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Friday, June 7, 2019: Minisink Valley pulls off stunning rally in NYSPHSAA opener

   Leading off today: Ashley Ramos started a five-run rally in the seventh inning with a two-run triple and then drove home the winning run in the eighth as Minisink Valley stunned Vestal 6-5 in the first round of the NYSPHSAA Class A softball tournament Thursday.

   Ramos sent an 0-1 pitch into right field in the eighth inning to score Kourtney Ketcham with the winning run.

   "Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good," Minisink Valley coach Bruce Guyette said. "We weren't so good today, but we were lucky. We came up with some really clutch hits in some really important times."

   Vestal freshman pitcher Kay Farro had held Minisink Valley to three hits through six and one-third innings when Gabby Gleason lined a ball off Farro's glove and the pitcher threw wildly to first base. Ketcham followed with a single ahead of Ramos' triple and Mackenzie Tresch followed with an RBI single.

   After another Vestal error resulted in a run, senior Becky Kennedy-Titsworth blooped a single to tie the score.

   More Class A softball: Shayna Myshrall hit three home runs to highlight Jamesville-DeWitt's 18-2 rout of Malone to advance to Saturday's quarterfinals vs. Ballston Spa.

   Combined no-hitter: John Cortese and Taylor Gifford combined to throw a five-inning no-hitter as Fort Plain defeated Norwood/Norfolk 11-0 in the Class C baseball first round.

   The Hilltoppers (21-0) will face Ticonderoga in the quarterfinals. Ticonderoga was the runner-up in the 2018 Class C tournament, while Fort Plain was the runner-up in Class D.

   Cortese struck out nine and Gifford added three strikeouts for the no-hitter. Cortese added two singles and two runs batted in.

   The victory was the 798th of coach Craig Phillips career.


   Maine-Endwell advances: Joe Mancini tripled home the tying run in the bottom of the seventh and scored on a wild pitch in Maine-Endwell's 5-4 win over Lakeland in the NYSPHSAA Class A first round.

   Lakeland had plated three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 4-3 lead and had Gatorade state player of the year Joey Vetrano on the mound.

   "Top of the seventh we were probably starting to think (it looked bleak) but as a team we kept our heads high and we did what we did in the bottom of the seventh, competed and won the game," winning pitcher Adam Rutkowsk said.

   More NYSPHSAA playoffs: Senior righty Andres Auffant threw a four-hit shutout in a 3-0 victory over Cold Spring Harbor for unbeaten Center Moriches' fifth Long Island title and second in a row.

   Auffant struck out only two but got 14 ground balls, two which got turned into double plays.


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  •    "I didn't pitch as well as I wanted in the state tournament last year and loved getting another chance at it," Auffant said. "I went out there aggressive and had a lot of fun with it."

        • Kingston senior designated hitter Jake McNutt hit a grand slam in a seven-run second inning to pace the Tigers to an 11-1 victory over Corning in Class AA in a game called in the fifth inning due to the 10-run mercy rule.

       CHSAA baseball: Junior Eric Yost blanked Archbishop Stepinac 4-0 with a three-hitter at St. John's University that clinched top-seeded Fordham Prep's first city championship in 10 years.

       "Honestly, I didn't think I'd be able to pitch this well," said Yost, a Northeastern commit who was 7-0 this spring. "It really worked out as well as I could hope."

       Yost struck out six and walked none.

       No place like home: After two years of turmoil, Section 1 intends to return its boys and girls basketball championships to the Westchester County Center next year.

       The Section 1 Executive Committee approved the plan Tuesday, contingent upon agreeing on official contract terms. The Journal News reported details have already been provided in the proposals sent to Section 1.

       Some or all of the boys and girls basketball finals had been played at the County Center since 1933 until the games were moved to Pace University in 2018. The move was a source of frustration in the basketball community.

       New jobs: Kimberly Saxton will take over as athletic director at Ursuline on Aug. 1, the school announced. She replaces Maureen Kern, who is retiring after a 25-year career at the school.

       Saxton, a 2000 Ursuline graduate, has coached in several school districts, most recently with Peekskill, where she assisted the AD and coached girls basketball.

        • Former Syracuse CBA standout Stefan Thompson has been named the new men's basketball coach at Hobart College, where he served as an assistant the past two seasons.

       Thompson, 28, succeeds Tim Sweeney, who left to take the head coaching job at Connecticut College.

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