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Sunday, June 9, 2019: Sayville, Ballston Spa headed for semifinal showdowns

   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.

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   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."

  

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  •    More baseball notes: Massapequa held on for a 7-6, come-from-behind win over Connetquot by snuffing out a seventh-inning treat to claim its third straight Long Island Class AA championship. Massapequa trailed 5-0 in the fifth inning and went ahead on Nick Schwartz's solo homer in the seventh.

       Senior Evan Jones limited Fayetteville-Manlius to a pair of hits as Shenendehowa won 6-0 to move on in Class AA. The right-hander struck out seven, walked one and needed just 93 pitches in setting up a semifinal vs. Massapequa.

        • Michael Sculli pitched a complete game and struck out 15 as Canandaigua rolled past Kenmore West 11-0 in Class A. The senior lefty allowed just two hits and one walk.

        • Class B Center Moriches remained unbeaten with a 7-1 win over Marlboro. Maryland recruit David Falco, who lost much of his season to an ankle injury, threw four shutout innings in relief.

        • Susquehanna Valley senior Dominic Chesna spun a one-hitter in the Sabers' 4-1 win vs. Skaneateles in Class B. Susquehanna Valley's Josh Rudock hits an two-run single in the fifth inning to give the Sabers a 3-1 lead.

        • Senior pitcher Russell Gallo III fired a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts as Ticonderoga advanced in Class C with a 9-1 win over Fort Plain. The Sentinels batted around and scored five runs in the fifth, all with two outs, en route to the win.

       More softball: Class A Williamsville East improved to 25-0 as sophomore Summer Clark allowed two hits in the Flames' 12-0 win over Honeoye Falls-Lima.

       Clark also went 5-for-5 with a pair of doubles and drove in four runs. Her single in the top of the first drove in leadoff hitter Kayla Terwilliger, and her double in the third plated Ella Wesolowski for a 2-0 lead.

        • Corning qualified for the semifinals for the first time as Laura Bennett fanned 10 batters and Kalea Faulk ripped a two-run single to lift the Hawks over John Jay East Fishkill 3-1 in Class AA. Bennett finished with a three-hitter.

       "This is my 29th year coaching high school sports and you dream of this as a coach," Mike Johnston said. "There's so many people -- my colleagues -- that have never been there and I was one of those people until today. It means a lot as a coach, but I know it probably means more to the players right now, and we're proud of them.”

        • Bri Viola corralled a deep fly ball and crashed into the mesh fencing during the third inning, preventing a three-run home run and highlighting Walter Panas' 2-0 win over Minisink Valley in Class A.

       "I just had a blank mind and just kind of tracked (the ball) like I usually do," said Viola, whose momentum carried her over the fence while making the catch off the bat of Emma Brennan. "When I came back up and I was behind the wall, I was like, 'Oh, shoot.'"

       Panas has been on a roll since emerging from the No. 10 seed in the Section 1 tournament.

       "It's definitely magic," coach Dale Chappelle said. "It's a fairy tale, and it just keeps going."


      
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