By: Tim Birney | AthensWildcats.com | April 3, 2021 | Photo courtesy David Alliger


ATHENS — After having three games postponed over the last eight days, Sayre finally got on the field for its 2021 season-opener, and wasted little time in finding its stride, scoring eight first-inning runs on the way to a 16-1 four-inning win over Athens in NTL baseball action.

“We played pretty good for our first game, but it's only one game and got some cleaning up to do,” said Sayre coach Jamie VanDuzer. “I’m very thankful we were able to finally play a game.”

Senior Jake Burgess reached base on an error to lead off the game, and scored on a one-out RBI double by sophomore Lucas Horton in his first varsity at-bat.

Lucas Horton scored an RBI single by junior David Northrup to make it 2-0. After a single by senior Zach Moore, back-to-back walks to sophomore Zach Garrity and junior Kannon VanDuzer to force home a run.

Junior Mason Houseknecht delivered a two-run single to make it 5-0, and junior Brady Horton capped the rally with a two-RBI double. In between, the Redskins plated a run on an error.

“We had some very good at bats,” said VanDuzer. “We didn't chase many pitches.

“We also got some help,” added VanDuzer. “They gave a couple extra outs early in the game.”

Sayre upped its lead to 9-0 with an unearned run in the top of the second inning.

Athens answered with its only run in the bottom of the second. Sophomore Mason Lister worked a lead-off walk, and scored on singles by sophomore Lucas Kraft, and senior Kyler Setzer.

The Redskins added five runs in the third inning, the first two coming on an error, and the last three on a three-run home run by VanDuzer to make it 14-1.

Sayre tacked on two more in the top of the fourth — the first on an error, and the second on a balk.

Northrup earned the win for the Redskins. He allowed one run on two hits, while striking out six and walking two. Moore pitched a perfect inning of relief.

“David Northrup pitched well and was ahead in counts from the get-go,” said VanDuzer.

Lucas Horton doubled twice, scored three runs, and drove in one run, while Moore singled twice and scored two runs, and VanDuzer homered, scored two runs, and had four RBI to lead Sayre’s nine-hit attack.

Burgess singled and scored three runs in the win, while Northrup singled, scored two runs, and drove in one run Brayden Horton doubled, scored one run, and drove in two runs, Houseknecht singled, scored one run, and had two RBI, and Garrity scored two runs.

Setzer singled and drove in one run, and Kraft singled to account for Athens’ two hits.

Sayre returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Canton in a key early-season NTL Small School Division showdown, while Athens, now 1-2, travels to Cowanesque Valley Monday.


About the Author

Tim Birney Author Bio
Tim Birney

Tim Birney is the founder / owner of River Road Media Group. He was born and raised in the Valley, graduating from Waverly High School in 1984.

Birney earned an Associate's Degree in Journalism from SUNY Morrisville in 1986 and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism / Public Relations from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1988. He began his newspaper career at The Daily Review in Towanda in 1989, before moving on to The Evening Times in 1995. He spent more than 10 years at the Times, the last four as Managing Editor.

River Road Media Group includes five sites in "The Sports Reports" family that cover 24 school districts in five counties: Valley Sports Report (launched Aug. 10, 2009), Tioga County (NY) Sports Report (Aug. 13, 2018), and Northern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 31, 2020); Northern Tier West Sports Report (March 15, 2021) Southern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 16, 2021).