TROY — The cramp in his right calf aching, Mohonasen senior Ryan Lanaro kept throwing one strike after another. For the final three innings of Wednesday’s Section II Class A baseball championship game against Scotia-Glenville, Lanaro could deal with the pain in his leg that pulsed fresh with each pitch.
“There’s no way I was coming out,” Lanaro said. “Even if they said I had to, there was no way. I was staying on the mound all game.”
That’s how Mohonasen head coach Kevin Sheremeta saw it, too.
“He wanted to keep the ball,” Sheremeta said. “There was no way he was coming out.”
Not until the last strikeout. Lanaro’s eighth punch-out of the night sealed a 2-0 win for Mohonasen at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, as the Mighty Warriors won their first area title since 2009. Lanaro tossed a two-hitter in the win and did not allow a Tartans baserunner to get to third until the final inning.
“He’s a big-time player,” Sheremeta said.
“He just kept us off-balance,” Scotia head coach John Striffler said. “He mixed up his pitches nice.”
Lanaro scored the game-winning run, too. After a two-out error extended the third inning, senior Brandon Kruzinski slugged an RBI triple to score Lanaro and senior Ryan Deguire followed with an RBI single to plate Kruzinski.
“Whoever made the first mistake was gonna come in second,” Striffler said. “Unfortunately, it was us.”
For Mohonasen (No. 3, 12-8), Lanaro and freshman Eric Starr each had two hits. For Scotia-Glenville (No. 4, 13-7), senior Isaac Puglisi broke up the no-hitter for Lanaro with two outs in the fifth inning and senior Nick Thomas doubled.
Thomas’ double led off the seventh inning. Kruzinski said the Mighty Warriors didn’t panic.
“I had confidence in Ryan,” Kruzinski said.
Lanaro never had any doubt he’d get the final three outs, either.
“Honestly, no,” Lanaro. “Not at all.”
Lanaro struck out the final two Scotia hitters to close out the championship.
Taking the loss for Scotia was senior Lucas Terwilliger, who allowed a pair of unearned runs in three-plus innings of work. Senior Brendon Sarnowski pitched the final three scoreless innings for the Tartans.
“We just came up second,” Striffler said. “The kids battled, did a great job.”
Mohonasen next plays June 1 in sub-regionals. Sheremeta said the Mighty Warriors will be ready for the state playoffs.
“These guys are flying high right now,” Sheremeta said. “They believe in themselves. I think they believe they can beat anybody right now — and they can.”
CADETS DOWN SAINTS
Ben Seiler threw a perfect game in Saturday’s semifinals of the Section II Class B tournament.
Getting the win in Wednesday’s championship game? Way better.
“This means 10 times more than a perfect game,” Seiler said after his team’s 12-4 win against Saratoga Central Catholic at Bruno Stadium.
Seiler, a junior, picked up for the win for Albany Academy (No. 7, 18-4), which won its second sectional title in three years. For Saratoga Central Catholic (No. 1, 20-3), the defeat ended its season in an upset loss in the championship game for the second year in a row. A year ago as the top seed, Saratoga Central Catholic lost in the final of the Section II Class BB tournament to sixth-seeded Schalmont.
“I would have liked to finish on a better note, obviously, but credit Albany Academy,” Saints head coach Phonsey Lambert said. “We knew we were gonna have to play a great game against them.”
The matchup featured a pair of starting pitchers coming off terrific performances in the semifinals. Seiler had thrown a perfect game, striking out eight batters in a 5-0 win against Voorheesville in which the ball did not leave the infield. Meanwhile, Saratoga Central Catholic sophomore Terel Tillman had struck out seven in a two-hitter, with both hits coming in the final inning of a 2-0 win against Johnstown.
But Albany Academy struck for four runs in the opening frame. After the Saints answered with three in the third inning, the Cadets added four apiece in both the fifth and sixth.
“Our bats were on fire,” said Seiler, who struck out seven and allowed five runs in six-plus innings. “They’ve been on fire all playoffs.”
Seiler had three hits and three RBIs, while sophomore Ethan Duda, junior Brett Young and E.J. Birch each tripled.
For the Saints, senior Zac Cronk had two doubles as part of a three-hit day in which he scored two runs.
Albany Academy next plays June 3 in the state quarterfinals.
MOHONASEN 2, SCOTIA-GLENVILLE 0
Scotia-Glenville 000 000 0 — 0 2 1
Mohonasen 002 000 x — 2 6 1
Terwilliger, Sarnowski (4) and Puglisi; Lanaro and Coelho.
ALBANY ACADEMY 12, SARATOGA CENTRAL CATHOLIC 4
Albany Acad. 400 044 0 — 12 10 0
Spa Catholic 003 000 1 — 4 8 5
Seiler, Birch (7) and Moshier; Tillman, Farrington (5), Learch (6) and Winslow.
Reach Gazette Sportswriter Michael Kelly at 395-3109, [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.
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Categories: -Sports-, High School Sports