BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Displaying the character and resolve of their coach, the Depew Wildcats rallied to win their first baseball state championship on Saturday in Binghamton.

In its first appearance at the NYSPHSAA tournament, Depew claimed the Class B crown by scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to come back and beat Lansing 5-4.

The state championship is Depew’s first in any team sport. The last Section VI school to win a state title in baseball was Fredonia in 2013.

The state championship conquest caps a 25-1 season for the Wildcats, who have been inspired by longtime coach Dennis Crawley’s perseverance since being diagnosed with ALS two years ago.

“It means a lot,” an emotional Crawley said during a postgame interview with Western New York Athletics. “I might not be coaching after this season. So to go out like this, it’s pretty cool.”


Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.