Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mohawk Valley Wrestling Club competes in Germany

Members of the Mohawk Valley Wrestling Club recently competed in several tournaments in Holzgerlingen, Germany. Wrestlers, coaches, referees and chaperones left Syracuse on April 5 for the trip that combined wrestling with the sites, culture and lifestyle of Germany.
The team is, from left (front row) Kasey Proper (VVS), Connor Russ (Canastota), Wes Blanding (Chittenango), Nick Petroff (Cazenovia), Tyler Heggelke (W. Genesee), Cody Carbery (Chittenango), (middle row) Mike Vreeland (M-E), John Regan (Chittenango), Alex Moss (ES-M), Anthony Finocchiaro (Canastota), Barney Prince (M-E), Matt Fisher (Oneida), (back row), chaperone J. Regan, coach M. Letcher, Jack Buell (S-E), Brad Lucas (Cazenovia), Vice-President Bob Rose , Anthony Rafkis (Baldwinsville); Ben Honis (J-D), Brian Ervin (VVS) and coach P. LeBlanc. The MVWC is in its 30th season of existence.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rare switch-pitcher to feature in Syracuse this summer

Pat Venditte throwing righty
I first read about reliever Pat Venditte when ESPN columnist Rick Reilly brought him to national attention in this article.
Venditte is a switch-pitcher for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees who throws right-handed or left-handed depending on what side of the plate the batter prefers. Because he uses both arms, he can last longer in a game than a traditional reliever.
According to his team bio, Venditte is the only ambidextrous pitcher in professional baseball. He is a natural righty but has been throwing with both arms since he was three years old.
The 26-year-old reliever has worked his way up through the minor leagues since he was drafted out of Creighton in 2008 and even inspired a new rule.
The need for the rule arose from a situation that turned comical when Venditte was pitching for the Class A Stanton Island Yankees against the Brooklyn Cyclones. With a runner on first and two outs in the ninth, Venditte needed to retire switch-hitter Ralph Henriquez to earn a 7-2 win for the Yankees. The two went back and forth between throwing and batting righty and lefty until the home plate umpire was forced to intervene. Eventually, Venditte struck out a frustrated Henriquez to end the game.
Under the new rule, a pitcher must visually indicate to the umpire, batter and runners which hand he will use to pitch to the batter.
For CNY baseball fans, there should be plenty of opportunities to check out the first switch-pitcher in pro baseball in about 100 years. Not only do the Chiefs have plenty of home games left against the Yankees, but Scranton/W-B is playing 10 "home" games at Alliance Bank Stadium while its own park is under construction.
Using a six-fingered glove that fits both hands, Venditte entered the game in the fourth inning of the Chiefs-Yankees game Monday in Syracuse. In three innings he allowed no runs on one hit, one walk and four strikeouts.