By: Tim Birney | | March 25, 2022 | Photo courtesy David Alliger


ATHENS — Senior Karter Rude helped Athens manufacture both of its runs, and juniors Lucas Kraft and Cameron Sullivan combined on a strong pitching performance to lead the Wildcats to a season-opening, 2-1, win over Cowanesque Valley here Friday afternoon.

“We had a plan to use our speed and really run the bases,” said Athens coach Charlie Havens. “It did move the runners really well.

“We could’ve used a few more hits, but that aggression (on the base paths) did lead to the winning run.” he noted.

Havens was pleased with his pitchers’ performance, and his team’s defense in a game that was visited by rain showers throughout.

"Lucas Kraft had a strong start, and really got tough with runners on base,” he said.

“Cam Sullivan was solid in relief,” noted Havens. “He came in with runners on first and third, and got out of the jam.”

“On a wet field, to only have three errors and give up one run, isn’t a bad start to the season,” added Havens.

After Kraft retired CV in order in the top of the first inning, Rude was hit by a pitch to lead off the home half of the frame.

Rude took second on a passed ball, and move to third on a groundout off the bat of junior Caleb Nichols. With two outs, Rude scampered home on an infield RBI single by Mason Lister to make it 1-0.

The Indians tied the game in the top of the third.

Coen Kemp and Carter Ackley led off the inning with back-to-back singles. With one out, Ackley, who was on second base following a fielder’s choice, stole third and score when the throw sailed into left field.

Kraft avoided any further damage with a strikeout, and a groundout to end the threat.

Nichols drew a one-out walk in the home half of the inning, and stole second, but was thrown out attempting to score on a single by Lister.

In the bottom of the fifth, Rude laced a line-drive, one-out single to left field. After stealing second and third bases, he scooted home on an RBI grounder off the bat of Nichols to make it 2-1.

In the top of the sixth, Kraft hit Kade Sottolano with a pitch to start the inning, then gave up a one-out single to Tucker St. Peter that advanced Sottolano to third base.

Sullivan relieved, and Nichols promptly threw out St. Peter attempting to steal second. Sullivan then struck out the next batter to end the inning.

“We put a cut play on with the steal to hold the runner on third, and it worked to perfection with a great throw to second by Nichols,” said Havens.

Senior Jaren Glisson ripped a two-out single to left field int he home half of the inning, then stole second, but was stranded there.

Sullivan struck out the first two batters in the top of the seventh inning, but with two outs CV’s Jordan Vargeson worked a two-out walk. Nick West followed with a bloop single to short right field, but pinch-runner Isaiah Bogsch was tagged out after a run-down between second and third to end the game.

Glisson singled twice and stole two bases, and Lister singled twice and drove in a run to pace Athens’ six-hit attack, while Rude, scored two runs, and stole two bases, and junior Gage Warner added a single.

Kraft earned the win for the Wildcats, allowing one run on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He fanned six and walked none.

Sullivan recorded the save, allowing one hit in 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He struck out three and walked one.

Ackley singled twice, stole two bases, and scored one run to pace CV’s seven-hit attack, while Sottolano singled and swiped two bags, and St. Peter, McGwire Painter, Kemp and West each added a single.

Painter was tagged with the tough-luck loss, allowing two runs — one earned — on five hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked one.

St. Peter pitched a scoreless inning of relief, allowing one hit and recording one strikeout.

Athens returns to action Thursday when it hosts Canton, while CV hosts Towanda Tuesday.


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).