It took three days for Guilderland to earn a matchup with CBA, the top-seeded team in the Section II Class AA baseball tournament.
“Definitely worth it,” Dutchmen coach Doug LaValley said after his team finally completed its first-round game against Bethlehem. “Now we go to the top seed, but at least we’re still playing. It beats the alternative.”
In a game that started and was stopped on both Tuesday and Wednesday by rain and was completed Thursday after needing extra innings, eighth-seeded Guilderland edged ninth-seeded Bethlehem 2-1 on Colin Lynch’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning at Dutchmen Field.
Ty Santabarbara struck out with one down in the Dutchmen ninth, but reached second on a throwing error. After Donald Nemith was walked intentionally by Brendan Pajak to set up a force, Guilderland pulled off a double steal to set the stage for Lynch.
“I thought they were going to walk him,” LaValley said of Lynch, a junior. “He clutched up.”
The teams played three innings Tuesday and another inning Wednesday before finishing up the final five Thursday. Guilderland tied the game 1-1 in the fifth on Aidan Chrysler’s RBI hit.
“It was an emotional rollercoaster,” LaValley said. “Start, stop, start, stop, start again. It was tough.”
Freshman Cole Miller worked the final six innings in relief for Guilderland and pitched scoreless ball. The freshman lefty gave up three hits and struck out five in the winning effort. Bethlehem (6-14) had scored its run in the third inning.
“He’s the real deal,” LaValley said of Miller. “I can see him being a big-time Division I guy.”
Danny Keaney had two singles for Guilderland (7-11), and Bethlehem’s CJ Franchini had a double and single in the three-day game.
In all, the game took approximately 48 hours to play from its first pitch to its last.
“Not my longest one,” LaValley said of the multi-day game. “Four days in 2013 against Columbia. They were the No. 1 seed and we knocked them off.”
Guilderland will play at CBA Friday at 4:30 p.m. CBA received a first-round bye.
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