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Saturday, June 15, 2019: Center Moriches one in away from repeating

   Leading off today: Catcher Alec Maag drove in three runs as undefeated Center Moriches took an early lead and then held on for a 5-3 victory over Susquehanna Valley on Friday in the NYSPHSAA Class B baseball semifinals.

   The defending state champions will carry a 25-0 record into Saturday's championship game against Schuylerville.

   Starting pitcher Andres Auffant cruised into the fifth with a 4-1 lead, but two hits and a two-out throwing error allowed Susquehanna Valley to score twice. Closer David Falco came on with runners on first and second and slammed the door on the rally. He threw 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief with five strikeouts.

   "His first pitch was clocked at 96 miles per hour by the college coaches behind me and I could hear them talking about it," Maag said. "David was so dominant again today."

   Falco threw 37 pitches, keeping him eligible to throw again in the final under New York State Public High School Athletic Association pitch-count rules.

   "We want to win another state title so bad," he said. "The guys have worked hard all season and it's been different people contributing all the time. It's been a team effort."

   Schuylerville advanced with a 6-3 victory over Medina after Colton Weatherwax cleared the bases with a sixth-inning double to complete a comeback from a 2-0 deficit.

   Weatherwax's clutch hit came after Ryan Yandow was intentionally walked ahead of him for the second time.

   "I said, 'Let me make it hurt here,'" he said. "Let them walk him, because he's a good hitter too, but we've got 3-4-5 coming and we're all good."

   Matt McCarthy pitched a compete game for the Black Horses (18-7), who will play for their first state title. McCarthy struck out the side in the seventh to finish with 11 Ks.

   Class AA: Tyler Griggs homered in the bottom of the fifth and No. 2 pitcher Ryan O'Mara worked out of a seventh-inning jam as McQuaid advanced to the Class AA final with a 4-3 win over Suffern.

   Suffern had the tying run on third following Jack Scanlon's two-run triple with none out in the seventh, but O'Mara ended the threat by ringing up two strikeouts and then inducing a game-ending flyout.

   O'Mara's complete game set the Knight up to send ace Hunter Walsh to the mound in the final.

   "Can't wait for tomorrow morning," McQuaid coach Tony Fuller said. "I think we'll be in a good situation with Hunter on the mound. We're where we want to be."

   Shenendehowa reached the final with a 4-1 win over Massapequa as senior Brendan Disonell threw a four-hitter and struck out 13 batters.

   The Stony Brook recruit's money pitch is a quasi-slider he calls "a fluff.">p>    "I have three fingers on the ball, with one up, and throw like a fastball," he said. "It breaks, and misses barrels. I started using when I was 12 years old and have used it ever since."

   Said coach Greg Christodulu: "They were not seeing the spin. Jack (Voce, Shen's junior catcher) and him were on the same page all game. We had the right guy throwing against a really good hitting team. Brendan was fantastic."

   Thomas Krill sparked Shen's four-run fourth inning with an RBI single and Disonell aided his cause by executing a suicide squeeze bunt that resulted in a throwing error that brought home two more runs.

   Class A: Prom night was ahead, but Maine-Endwell took care to not look past Canandaigua. Senior Adam Rutkowski pitched a complete game as the Spartans held off the Braves 5-4.

   "I told them try to get to bed by 10-10:30, no after-prom party," coach Matt Raleigh said. "If they all need a prom, I'll give them one after the state championship."


   The Spartans forged a 4-0 lead against Michael Sculli, who'd permitted one earned run in 58 innings and was coming off a 15-strikeout two-hitter in his previous outing.

   Canandaigua closed to 5-4 in the fifth on Seth Vigneri's three-run homer but the Spartans held on. M-E's three state-tournament games have all been tied or one-run affairs into the seventh inning.

   Ballston Spa's Jake Manderson surrendered just two hits in a six-inning shut out as the Scotties ousted Sayville 10-0.

   "His approach was awesome, he threw a lot of first-pitch strikes, kept them off balance with his off-speed, he only threw 75 pitches so he's very efficient and we played great 'D' behind him," coach Curtis Nobles said. “He turned a couple double plays, had a 5-4-3 and a 6-4-3 that were huge, killed their momentum and he did an outstanding job just pounding the zone."

   Boston College-bound shortstop Luke Gold delivered a two-run homer in the first inning. Michael Poirier delivered a two-run triple later in the contest for a 6-0 advantage.


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  •    Class C: Sophomore pitcher Kendall Haney's two-run double in the top of the second gave Cooperstown the lead for good in a 5-2 victory over Pierson/Bridgehampton.

       Haney improved to 8-1 for the season after 2 2/3 innings pitched.

       Ticonderoga locked down its place in the final by beating Gananda 3-1.

       Senior Russell Gallo III went the distance with an eight-strikeout three-hitter and batterymate Jack Grinnell (3-for-3) broke a tie with a two-out, two-run double in the sixth inning.

       Grinnell threw out two baserunners, giving him three in the last two games.

       Class D: Ethan Patch tossed a two-hitter for Whitehall in a 5-0 win over South Kortright, setting up a championship game against Brocton.

       Patch, who struck out 14, had faced the minimum number of batters until a walk and a single with two outs in the sixth.

       The Railroaders, one win away from their first state baseball title since 1984, have outscored opponents 45-4 since the start of the Section 2 tournament.

       Brocton rolled past Lisbon 10-0 in the other semifinal as Ronald Brown fanned seven of the first nine batters he faced and finished with 11 whiffs in the six-inning contest.

       Jordan Krystofiak gave Brocton the only run it would need, racing home from first on a two-out single to right by Gabe Morello in the third inning.

       "As soon as (Morello) hit that, I knew it was going to drop, so I was just looking at my coach and he told me to keep going," Krystofiak said. "So I just put the second gear on and I just kept going."

       Track and field: Pearl River sophomore Ciara Durcan won the girls 3,000-meter racewalk as New Yorkers swept the top 12 places in the New Balance Outdoor Track and Field Nationals.

       Durcan finished in 14:39.92 to beat runner-up Isabella Rogler of West Islip by more than 13 seconds.

       After running practically joined at the hip with winner Sydney Masciarell of Northbridge, mass., the whole race, Saratoga senior Kelsey Chmiel earned second place in the 5,000 run.

       Masciarell's 72-second bell lap brought her home in 16:16.20 to Chmiel's 16:18.57.

       Zaria Fuller of Uniondale placed second in the girls shot put with a throw of 36-4.25.

       Golf: McQuaid senior Alex Zurat tied for medalist honors with a 2-under-par 69 at Yahnundasis Golf Club in New Hartford, qualifying him for next month's U.S. Junior Amateur at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

       Zurat tied with Luca Cimoroni of Canada and Naples, Fla., resident Ryan Hart, the son of PGA Tour golfer Dudley Hart.

       Jeremy Summerson of Victor shot a 72 to earn the first alternate spot.

       Zurat led the field at 3-under at the turn and avoided errors coming in.

       "I played pretty solid on the front and was in scramble mode in the back," said Zurat, who was sixth last week at the NYSPHSAA championships. "I was a little choked up, but I think I played solid overall."

       Appointed: East Ramapo athletic director Bill Pilla has been named AD at Tappan Zee.

       Pilla will be the fifth AD there since 2016, replacing Mike Gulino, who was serving in an interim role after Keith Johnson took a leave of absence in January. Highly respected Liam Frawley held the position until suffering a brain aneurysm in January 2016.

       "It's an honor to be able to sit at the same desk that he sat at," Pilla said of Frawley. "I'm proud to say that he's a friend. He can never be replaced, but I'm going to do the best I can."

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