Duanesburg used well-timed hits and took advantage of Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons mistakes to defeat the Golden Knights 13-6, while top-seeded Galway dispatched Hartford/Fort Edward 11-3, sending Duanesburg and Galway to the Class C baseball sectional final on Monday night at East Field in Glens Falls.
Duanesburg and Bishop Gibbons were tied 3-3 through the first two innings, but the Eagles took over for good in the bottom of the third, scoring five runs, highlighted by a two-run triple off the bat of Grant Raymond that went to the right field fence and gave Duanesburg a 6-3 lead.
“At first it was a bunt sign, so I squared on the first pitch, but after that I swung away and was able to get the triple to right field,” Raymond said. “Kind of close it out there.”
Duanesburg scored consistently after that, adding a run in the fourth, three more in the fifth and one in the sixth including on an RBI single from Peyton Fall as well as an RBI double from Ryan Coons, both big hits coming in the fifth.
On the mound, Duanesburg starter Shane Wetherington surrendered three runs in the first, one on an RBI bloop single to right field from Nicholas Mendonca. After that, Wetherington settled in, allowing only two more runs through the rest of his five innings of work while striking out seven.
“He’s one of those people who needs to know that the team has his back, and we showed that, putting up those runs,” Duanesburg head coach Adam Randall said. “Once he settles down and gets into a groove, he just starts grooving. I think that was pretty evident.”
Kyle Williams tossed the final two innings for the Eagles, allowing one run.
Duanesburg took advantage of mistakes from Bishop Gibbons, as well. Duanesburg only registered six hits throughout, but was able to create traffic on the bases through fielding miscues from the Golden Knights and by drawing six walks.
“We really try to take advantage of opportunities early,” Randall said. “We didn’t get a lot of hits in the game, but the baserunning opportunities allowed us to score a few more runs than them, so, just taking advantage of opportunities.”
In the second semifinal, the top-seeded Eagles found themselves in a 1-0 hole after the top of the first following an RBI single from JP Lavin, but quickly erased it with three runs in the bottom half. Eric Zelezniak tied the game with an RBI single, and two batters later Brian Brink laced a double to score two more runs.
Brink had another double in the second inning, part of a five-run burst for the Eagles to make it 8-1. Earlier in the inning, Sam Neahr had an RBI infield single that scored starting pitcher Myles Pleasants. Galway had four hits in the second inning and finished with 12 for the game.
On the mound, Pleasants shut down the Tanafort bats, surrendering two runs on five hits and striking out nine in four innings. Ryan Pudney pitched the final three innings, giving up one late run on an RBI groundout by Bryce Tyler after an Ayden Swears double.
Galway added three runs in the fifth inning, two of them coming from a deep fly ball to centerfield from Zelezniak that dropped just in front of the wall.
Duanesburg and Galway advance to the Class C final, to be held at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m.