Someone forgot to tell Palmyra-Macedon that batting practice was over.



Because once Jon Krest, Mike McGinn and those Red Raider bats finishing teeing off on Marcus Whitman in their regular season finale, the Wildcats were done, too.



The Red Raiders (11-9) battered Marcus Whitman (1-14) and the bullpen with nine runs in the first two innings and a 17-2 romp Wednesday night in the small Ontario County hamlet.

Someone forgot to tell Palmyra-Macedon that batting practice was over.

Because once Jon Krest, Mike McGinn and those Red Raider bats finishing teeing off on Marcus Whitman in their regular season finale, the Wildcats were done, too.

The Red Raiders (11-9) battered Marcus Whitman (1-14) and the bullpen with nine runs in the first two innings and a 17-2 romp Wednesday night in the small Ontario County hamlet.

“I’m really happy about how things went tonight and how we were able to finish on a high note for our last regular season game,” said Pal-Mac’s first-year head coach Jeremy Hulbert. “How Jon started us out was a tone-setter and Mike getting that big hit in the fourth set us up real nice.”

With bases loaded in the top of the first, all it took was three swings and Krest smashed the first grand slam of his golden, three-year varsity career to give Pal-Mac a quick 4-0 lead they would never relinquish.

“I am still speechless,” said Krest, a 6-foot-2 senior team captain. “It was a great feeling when I connected with the ball. I don’t even know what to say. I am so happy I was able to accomplish that and help my team get off to a strong start.”

And the scoring flurry didn’t end there. Courtesy of a ground rule double off junior Matt Hall’s bat, senior Kevin Valade scored Pal-Mac’s fifth run of the inning, giving the red-and-white a 5-0 lead at the end of the first inning. The Wildcats managed just one score in the bottom of the first, credited to junior John Eskind.

Hulbert’s Big Red Machine continued its momentum into the top of the second, ripping off four more runs. Coleston Schiek, a senior, ignited the scoring followed by junior team captain Devin Robson, next was junior Chad Sullivan and Valade rounded out the inning, which gave Pal-Mac a 9-1 advantage. The strong arm of ace Schiek shut out the Wildcats in their next two at-bats, and McGinn junior Cody Eckerson scored runs in the top of the third to extend the Red Raiders’ impressive early lead, 11-1, heading into the fourth inning. Ahead by 10 runs, McGinn decided that wasn’t enough.

With Hall and freshman Ben Bracy on base, the sophomore sensation stepped up to the plate, loaded the aluminum and bashed Ryan Johnson’s fast ball out of the park for his first career home run.

“I can’t believe I hit a home run,” McGinn said. “I felt like I barely even swung that hard at it. I’m really happy about it because it helped us win the game.”

Ahead 14-1 following McGinn’s homer, the Red Raiders tallied three more runs from Eckerson, Schiek and Sullivan, extending Pal-Mac’s lead to 17-1 after five innings. The Wildcats — 0-7 at home this year — would score once more, but the fiery arms of pitchers Schiek, Hall and Eckerson all combined for the Red Raiders’ second-straight win.

“Our team has really dedicated themselves from the start of the season, which is why we’ve been so successful this season,” the 26-year-old Hulbert said. “We had kids practicing batting at 6 a.m. this year, going to camps and doing whatever it took to be successful. We have high hopes in the postseason.”

The Red Raiders, who are 5-2 against Marcus Whitman in their last seven meetings, are the second-highest scoring team in the Finger Lakes East with 163 runs, which is an average of a little more than 16 runs per game.

“We’ve got a lot of good hitters on the team this year,” Krest said. “We’re all really focused hard on our goals and are just going to go one game at a time in sectionals.”

McGinn, too, feels confident in his teams shot in sectionals, which begin next week following this weekend’s seeding meeting.

“We want to win it all,” McGinn said. “We know Penn Yan is really tough and we’ll have to get by them, but we think we’re a strong enough team and have what it takes.”

While the Red Raiders’ regular season is over, the Wildcats, under fourth-year head coach Randy Eddinger, trek to Geneva to take on the Panthers this Friday afternoon.