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Sunday, June 11, 2017: Fort Ann, Livonia walk off with baseball championships

   Leading off today: Fort Ann and Livonia won championships in walk-off fashion Saturday at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association baseball season concluded in Binghamton.

   Down two runs entering the bottom of the seventh inning, Fort Ann scored three runs to beat North Collins 5-4 in the Class D final for the Cardinals' third state championship since 2010 and fifth overall.

   Livonia, down by six runs earlier in the contest, pushed three runs across in the bottom of the seventh to rally past Albany Academy in Class B. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out and Alex Minnehan cracked a two-run single to tie. Brody Metcalf than ended the game with a run-scoring single.

   Albany Academy led 7-1 through three innings.

   Fort Ann's winning rally started when eighth-grader Adam Winchell led off with a single and Jon Allen brought him home with a one-out triple. Garrett Bailey followed with another triple to tie.

   A pair of walks loaded the bases for Luke Loso, whose sharp grounder turned into a forceout at the plate. Brendan Wright then hit a grounder that the second baseman couldn't field, and Jeremy Johnson scored as the ball trickled into right field.

   "We might not be the most talented ballclub, but we've got heart," Fort Ann senior Tyler Mattison said. "I was just hoping, 'Base hit, base hit, let's tie this thing up.' When Garrett hit that bomb and he was on third, I was, like, 'Oh, my God, we're going to win this.'"

   More NYSPHSAA baseball: Nick Antonello threw a three-hitter as Liverpool captured its first state crown by downing Massapequa 4-1 in Class AA.

   The Warriors plated single runs in each of the first three innings. Jake Evans and Jeff Destefano picked up a pair of hits apiece and each scored a run.

    • Junior Dom Dirado threw a three-hit shutout and senior Pat Porter went 3-for-3 with the winning RBI as Vestal edged Wantagh 2-0 to win Class A.

   Dirado's shutout came a day after Golden Bears sophomore Kyle Taborne threw a complete game for a 7-0 win over Whitesboro in the semifinals.

   "These kids are tremendous, the way we came out at the end of the year and played baseball," coach Tank Anderson told the Press & Sun-Bulletin. "For Kyle Taborne yesterday and Dom Dirado today, to do what they did, as a coach, you can't have anything better than that."

    • North Salem broke to a five-run lead in the first inning and downed Potsdam 7-3 in the Class C final.

   Nate Carminucci and Michael Puletz drove in two runs apiece in the big first inning.

   J.B. Healy, a right-hander who recorded the final outs in last year's title-game win, went the distance for North Salem, allowing just three hits.

   North Salem dominated the state playoffs, rolling up a 40-12 scoring margin. The path this time included one-run victories in the first two rounds and an extra-inning triumph in the state semifinals.

   More CHSAA baseball: Senior righty Vin Vitacco threw a four-hitter and struck out five as Monsignor Farrell earned the Class AA championship with a 3-1 win over Iona Prep.

   Flawless finish for M-E ace: Emily Hess finished off her junior season with 34 straight shutout innings, the final 14 coming in Maine-Endwell victories by 2-0 over MacArthur and 1-0 vs. Williamsville East for the NYSPHSAA Class A softball championship Saturday.

   Besides striking out 14 in the semifinals and 11 vs. Williamsville East, Hess also drove home the run in the final as the Spartans defended their title.


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  •    Hess finished the season with four straight shutouts, also holding Vestal scoreless in the Section 4 final and Lakeland scoreless in a state quarterfinal.

       More softball: Gianna Azzato knocked in the only run with a first-inning single and East Meadow edged Binghamton 1-0 for the trophy in Class AA.

       Christina Loeffler worked out of bases-loaded jams with strikeouts in the first and third innings as the defending champions stranded nine runners in the game. Loeffler scattered six hits and struck out three.

       East Meadow advanced by outslugging Victor 17-10 earlier in the day. Freshman Julianna Sanzone had four hits, including a three-run homer, with six RBIs and three runs.

        • Lauren Nichols pitched and hit Solvay to the Class B title with a 1-0 win over Depew.

       Nichols tossed a two-hitter with nine strikeouts. Her triple in the fourth inning was followed by freshman Caitlin McCann's RBI single.

        • Bishop Kearney erased an early two-run deficit to claim its first championship with a 4-3 victory over Pine Plains in Class C.

       The Kings won the tournament with three straight one-run wins.

       After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first, Marissa Conroy and Christina Aldridge drove in runs to tie.

        • Deposit made three straight Class D championships by downing Heuvelton 1-0.

       Right-hander Makenzie Stiles, who threw a perfect game vs. Heuvelton in the semifinals a year ago, finished with a two-hitter with 16 strikeouts.

       Heuvelton right-hander Paige McCormick held Deposit to three hits, but freshman Mikayla Martin's double in the third inning scored Erin Ballard, who had drawn a leadoff walk.

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