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Saturday, April 13, 2019: Mechanicville scores 10 in 7th inning to win

   Leading off today: Some folks had their rally caps on in a variety of sports Friday in high school action across the state:

   (1) Mechanicville sent 15 batters to the plate in the top of the seventh inning, scoring 10 runs en route to pulling out a 15-10 baseball victory over Tamarac.

   There was a total of 14 runs scored in the seventh, starting with the unbeaten Red Raiders exploiting the departure of Tamarac starter Dalton Maxon because of a high pitch count. Mechanicville pieced together four hits, five walks and two hit batsmen, three times plating runs on wild pitches with the bases loaded.

   "With pitch counts, that can happen with these games," Mechanicville coach Scott Kraszewski said. "That is a good-hitting team over there. They hit three home runs. To be able to win giving up three home runs is impressive."

   Mechanicville junior Jacob Popeil, who threw an early-season no-hitter vs. Waterford, struck out eight straight batters entering the fourth inning before Maxon halted the string with a solo home run to left to make the score 3-3. Popeil struck out 14 before giving way to Chris Ciccarelli trailing 7-3 in the sixth.

   (2) Our Lady of Lourdes rallied from eight goals down to defeat Clarkstown South 15-14 in non-league girls lacrosse. Caroline D'Agostino who registered career goal No. 100 earlier in the contest, connected for the winner in the third overtime of a contest that Lourdes trailed 11-3 with 10 minutes to play.

   Lu Clark led the winners with eight goals.

   (3) Clarence rattled off the final five goals in regulation and then defeated Niagara-Wheatfield 15-14 as Emma Faso (three goals) scored the game-winner nine seconds into overtime of their girls lacrosse contest.

   Madison Leeper had tied the contest with :32 left on her fourth goal of the day.

   (4) Niagara-Wheatfield pulled out a 5-4 softball win over previously undefeated Lewiston-Porter as McKenzie Franks scored Maddie Ebarts on a squeeze bunt in the bottom of the ninth. Ebarts got in position to score by stealing second base and then moving up on a passed ball.

   More diamond heroes: Depew senior Annie DiPerro cracked a grand slam, a two-run homer and a solo blast in an 18-1 softball victory over Pioneer.

    • Vernon-Verona-Sherrill's baseball team got a monster effort from starting pitcher Blake VanDreason. Besides throwing five shutout innings in a 15-5 win over New Hartford, he went 3-for-4 at the plate with two triples and a home run. VanDreason scored four runs and drove in three.

   Teammate Tyler Rotach went 5-for-5 with a pair of doubles and four runs batted in.


   Uh ... OK: I suppose it's possible but it's been awhile (never?) since I've seen a pitcher credited with a no-hitter while surrendering six runs. Nevertheless, that's what happened in Worcester's 16-6 softball win vs. Cherry Valley/Sharon Springs as Jenna Morell walked six and struck out six for her first varsity win.

   On the move: There were a couple of nice features written this week about coaches who won't be back next school year.

   Patti Perone, whose Horseheads girls volleyball teams


went 485-91 with 24 Section 4 champion- ships and a NYSPHSAA crown, made the decision to step down late last year.

   "I didn't decide until the end of the season in December," Perone said. "I said, 'It's time' and that was it. ... It just hit me one day."

   Perone arrived in town after turning Briarcliff into a Section 1 volleyball force and wondered briefly what she'd gotten herself into.

   "I'm driving through the town and I'm going, 'This looks like Mayberry R.F.D.'" she recalled. "When you come from Yonkers, living right outside of New York City, it's different. It's very different. I just kind of looked around and just said, 'Let's take one day at a time here.' But I loved it. That's why I'm still here."

   Perone retired as a physical education teacher three years ago and has a 623-121 overall record in volleyball. She will continue in her role as the state coordinator for the sport until her term expires next year and may latch on as a college assistant coach somewhere.

   Tim Crout, the JV coach the past six seasons, has been named as Perone's replacement

    • Ray Kondracki is in his final season coaching track and field at Clarkstown South. His resume includes 11 Section 1 championships and 14 Rockland track and field coach of the year awards.

   Being a respectable but not spectacular runner himself in his younger days, Kondracki has long had an appreciation for the kids who want to be part of the team but understand their limitations.

   In one such instance, he had a senior who was going to be awarded a varsity letter just for being on the team, but the runner felt it was important to earn the honor by scoring in a meet.

   So, at "some little dual meet," Kondracki had him anchor a 1,600 relay for a lineup that was all but certain to win.

   "I said, 'All you have to do is cross the line.'"

   Given the baton with a huge lead, the senior crossed the line first.

   "It was so exciting for him," Kondracki said. "It made him feel part of the team. ... It showed everybody supports everybody. Everyone cheered him on."

   A story for the birds: A Sacramento, Calif., school has a shiny new football and lacrosse stadium that it can't use because squatters have moved in.

   The uninvited quests are actually two endangered killdeer birds that created a nest and laid four eggs on the artificial turf at Rio Americano High's new stadium. The unexpected guests forced the lacrosse team to move a Tuesday game that was slated to be the official opening of the facility.

   The incubation period for a nesting killdeer is four to five weeks, and the birds have been nesting there for about three weeks now.

   "The bird showed up, and we'll just let it do it's thing and then we'll use the field when we can," Rio Americano principal Brian Ginter said. "We've had parents inquire with us, because they're very anxious, they want to get on the field. But basically with when the bird came and what the incubation period is its only a few more days' wait so we're just teaching students to be patient, and then we'll use the field when we can."

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