Leading off today:
Sayville and Ballston Spa have both advanced their baseball and softball teams to the New York State Public School Athletic Association semifinals next weekend. As luck would have it, the schools will go head-to-head in both sports.
Sayville posted one of the signature victories in Saturday's baseball quarterfinals, riding a Brock Murtha no-hitter to a 1-0 vitory over W.T. Clarke in Long Island's Class A title game at SUNY Old Westbury. The junior, who has already committed to play baseball at Notre Dame, allowed two walks, hit two batters and struck out nine.
Jack Davis' seventh-inning single brought home Nick Buffardi from second base in the top of the seventh.
"I don't think it can get any better than this," Murtha said. "My teammates are my closest friends and I've been playing with them since I was little. For us to do this together is the best feeling in the world."
Said coach Joe Esposito: "What more can you say about a player who throws a no-hitter in the Long Island championship game? To come here and do what he did tonight on the biggest stage and in front of the biggest crowd we've seen -- it shows you how capable he is of greatness. For my money, he's the best player on Long Island."
Said Clarke coach Tom Abruscato: "There's a reason that Notre Dame wants that kid."
Ballston Spa advanced with a 4-2 win over Whitesboro. With the Scotties down a run, Donovan Rhoden launched a pitch from Avery Cook over the right-field fence, driving in Luke Gold for the 3-2 lead.
"It was an outstanding moment for him, that kid has worked his fanny off," Ballston Spa coach Curtis Nobles said. "Luke, Jake (Manderson), (Michael) Poirier, they get a lot of shine, but that kid he's just as good as those guys and he comes to work every day."
In the softball semifinals, Ballston Spa defeated Jamesville-DeWitt 5-1. Sophomore Ana Gold hit a solo home run in the first inning to put Ballston Spa on top. Then, after J-D sophomore Katie White answered with a home run in the top of the second inning, junior Caroline Srokowski put Ballston Spa ahead for good in the second with a squeeze bunt that scored sophomore Halle Wright.
Perfect game: Whitehall left-hander Ethan Patch pitched a five-inning perfect game, striking out the final 13 batters and 14 overall as the Section 2 champs routed Livingston Manor 21-0 in a Class D quarterfinal.
The Railroaders sent 24 batters to the plate in a 19-run third inning. Among the notable blows in the 12-hit barrage were Thomas Fish's run-scoring triple, successful squeezes by Brandon Bakerian and Tyler Shattuck, two-run singles from Jake Moore and Austin Barnao, and Barnao's three-run double.
Barnao finished with two singles, a double and six RBIs. Moore had three singles, three RBIs and a pair of stolen bases.
Cooperstown squeaks by: Jesse Furnari's two-out single drove in Sam Bonderoff and Alex Hascup in the top of the seventh inning to lead Cooperstown to a 8-7 victory over Tioga to reach the Class C semifinals.
Cooperstown trailed 7-4 in the seventh. Kendall Haney doubled and Ben Tafuro reached on error that scored Haney with the first run. Bonderoff walked and Hascup singled to drive in Tafuro for the second run. Then, Furnari hit his game-winning single to drive in Bonderoff and Hascup.
Late heroics for M-E: Senior Josh Chandler's first home run of the season, a three-run blow with no one out in the bottom of the seventh, sent Maine-Endwell to an 8-5 victory over Hyde Park FDR in Class A.
"Josh actually texted me today at 1 o'clock, 'Coach, can you come down and throw me some extra BP?' So it was just him and I on the field for 45 minutes," coach Matt Raleigh said. "It was the best round of BP he had all year, no one else around, worked with him for about 40 minutes. He probably hit a dozen, 15 home runs, he was killing the ball."