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Saturday, May 20, 2017: Three top seeds bounced in Sec. 5 baseball quarters

   Leading off today: Friday was the wrong day to be a No. 1 seed in the Section 5 baseball tournament. Three top-seeded teams were bounced by No. 8 seeds in quarterfinal action:

    • Tim Proud went 4-for-5 with four runs batted in as Aquinas defeated Rochester School of the Arts 16-8 in Class A-2 action. Johnny Mason chipped in with three RBIs and three runs scored.

    • In Class A-1, George Gins struck out seven in a complete game and hit a home run as Pittsford Mendon eliminated Rochester East 13-5.

    • In Class C-1. LeRoy ousted Williamson 7- as Cody Fitzsimmons fanned eight and contributed a pair of hits at the plate.

   More baseball: The string of baseball upsets (if you go by seedings, anyway) wasn't limited to the Rochester/Finger Lakes region of the state.

    • In Section 8 Class A, 15th-seeded Manhasset reached the Class A semifinals with a 5-2 win over second-seeded Carey. It was Manhasset's third straight win of the postseason.

   With Manhasset trailing 1-0 in the fourth inning, Rob Giovanelli launched the second pitch of his at-bat over the leftfield fence for a grand slam.

   "We were the 15th seed, but we knew we weren't really a 15th seed, we just had a few rough games," Giovanelli told Newsday. "We had a tough bracket. We just came in here thinking we were going to fight with the teams that don't really know that we're good."

    • East Aurora knocked off top-seeded Buffalo City Honors 8-6 in the Section 6 Class B-1 quarterfinals as Alex Baase threw a complete game, banged out three hits and drove in a pair of runs.

   Boys lacrosse: Pat Magliocchino's fifth goal of the game, this one in double overtime, gave Archbishop Stepinac a 12-11 win at St. John the Baptist in a CHSAA Class AA Intersectional game.

   It was Stepinac's first AA playoff win. The Crusaders will face Iona Prep on Tuesday in a semifinal.

   Softball: Frankfort-Schuyler freshman Taylor Christensen hit her first two homers of the season and drove in 10 runs in the Maroon Knights' 22-6 win over Westmoreland in a non-league game.

   Christensen went 5-for-6 and scored six runs.

   Back in the draw: Cornwall sophomore tennis standout Dan Leach has received a medical waiver from Section 9 to compete in its postseason tournament after he was cleared to compete by a doctor Friday afternoon.

   Leach defaulted and missed the qualifying Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association championship this week after becoming ill during a practice session Wednesday, The Times Herald-Record reported.

   He will have to play an outbracket match for a spot in the Section 9 singles tournament's round of 16.


   Following up: Our previous blog mentioned a lawsuit filed in federal court on behalf of a Horseheads basketball player seeking an additional season of eligibility. I noted that the case faces a potentially tangled path to resolution, but I neglected to mention arguably the most important aspect of the dispute:

   The New York State Public High School Athletic Association and Section 4 are being sued over someone else's rule; the so-called four-year eligibility clock beginning with the start of ninth grade is a regulation that comes down from the New York State Education Department, and whatever exceptions to it that exist are also products of the NYSED.

   "It happens pretty regularly on an annual basis that (the NYSPHSAA) gets sued on a regulation that's not ours," Robert Zayas, executive director of the NYSPHSAA, told The Star-Gazette.

   Reading that reminded me of a recent conversation I'd had with Zayas regarding the NYSPHSAA Handbook, which is a combination of rules by that organization and regulations from the NYSED. The NYSPHSAA can't change NYSED regulations but is responsible for enforcing them. The NYSPHSAA has been looking at ideas lately for reorganizing the handbook and one goal is to draw a clearer distinction between NYSPHSAA and NYSED material.

   Such a revision could help families and non-school personnel more easily identify which issues should be taken up with the NYSED.

   "Our association doesn't have the ability to revise it, amend it, modify it," Zayas said of the NYSED material. "We must rule how it's written."

   Extra points: After a strong sophomore season at Long Island Lutheran capped by a selection to the all-state team, girls basketball standout Jaida Patrick picked up a pile of offers on the Nike EYBL circuit during the April live period.

   Fordham, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Sacred Heart, Stony Brook, Temple, West Virginia and Wisconsin all offered, her AAU coach said. Numerous others, including Villanova and som IVy League schools, have been making inquiries about Patrick based in no small part on her versatility.

   Her situation is indicative of just how important the EYBL circuit has become.

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