CANAJOHARIE — Riley Montanye never saw the game’s final play as he raced down the line, but he couldn’t miss the reaction of Canajoharie’s first base coach, and was certain it could mean only one thing.
The Cougars would be walking off their home field as Section II Class C baseball champions.
“I was running as hard as I could and saw Joe Fowler jumping up and down,” Montanye said. “I knew it.”
Lake George was unable to make a play on Montanye’s bases-loaded grounder, and Rich Tamsett scored to cap a three-run rally in the seventh inning as Canajoharie upended the Warriors 7-6 in a small-school thriller.
“We knew we were going to have that magic inning,” Canajoharie coach Joe Brown said after his second-seeded team completed a 15-1 season. “It was a matter of when.”
Montanye played the game-ending hero like he did in the tournament’s first round, when his two-run single in the last of the ninth lifted the Cougars past Schoharie 10-9.
“I’m just happy right now,” said Montanye, the Cougars’ junior catcher. “I knew we had it in us.”
Matt Syvertsen’s two-run home run in the fifth inning and a run-scoring wild pitch in the seventh enabled ninth-seeded Lake George (11-5) to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead.
“We don’t win this game 7-6, and we’re not Class C champions, without everybody,” said Tamsett, who worked the first five innings before Jack Montanye finished the pitching chores. “It was a real team effort today.”
Seven Cougars batted in the seventh, with Keegan Meyers reaching on an error to start it and then stealing second.
“Once Keegan stole second, I thought we had it,” Tamsett said.
Meyers moved to third on a groundout and scored on Chance Pettys’ single. After Tamsett was hit by a Brendan Lamby pitch, walks to Jack Montanye and Zack Suite brought home the tying run, and Riley Montanye’s grounder set the wheels in motion for a walk-off victory.
“It’s Canajoharie grit,” Brown said. “It’s never say die.”
“One hundred percent we had faith,” Riley Montanye said. “We weren’t being arrogant and cocky. We just believed, and it’s awesome.”
Canajoharie modified baseball coach Brandon Smith, who was a member of the school’s last Section II title team in 2010, had a few words for the Cougars backstop before his final at-bat.
“Before he went up there, I told him he’s going to remember this moment,” Smith said.
Canajoharie beat Hoosic Valley 2-0 in the quarterfinals and rallied for a 5-3 win over Galway in the semifinals.
“We kept it exciting all year,” Brown said.
Lake George scored a pair of runs in the first on a Cole Clarke double and a Canajoharie throwing error. The Cougars got a run back in the third when L.A. Fairley doubled and Tamsett singled him home. Brody McCabe’s solo homer in the fourth gave the Warriors a 3-1 lead, and a two-run single by Meyers and a run-scoring error in the home half gave the Cougars a 4-3 advantage.
Lake George won its last Section II tile in 2018.
Isabella Milazzo pitched a three-hitter with 13 strikeouts, and Mackenzie Wendelken and Carolina Wlliams both drove in a run as top-seeded Ichabod Crane beat third-seeded Tamarac 3-0 in the Section II Class B softball championship game. Wendelken went 3 for 3 with a double, Williams went 2 for 2 with a double, and Emma Scheitinger added a hit and scored twice for the Riders.
In the Class C title game, top-seeded Chatham scored all of its runs in the fourth inning and beat third-seeded Lake George 4-1. Abby Taylor had a double, single and two RBIs for Chatham, and Emily Messick limited Lake George to six hits. Madeline Gorey had two of them including a double to lead the Warriors, and Olivia Gates had a hit and an RBI.
CANAJOHARIE 7, LAKE GEORGE 6
Lake George 200 120 1 — 6 7 5
Canajoharie 001 300 3 — 7 8 3
ICHABOD CRANE 3, TAMARAC 0
Tamarac 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
Ichabod Crane 100 011 x — 3 6 0
CHATHAM 4, LAKE GEORGE 1
Lake George 001 000 0 — 1 6 4
Chatham 040 000 x — 4 5 0
ICHABOD CRANE 4, GREENVILLE 3
Singles: Lantzy (IC) def. Mitchell 6-2, 6-1; Richards (IC) def. Weiss 6-0, 6-0; Gorneau (G) def. Liam Curry 2-6, 6-2, 6-2; Rectazo (IC) def. Aden Weiss 6-2, 6-2; Rectazo (IC) def. Brady Grupe 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Doubles: Bowden-Gergen (G) def. Papas-Reynolds 6-3, 7-6 (6); Snyder/Rhodes-Goodman (G) def. Konkle-Meyer 6-1, 6-0.