TROY — Sometimes one defensive play can make a major difference in a baseball game’s outcome.
Fourth-seeded Duanesburg was holding a precarious 4-2 lead after Warrensburg’s Tanner Monroe scored on an error in the bottom of the sixth inning. But center fielder Peyton Fall ended the 18-3 Burghers’ mini-uprising when he threw out Steve Schloss at the plate following Caden Allen’s line-drive single up the middle.
The 13-6 Eagles tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh and held off the third-seeded Burghers 6-2 for the Section 2 Class C championship Thursday night at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. Duanesburg will meet the Class CC champion in the CC-C playoff game Saturday night at 7 at Bruno.
“That was quite a throw, for sure,” said Duanesburg coach Adam Randall.
“I knew he was going to make that play. I just knew he was going to throw him out,” added senior pitcher Shane Wetherington, who tossed a complete-game, scattering six hits and striking out eight.
Fall had no doubt he was going to throw Schloss out at the plate.
“It helps being a pitcher myself,” said Fall. “I was waiting for the kid as he was heading toward third base. I was waiting for him to run home, and I’m glad he went. I knew the throw was right there.”
Duanesburg’s complete-game effort of 12 hits, excellent pitching and some fantastic defensive plays were too much for the Burghers, despite their early lead.
Warrensburg got the early lead in the bottom of the first, when Schloss singled, stole second, and then came home on an infield single by Allen, who beat out a slow roller to second base. Schloss kept running around third before the Eagles realized he was on his way home.
Duanesburg knotted the score in the top of the second on Jared Howell’s double to second, a passed ball and a grounder to short by Ethan Myers.
The Eagles scored one run in each of the next four innings. Fall reached on a bunt single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Grant Raymond’s single to right in the third inning. Myers singled to left and scored after back-to-back singles from Mike Leak and Wetherington in the fourth. Then the Eagles capitalized on consecutive Warrensburg errors in the fifth inning to plate another run.
Warrensburg cut its deficit to 4-2 in the sixth inning, but the Burgers could have scored more runs if not for Fall’s brilliant throw to home and another sparkling play from left fielder Myers, who threw Daalton DeMarsh out at third after he doubled.
A double by Ryan Coons, a single from Myers and two more errors helped produce the Eagles’ final two runs in the seventh.
“It was a fantastic game,” said Randall. “One of the things I tell my guys is that you can’t win if you don’t score at least one run. When they got up by one, I had confidence in our guys. We were down one against Spa Catholic and we came back to win. It was a little nerve-wracking, but they are battlers, and they battled back.
Randall wasn’t surprised his team capitalized on Warrensburg’s miscues.
“That’s the key of the game. Teams are going to make mistakes. What you do with those mistakes and opportunities you are given might make or break you. That’s what happened here. We took advantage of their mistakes, but also hit the ball very well tonight. When you put the bat on the ball, good things happen.”
Wetherington said he had complete confidence in his defense.
“I just thought I had to trust my defense. I knew I could pitch for outs,” he said. “My defense helped me, just like they have throughout the sectionals. My slider was definitely my pitch tonight. That’s my go-to pitch, and it was working today. This feels great to finally win the sectionals. I’ve been trying since I was a freshman. It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in baseball.”
“This means everything. We graduate 11-12 seniors, and it’s good that we got one with this group now. I’m so happy we won. We got to the finals last year but lost, and it really hurt,” he said.
Duanesburg 011 110 2 — 6 12 2
Warrensburg 100 001 0 — 2 6 4
Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected].
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: High School Sports, Rotterdam, Sports, Sports, Youth Sports