BINGHAMTON — If athletics is an extension of the classroom, on this particular test, Shenendehowa had few answers.
Commack (24-2) combined sharp pitching with hot bats, solid base-running and a few Shenendehowa errors to earn a 9-0 win in the NYSPHSAA Class AA baseball semifinal at Mirabito Stadium Friday night.
The game was originally going to start at 5:15 p.m. following Roy C. Ketcham’s 6-4 win over Lancaster, but then the rain came, causing officials to put a tarp on the field. First pitch was not until 6:45.
Commack signaled it was ready to play, as Aidan Murphy, who finished 3 for 5 with an RBI, led off the game with a first-pitch single to right field. Chris McHugh followed with a single that took a strange hop over the second baseman, sending Murphy to third. Joey DiMotta’s sacrifice fly made it 1-0 just three batters in.
“To start the game, they got a few off the end of the bat that found holes,” Shenendehowa coach Greg Christodulu said. “And then they started timing up Nino [Salati] a bit better second time through the lineup.”
Commack added two more runs in the first inning on a two-run single from starting pitcher Evan Kay, who proceeded to do damage on the mound, as well.
Kay finished with 10 strikeouts, allowing just a ground-rule double to Ethan Farina in the first inning and a double to Ryan Cronin in the second inning.
“He was outstanding, and he had all three pitches working for him, had good rhythm, had good pace, located where he needed to,” Christodulu said of Kay.
Commack added two more runs in the third, scoring one on an outfielder’s error and another on Matthew Mayer’s sacrifice fly.
Commack sealed the deal with a three-run sixth inning, all done with two outs. Connor Schramm drew a bases-loaded walk, then two more scored on a play with two infielder errors.
Shenendehowa used four pitchers, but the Commack batters timed them all well. Commack also stole eight bases in the game, including one in the top of the seventh, ahead 9-0.
“I think the real story was them being able to swing the bat the way they did,” Christodulu said. “Every guy there throughout their lineup, one through nine, attacked the baseball. Probably the best we’ve seen in a number of years.”
Christodulu knows that only one team in every class finishes the season happy, and he said his team has nothing to be ashamed of.
“We battled and played hard,” he said. “Our kids worked their butts off all year to get here. … This is a special group. They probably overachieved a great deal.”
Commack 302 103 0 — 9 12 0
Shenendehowa 000 000 0 — 0 2 3
Contact Will Springstead at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @WLSpringstead.