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Monday, May 29, 2017: Livonia senior strikes out 21 in final for no-hitter

   Leading off today: Livonia senior Reid VanScoter pitched a no-hitter, striking out 21 batters to lead the Bulldogs beat Hornell 12-0 for the Section 5 Class B baseball championship Sunday.

   The win secured Livonia's fourth straight title and advanced the squad into next weekend's NYSPHSAA quarterfinals vs. Fredonia.

   Reid VanScoter did not allow a walk. He was perfect through five innings, with one runner in each of the final two innings reaching base on third-strike passed balls. He struck out four batters in each of those innings.

   At the plate, John Smith was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs scored. Brody Metcalf went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored.

   According to the NYSPHSAA, Jim Cheneval of Levittown struck out 25 batters in a seven-inning contest in 1983.

   More baseball: Jeff DeStefano struck out 10 during six innings of four-hit baseball as Liverpool defeated Rome Free Academy 1-0 in the Section 3 Class A championship game.

   Nick Antonello worked a 1-2-3 seventh for the Warriors, who advance to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association quarterfinals on Saturday vs. Niskayuna.

   A single to right through a drawn-in infield by Jake Evans in the bottom of the fourth inning scored DeStefano with the game's only run. DeStefano had reached on a single, advanced on a wild pitch and took third on a sacrifice.

   "I went up, it was like 0-2, I didn't know what I was doing," Evans told Syracuse.com. "It was probably the most nervous at-bat I've had. I was able to come through."

   Marlboro, again: Marlboro third baseman Shannon Camuso delivered a two-out, two-run single in the top of the eighth as the Dukes won their fifth straight Section 9 crown with a 3-1 victory vs. Rondout Valley in Class B.

   Camuso was wearing new contact lenses after having her eyes checked at the suggestion of assistant coach Mark Berardi, who noticed that she had been squinting recently.

   Alysia Kelley gave the Dukes a 1-0 lead with a single in the top of the fifth and pitcher Mel Papuli was perfect through the first six innings. But the perfect game, no-hitter and shutout faded into history as Ganders center fielder Mackenzie Fischer led off the bottom of the seventh with a home run. Tori Decker barely missed a two-run, walk-off homer three batters later.

   'Megatron' comes through: Meg Doyle, moved to the top of the pitching staff following a late-season injury to Emily Iozzino, worked her way out of repeated jams as Goshen downed New Paltz 4-2 in the Section 9 Class A softball final.

   Doyle gave up two second-inning runs to the defending champions but averted disaster the rest of the way. New Paltz stranded two runners in scoring position in the second, third and sixth innings.

   "She doesn't get flustered," coach Mike Kelly told The Times Herald-Record. "Her composure is amazing. You never know if she's winning big, losing big or in a tight ballgame. I love that about her."

   Goshen pulled ahead 3-2 in the third. Vic Fini singled to right and Jayna Celano beat out an infield hit. Two outs later, clean-up hitter Jess Pehush ripped a triple to left-center.

   The Gladiators will play Section 1 champion Lakeland on Thursday in the first round of the state tournament.

    • In the Class C final, Cat Simmons capped a seven-run second inning with a grand slam and Haley Strang chipped in with a three-run blast in the sixth as Pine Plains pounded Sullivan West 16-1.

   Walk-off win in CNY: Carley Stoker drove the only run home with her fourth hit of the game, a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh, as Sandy Creek edged Little Falls 1-0 in the Section 3 Class C semifinals.

   Stoker also pitched a one-hit shutout with 15 strikeouts.

   Fresh options for hoops star: Don't pencil in Nahziah Carter for prep school just yet. The Section 5 star from Bishop Kearney, an eighth-team all-state pick in Class AA, as a senior guard has new suitors showing a lot of interest according to recruiting observer Adam Zagoria.

   Carter had indicated he would prep for a year after receiving his letter of intent release from Dayton in the aftermath of coach Archie Miller's departure.

   Now at Indiana, Miller has resumed pursuit of Carter. And Georgetown, with legendary Division I and NBA player Patrick Ewing now in charge (and Louis Orr as an assistant), has entered the picture.

   "We've been talking about 2017 because they just opened up a scholarship when someone entered the draft," Carter said of the Hoyas. "They told me I definitely have a scholarship for 2018. So, we're gonna talk about 2017 soon. I guess everything plays a big part in my decision to go 2017 or 2018."

  

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  •    Carter made a recent visit to Georgetown and came away impressed with the new coach.

       "He's a really good guy. Just spending the day with him, you wouldn't realize how good of a guy he is," he told Zagoria. "He's funny, he's humorous, he loves his family. He brought his family around all the guys. He liked me a lot. He tells me a lot about how they need me and want me."

       With Miller also extending what sounds like a firm offer for the upcoming season, Carter has a lot on his plate as he prepares to close the high school chapter of his life. He's still involved with Boston College, Georgia Tech, UMass and Washington.

       Carter has at least one more visit to make and is reluctant to rush such an important decision.

       "I don't really have a timeline," he said. "I don't really talk about it that much."

       Semi-ludicrous: Believe me when I say that I understand that formulating tournament brackets is a lot more complicated than the average civilian in the world of high school sports comprehends. There are hosting rotations that are put in place years in advance to smooth out travel inequities plus several other factors.

       Still, what's shaping up in the NYSPHSAA Class D baseball bracket qualifies as awkward for the moment and has the potential to be blatantly unfair -- if not this year then at some point down the road -- now that we're in the era of the pitch count.

       On Saturday, S.S. Seward broke through late and defeated Livingston Manor 5-2. The victory not only secured the Section 9 Class D championship, it advanced Seward directly to the state tournament semifinals on June 9 vs. the winner of a quarterfinal between representatives from Sections 5 and 6.

       The quirk isn't Seward's fault. For state tournament purposes, Section 9 is grouped in a region with Sections 1, 8 and 11 -- none of which had a representative this spring. About the only hope for another team to plug into the brackets in order to set up a quarterfinal game was Section 11's Smithtown Christian. But it was apparent by early May that the squad wasn't playoff material, and Smithtown Christian finished 1-14.

       One look at the state bracket, however, demonstrates the inequity in the current arrangement: Fort Ann and Heuvelton are scheduled for a play-in game Thursday for the right to play Northern Adirondack two days later in the quarterfinals.

       With a week's rest between games, Northern Adirondack will have no pitchers serving time in pitch-count jail. On the other hand, the Fort Ann/Heuvelton survivor presumably will move on with -- at a minimum -- its best pitcher unavailable in the quarterfinals. And God help them if that first-round game goes 10 or 12 innings and chews up another hurler's arm.

       And then there's the other side of the bracket. In this year of 100-year flooding on the Lake Ontario shoreline due to one of the wettest springs in Upstate New York history, it's not preposterous to wonder whether next Saturday's quarterfinals might be postponed. It's no problem if the Section 5 vs. 6 game gets played in the next 48 hours. But on the one-in-a-million chance that the game can't be played until Tuesday, you're looking at another team with its best pitcher potentially ineligible to throw three days later vs. Seward.

       So as I look at the bracket, there's an obvious thought: Wouldn't it have made sense to put a contingency in place to have Fort Ann face Seward in one quarterfinal and Heuvelton take on Northern Adirondack in another in the event that three downstate sections could not field a representative?

       We used to have similar bracketing issues in soccer and basketball, but the respective committees acknowledged the fairness question and fixed the early-round scheduling. The baseball committee needs to do likewise.


      
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