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Sunday, June 16, 2019: Walsh nearly perfect as McQuaid wins 'AA' final

   Leading off today: Hunter Walsh's week began with shoulder pain and ended with his first career no-hitter.

   McQuaid gambled and won by holding Walsh out of Friday's semifinals to buy him one more day of rest. The Knights senior right-hander needed just 70 pitches Saturday while shutting down Shenendehowa 5-0 for the NYSPHSAA Class AA baseball championship.

   "Our trainer was stretching him out last night," teammate Tyler Griggs said. "And (Walsh) was like, 'I might throw a no-no tomorrow,' just like joking around. And it happened."

   Said Walsh: "Once I was up there getting in my zone, no one could stop me. ... It was perfect timing for me to throw like an 80-pitch game and not a 120-pitch game."

   Walsh was close to perfect, with a full-count walk with one out in the sixth inning the only base runner of the afternoon for the Plainsmen.

   The Knights scored all the runs they would need in the second inning on RBIs from Zach Lee and Patrick Xander, then one driven in by Drew Bailey in the third.

   Class A: Ballston Spa, which went 46 years between Section 2 championships, nailed down its first New York State Public High School Athletic Association title with a 13-6 victory against Maine-Endwell.

   The Scotties had only six hits but capitalized on eight walks, two hit batsmen, two wild pitches, two balks and three errors.

   Chance Checca hit a two-run home run to cap a three-run first inning in support of Michael Pourier, who pitched 6 1/3 innings for the win. Donovan Rhoden and Jayden Williamson also contributed two-run hits.

   "At the beginning of the year we set our goals," coach Curtis Nobles said, "and they were attainable goals, but there was not one day that we took off. We earned everything we got. The kids earned everything -- the respect, their character, their self-discipline.

   "Everything that we put on paper, it manifested today. I'm so proud of these young men. I'm super excited for our town, super excited for our school."

   Class B: Center Moriches completed its undefeated run to a second consecutive NYSPHSAA crown by beating Schuylerville 11-1.

   The last Section 11 team to go undefeated was Bayport-Blue Point's 2013 squad that won the Class A crown.

   Senior catcher Alex Maag started the onslaught by ripping a three-run home run in the first inning.

   The goal was always to win another state championship," Maag said. "And to win every game this season was absolutely incredible. And this win, so dominant, was a great way to close our careers."

   Every Red Devils starter reached base, including eight by hits, and coach Dennis Donovan managed to clear the bench to get all 15 of his seniors into the game.


   Class C: Ticonderoga became the first Section 7 team in 25 years to win a state baseball title, defeating Cooperstown 7-3 behind a combined no-hitter from Michael DuShane and Bryce Gautreau.

   Nick Robarge-Greene hit a two-run homer in the first inning and the Sentinels banged out 10 hits while erasing the memory of an extra-inning loss to Avon in the 2018 final.

   Ticonderoga expanded its lead to 6-1 in the fourth as Carson Reeves drove home a run with a sacrifice fly, Jack Grinnell plated another with an infield single and Russell Gallo III brought home another with a double.

   Class D: Whitehall jumped on Brocton early, pounded out 10 hits and went on to a 12-1 victory to complete a dominating postseason.

   The Railroaders had last won a state championship in 1984.


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  •    Thomas Fish got the win on the mound and Austin Barnao led the offense with a 4-for-4 day, driving in six runs.

       Whitehall scored three runs in the first inning and three more in the second with the help of three Brocton errors and two passed balls.

       Track and field: Section 4 entries scored a pair of victories in the New Balance Outdoor Nation- als in Greensboro, N.C.

       Maine-Endwell senior distance ace Parker Stokes kicked home in a punishing 64.3 seconds to pull away to a victory in 2,000-meter steeplechase in 5:53.19, pulling away from Mike Griffin (5:57.19) after the Wrentham, Mass., racer had pulled close to even heading into the bell lap.

       Stokes led a parade of seven New Yorkers in the top 11 that included third-place Marty Dolan of Niskayuna (5:58.32).

       Corning's girls sprint medley relay also reached the top of the awards podium. The quartet of Elora Ferrie, Emma Brown, Lindsey Butler and Jayla Skeete finished in 3:58.71 to win by 2.5 seconds. Warwick's Alissa Madura, Kaeli Thompson, Kristin Thompson and Katherine Smith placed third.

       Kaeli Thompson also grabbed a third place in the pole vault at 13-5.

       Twelve of the top 16 girls steeplechasers were from New York, led by Homer sophomore Brooke Rauber in second place with a time of 6:42.99. She found herself nine seconds behind Taylor Ewert (6:33.61) through 1,200 meters and could not reel in the Dayton, Ohio, junior over the final two laps.

       Mount Sinai's Sarah Connelly took second place in the girls two miles in 10:22.06. The winner was Northbridge, Mass., sophomore Sydney Masciarell (10:11.99), who won the 5,000 meters a day earlier.

       Huntington's Alicia Brooks, Anthony Joseph, Analisse Batista and Jonathan Smith took second place in the mixed 1,600 relay.

       The North Rockland boys shuttle hurdles relay of Grant Romanoff, Ryan Curtis, Jared Fiscus and Emmanuel Joseph captured third place in :59.65.

       Commack junior Alissa Braxton was a strong third in the girl triple jump at 41-8.75.

       Stepping down: Nick DerCola Jr. has announced his retirement from coaching football at Clyde-Savannah, one of the state's most tradition-rich small school programs.

       "I will be retiring from teaching, also," DerCola said, "and felt like it was the time to 'do something different.' Kids have changed over the years, and it was becoming harder to work with those changes. At 65 years old, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks."

       DerCola, who previously coached in North Carolina, South Carolina and at the collegiate level, was 79-37 with the Golden Eagles, highlighted by two of the program's 15 Section 5 titles.

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