Wahconah Baseball Deals With Two Season-Ending Injuries
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- What started as a dream season for the Wahconah baseball team took a very real turn for the worse this week.
At one point this spring, Wahconah was 11-2. It had an eight-game winning streak, a place in the postseason secured, a no-hitter under its belt and seven games left on the regular season schedule.
It has gone 2-4 since then, and coach Jared Shannon's team has some work to do to get ready for the regular-season ending Berkshire County Classic next week.
The losses are bad enough. The real problem came on Monday, when a violent collision in short left field ended the season for pitcher/outfielder Kyle Kirchner and shortstop/pitcher Will Genaway.
Genaway attended Wednesday's trip to Cooperstown to play at Doubleday Field but did not play. Kirchner was there only in spirit, represented by his No, 8 jersey that hung in the Wahconah dugout.
"They're both OK, but they're both out," Shannon confirmed after the loss to Pittsfield. "Will is out for the season, and Kirch is out, too.
"It's two big losses. Kirch has the most wins of any pitcher in the county in any division, and Will's our starting shortstop and best defensive infielder. It hurts."
It may not hurt next week, when a fully rested Ethan Forfa will be ready to go in the Classic, but it could hurt down the line.
"It changes things when you get to the tournament because obviously Kirch and Forfa are our two best pitchers. And you need two horses to win in the tournament."
Fortunately for Wahconah, it may have found the answer on Wednesday. Even in a losing cause, there was a lot Shannon liked about the performance of Austin Cancilla.
Cancilla gave up four hits and three runs in 3-2/3 before being lifted for Forfa in an eventual 11-1 loss to the Generals.
"We need Austin to step up," Shannon said. "Austin proved to me today that he's good enough to win in the tournament because that [Pittsfield] lineup is the best lineup we're going to see all year. No one in Division 3 has a lineup like that.
"There are some good ones. Greylock is good. Soutwick is good. But [Pittsfield is] better than that."