captured numerous District -3 Little League crowns during their time.
3. AVON BRAVES
Under normal circumstances Avon’s 2018 NYS title in Class C would trump Geneseo and put the Braves into the No. 2 spot but Avon went just 2-10 against Geneseo since 2010 and there’s no better tiebreaker than head-to-head. In fact, two of Avon’s three wins against Geneseo came in 2018 when they beat the Blue Devils 11-8 down in Myrtle Beach, SC and then won 4-3 in the ‘C’ state qualifier that same season before winning the state title two weeks later. Avon finished 0-10 against Geneseo the rest of the decade. Overall for the decade the Braves are 126-79 with four sectional titles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018), three Final Four appearances, two state final games and one NYS crown (2018). If you take away Avon’s only two losing seasons of the decade — in 2012 (3-15) and 2013 (5-14) — coach Fries and the Braves were an impressive 111-50 during the other eight years, averaging a record of 15 wins and six losses. This program got rolling in 2014 and 2015 with team leaders Connor O’Donoghue, Brandon Ginger, Johnny Ambroselli, Johnny Ceneviva, Garrett Mack and Owen Read.
4. ALBION PURPLE EAGLES
With quality record of 149-51 over the last 10 years (the record may be a little off but the winning percentage is still around 75, the Purple Eagles have been one of the top Class A teams in Section VI for years.
With no losing seasons across this span, Albion won a Class A title in 2010 before falling to state champion Pittsford Sutherland in the Far West Regional final; in both 2011 and 2012 the Purple Eagles won Class A2 title before falling the crossover game both times to a powerful Fredonia team.
In 2014, Albion again won the Class A block but once again fell to perennial power Sutherland in the Far West Regional final.
Playing a tough league, Albion has gone 26-11 over the last two years.
5. (TIE) LYNDONVILLE TIGERS
Quietly, head coach Shane Price’s group has put together the best run in the Genesee Region League over the last 10 seasons.
Lyndonville has gone an impressive 170-44 over the span, a winning percent of nearly 80. During that run, the Tigers have captured a trio of sectional titles in two different classes.
In 2011 Lyndonville captured the Class DD title behind the likes of Brooks Boyle, Josh Brabon, Joe Burges, Andrew Hydock and Ryan Lilly. The Tigers came back in 2013 and again won in Class DD with Justin Edwards and Eddie Silversmith.
With Mike Wells, Eric Neace, Zach Johnson and a host of others, Lyndonville went 17-3 in 2017 to win the Class D1 title with a win over Fillmore before being edged by Lima Christian in the crossover game.
The Tigers have had no losing seasons over this impressive span.
5. (TIE) BATAVIA BLUE DEVILS
Despite only winning one sectional title in the last 10 years, Batavia has been one of the most consistent teams around coming out of the Monroe County League.
Though Rick Saunders’ team didn’t win a sectional crown until last spring when the Blue Devils captured the Class B1 title before falling to Le Roy in the Class B crossover game, they have gone a strong 138-69 over that span.
Batavia has been in seven sectional title games during this run, won three Monroe County divisional titles, finished second in the division another five times and won eight Rotary Tournament titles.
With players such as Adam Pratt, Ryan DiMartino, BJ Greathouse, Zach Hale, Brett Scheuerlein, Richie Francis, Luke McComb, Zeke Lynn, Tyler Hale, Quinten Weis, Alex Canty, Dwayne Fonda, Jerry Reihart, Casey Radka, AJ Marcello, Chandler Baker, Hunter Mazur, Sam Sallome and Griffen Della Penna, Batavia has been a force in each of the last 10 years.
With that they had coming back this season, the Devils were likely to make another run at a crown.
Under head coach Steve Wager, this program dominated much of the early decade including winning back-to-back Section V titles in 2012 and 2013 finishing 40-11 in that span. The two titles came fresh off Way-Co’s outstanding seasons in 2010 and 2011 where they combined to go 37-8 with a semifinal loss in 2010 and a finals loss in 2011. Way-Co’s first four years of the decade they went an amazing 77-19. Finished decade at 124-93-1, competing in the always competitive LCAA D-I. Program has always been known for their fundamental baseball under Wager and previous skipper Terry Brown along with legendary pitching coach Skip Small, who guided the outstanding Way-Co staff for 30 years.
Standouts early in the decade included Jordan Wheaton, Quint Baird, Zach Nobles, Dane St George, Tyler Brown, Tyler Thielges, Tim Weidman, Colin Burke, Evan Englert, CJ Ellis, Ben Haszlauer, and Mike Murphy. With seven starters back this spring, Golden Eagles were expecting to challenge for sectional title.
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH
With just two losing seasons over the last 10 years — 2015 and last season — Notre Dame was constantly in the mix for a league and sectional crown.
The only sectional title for the Fighting Irish came in Class D in 2014 when they advanced to the New York State semifinal but they have been in four sectional title games during that span and have won five Genesee Region League titles.
Since the 2010 season Notre Dame has gone a solid 131-75.
LE ROY KNIGHTS
Had it not been for a slow start to the decade, the Knights would have been a serious contender for a top five spot as they finished very strong under head skipper Ieon Koukides, winning Section V titles in both 2017 and 2019 while also pulling off the huge ‘B’ state qualifier victory over Batavia to advance to the Knights first-ever NYS quarterfinals. Since 2016, Le Roy baseball went 55-31 with two titles. Their 2017 sectional title came out of the No. 8 seed when they defeated No. 1 Williamson 7-2 quarters, No. 4 Letchworth 5-3 in semis, and No. 2 Geneseo 4-3 in finals. Later decade standouts include Josh Laurie, Reese Tresco, Jason Doemling, Cody Fitzpatrick, Ryan Friend, Tim McMullen, Giavanni Caccamise and Kenny and Tommy Saunders.