We’ve all heard of Toronto Blue Jays' slugger Jose Bautista, who has earned the nickname "Joe Bats."
But just down Sheldon Ave in the Village of Lancaster, another “Joey Bats” has made a living of making pitcher pay for their mistakes.
“It came along after a weekend one time,” Senior Joe Barberio said. “The nickname just kind of stuck”
After admitting he started the season a little slow, Joe has certainly found his groove.
Over the last week, playing five games in seven days, the senior hit a blistering 6-4-3 and while driving in 13 runs for the Lancers.
“It does boost my confidence a lot,” Barberio said. “Especially at the plate because I struggled so early.”
He didn’t just get it done at the dish – he twirled the pearl pretty well, too.
“This year was the first we said, ‘You know, he’s got an arm. Let’s put him on the hill,’” Head Coach Mike Wagner said. Wagner said. "
So, back from the behind the plate and to the mound he’s been going. The move has paid off as the senior picked up two saves to help polish off a 5-1 week for the Lancers.
“You’re blessed when you have a good player in any sports, especially when he’s a catcher and a pitcher,” Wagner added.
One solid week doesn’t make a season, but it certainly has provided a boost of momentum as Joe and his teammates chase a bigger prize: The Georgetown Cup.
“We made it there our sophomore year, so we came close,” he said. “This year we have a special team. I think we have a good shot to make it.
“It’d mean everything, including all us seniors because it’d be our first Georgetown Cup.”
****SUPER 7 COUNTDOWN****
#1 – Joe Barberio, St. Mary’s of Lancaster
Went 9-14 at the plate and drove in 13 runs over the last week to help the Lancers improve to 5-1 on the season. He’s also taken on a new role on the mound, earning two saves as well over that stretch.
#2 – Brooke Plonka, Iroquois Softball
Struck out 17 batters in the Chiefs’ 2-1 win over Sweet Home.
“Brooke was amazing, she was in control, she was confident and went right after the batters. Brooke along with her catcher, also a junior Jenny Stawicki were working in sync right from the start. She is a lefty who throws hard and has some other really nice pitches. She mixed it up on the Sweet Home batters and earned every one of those strike outs. She is a very determined athlete who pushes herself to be better on every pitch. This pitching duel was one of those games you really enjoy to watch as a coach.” - Mike O'Connor, Head Coach
#3 – Logan Nelson, Akron Lacrosse
Scored 5 goals and tallied another 9 assists in the Tigers’ 19-5 win over Silver Creek.
“Logan can score, but the real beauty is to watch him see the play develop, and find his teammates whenever the opportunity presents itself. Only the most talented players have that ability to create a play." – Gary Sundown, Head Coach
#4 – Erin Colucci, Lancaster Softball
Went 5-for-6 at the plate and drove in 5 runs to help power the Legends to a 20-17 win over Shenandowa.
“Erin had an outstanding game for us at the Northstar Elite Tournament vs state powerhouse Shenedehowa. Her five hits included a double and four RBIs. Her hard work in practice and tireless effort has led her to have a great season so far for us, and her defensive ability at first base has been key in many of our victories.” – Kelly Ambrose, Head Coach
#5 – Kendra Jones
Kendra had 10 draw controls, cause four turnovers and collected eight ground balls in addition to her six goals and one assist over the last three games.
“A point guard in basketball, Kendra uses her great vision and game sense to be a constant threat as a shooter, a feeder and in transition and an outstanding defensive player. Kendra will attend University of Rochester next fall to continue her studies and play lacrosse.” – Beth Stone, Head Coach
#6 – Amaya Turnage, Sweet Home Track and Field
Cleared 5’2” at the West Seneca West Early Bird Classic
“She spent a couple years watching Tiana (Luton) develop and has really advanced this year both athletically and with her determination. She has the ability to be one of the best jumpers and multi event athletes in the state.” – Brian Lombardo, Head Coach
#7 – Austin Mascio, West Seneca West Lacrosse
Scored two goals and added four assists in the Indians’ 17-5 win over Lockport.
“Austin registered 2 goals and 4 assists in the 17-5 win over Lockport last Saturday. He followed up that performance with 4 goals and 1 assist in a 9-8 double OT victory over Williamsville North to help West win their 3rd straight game. Austin is also a team captain.” – Bob Tulowiecki, Head Coach