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.