2023 Buffalo Nine Back on Top in 45+ Division of Buffalo MSBL

Bufalo MSBL, 45+ Division

Buffalo Nine 13, Kuhn Contracting 2

Submitted by James Lacki, Co-manager

After losing in the semi-final of the 2022 Buffalo MSBL 45+ playoffs, the Buffalo Nine returned to a familiar spot; winning the 2023 league championship against Kuhn Contracting by a score of 13-2.  This was the team’s fourth championship in five years.  The Buffalo Nine have won four championships in the division’s seven-year history.

Pitching, Pitching, Pitching!  Pitching and good defense win ball games.  Mike LaRosa earned victories in both the semi-final and championship games after scattering 10 hits over 10 innings, allowing two runs with five strikeouts and two walks.  Jim Poulos contributed to the pitching prowess tossing two shutout innings, with two strikeouts and no walks.

In addition to great pitching and defense, the Buffalo Nine brought their lumber to the playoffs.  The Buffalo Nine collected 13 hits in their 6-0 semi-final win against the PhilliesJoe Ferrando (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI) and Jeremy Ross (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI) led the offensive attack.  Dan Potwora and LaRosa collected two hits apiece.

The Buffalo Nine did not hold back in the championship game, pounding out 16 hits in the five-inning game.  Multiple players came up big in the final game.  Mike Webster (3-4, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI, SB), John Catanzaro (1-2, 3 RBI) and Mark Notaro (2-4, 3 RBI) spearheaded the attack.  LaRosa (2-3, 2R, 3 RBI, SB), Ross (2-2, 3R, 2 SB) and Ferrando (2-3, 1R, RBI) continued their offensive presence.  Fred Falkowski and Potwora finished the game with two hits each.

“Our pitching in the playoffs was fantastic,” said co-manager/player, Dan Wierczbicki.  “I could not say enough about it.  Our hitters were focused and had quality at-bats.  Allowing two runs and scoring 19 is proof of that.  This team has been together for a long time.  Not only are we teammates, we are great friends.  That goes a long way to our team’s success.”

Other than the players previously mentioned, the following players contributed to a team that finished the season with a 9-3 record; Dave Dukoff, Dennis Gawronski, Glenn Hauptman (coach), Tom Hoffman, Jim Lacki (co-manager/player), Ed LaPenta, Craig Leone, Ralph Proulx, and Steve Wellenc.