Fulton’s Intermediate Division baseball team won the Section 2 championship last Wednesday with a 7-5 win over Canastota.
Fulton played Canastota in a three-game series starting Tuesday, July 2 for the sectional title. Game one was played in Canastota. Fulton was in control throughout the game, earning the 5-1 win.
Fulton showcased strong pitching and defense. Fulton was lead by Nolan Bonnie’s 6-2/3 innings on the hill. He gave up just one hit and one unearned run. Will Caster came in to record the save for Bonnie, striking out the only batter he faced.
The defense did not have an error. The defense was led by Austin Fleming at shortstop and Cole Cotton at first base, who both successfully fielding several hard it balls.
Game 2 was tighter as Fulton earned a hard fought win with great execution and fundamentals. Fulton fought for two runs in the bottom of the first with a base hit by Malcolm Wettering and a bunt base hit by Cotton. Two ground outs and a pass ball led to the runs and an early 2-0 lead.
Fulton was able to score each of the first three innings with timely hitting and aggressive base running to extend the lead to 5-0 by the fourth. Canastota put a couple of hits together to narrow the gap 5-2 in the fourth but Fulton added one in the fifth. After Bonnie stole third base, Nick Dingman scored Bonnie after battling pitches to put the ball in play to the shortstop.
Canastota came alive in the sixth inning, plating three more to get back in the game before Cole Cotton hit a solo home run to bring the lead to 7-5. Fulton held off Canastota in the last inning with great defense led by Wettering throwing out a runner at second base and Will Caster’s diving catch to end the game.
The winning pitcher was Will Caster and the save went to Bryce Guernsey. Fulton left Monday for Montgomery, N.Y. to start play in the New York State Championships. The tournament runs for eight days beginning yesterday when Fulton will take on Section 1 Champion Southline Little League (Buffalo).
“We are excited about the opportunity to represent Fulton in Montgomery. We are playing at a very high level and are going there with expectations,” said Manager Randy Cotton. The team heads to Montgomery with a 15-1 record, winning their last 13 by outscoring their opponents 180-20.
Fulton Little League’s Intermediate Team won the District 8 Championship last week and followed that up with a Section 2 Championship July 3, said coach David Dingman.
“Following that game, there was little time for celebration as we were informed that we need to be in Montgomery, N.Y. Monday, July 8 for the New York State Championship Tournament. To make that trip, we need to raise $5000 to cover our expenses.
“The tournament runs from Tuesday, July 9 through Monday, July 15,” he added. “The team was obviously not prepared for a weeklong stay just outside of New York City. We are doing everything we can as fast as we can to raise the money to get the team and coaches there on Monday.
The team is holding the following events/activities:
• Bottle and Can Collection — Return all your bottles and cans to the Three Little Pigs and say they are for this team.
• Candy bar sales at the Fulton Wal-Mart
• Car Wash – Come give a donation and get your vehicle washed at Lakeview Lanes Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m.
• Business Donation – Businesses or individuals who would like to make a donation can contact coach Dingman at 598-7485 or coach Randy Cotton at 593-2284.
“If the team is successful, they will have four days before having to go to Long Island for the Super Regional for eight days,” said Dingman. “If successful there they would have to go to California for the World Series. Why not us?
“We would like to thank you for any consideration you give to this urgent cause,” he continued. “The kids have worked hard and are playing well. Currently they are sitting at 15-1, winning their last 13 games and outscoring their opponents 180 to 20.”
Team members are Nolan Bonnie, Will Caster, Cole Cotton, Nick Dingman, Austin Flemming, Jacob Geitner, Bryce Guernsey, Josh VanHorn, Malcolm Wettering, and Kameron Whipple.
Fulton Little League will be holding registration at the Fulton War Memorial Saturday, Feb. 23 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Registration fees vary based on the league and level. Registration fees covers players uniforms, baseball caps, pants and socks. The fees also allow players to have access to the growing Kiwanis facility, which include the batting cage and redone baseball and softball fields.
According to Fulton Little League Vice President Dave Webber, the league’s playing facilities are considered amongst the best in Central New York.
Upon signing up, the league offers a player and his or her family the opportunity to sell raffle tickets. Ticket stub information will be gathered so that Fulton Little League can raffle off $100 prizes on opening day.
Webber pointed out that this allows the opportunity for players and their families to gain back some, if not all, of the money they paid to sign up. “A player could pay $80 to play in the Minor League Baseball League and have an opportunity to make the $80 they paid back,” Webber said.
For players taking part in T-Ball or Minor League Baseball or Softball, opening day is April 27 at Kiwanis Kidhaven in Fulton. Games will be scheduled to begin at noon.
However, Opening Day festivities will begin around 11:30 a.m. with acknowledgements for the new season, a speech from Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward, and a ceremonial first pitch.
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The Fulton Little League program will hold registrations Saturday, Jan. 26 from 8 a.m. to noon; Feb. 2 from noon to 4 p.m.; and Feb. 23 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Registration will be held at the Fulton War Memorial. Little League includes both baseball and softball.
Registration is open to boys and girls ages 4 through 16 who reside within the Fulton or Hannibal school district.
To be eligible for the upcoming season, a child must be at least four years old and cannot be 17 years old before May 1.
Those seeking more information may call John Florek at 591-4993.