Chris Wyanski would have taken any kind of win, but the way Duanesburg performed Wednesday made his coaching milestone just a little more special.
“This is how they can play,” Wyanski said after his Eagles beat longtime rival Schoharie, 7-0. “They stepped up and played exceptional baseball. I didn’t do it. They did. My job was easy today.”
Sean McGarry helped set the tone with a strikeout to start the Western Athltic Conference game and a three-run home run in the bottom of the first. Henry Holmes also drilled a homer, and the Southern Division-leading Eagles cruised to Wyanski’s 300th coaching victory.
“We came into the season knowing the amount of wins he needed. All day, we were thinking about it,” said McGarry, who pitched six innings of shutout ball before Shane Barberis finished up. “It wasn’t nervousness. It was more excitement that we had the opportunity.”
Duanesburg (6-2, 6-4) struggled to get past Mekeel Christian Academy Tuesday, winning that one, 7-5, before putting all facets of its game together Wednesday and equalling last season’s total of victories.
“I feel like I accomplished something,” said Wyanski, the Eagles’ 30-year coach, as he began to tear up. “I’m not just an average person on the block.”
Wyanski became the first baseball coach from the old Schoharie County League and WAC to reach the 300-win plateau, improving to 300-251 overall. Duanesburg softball coach John Conway picked up his 300th win last week.
“We were confident we were going to get the win,” said McGarry, who, along with several of his teammates, wore athletic tape on their caps with No. 300 written in black ink. “We got a couple of big hits, I did what I could on the mound, and we got it.”
McGarry struck out seven, walked one and gave up four hits, and recorded an out after making a behind-the-back stab of a hard grounder. Holmes started a double play after making a catch in short center field, and first baseman Elijah Casper made a difficult scoop to save an error.
“When you throw strikes the way Sean did, play defense and get a quick three-run lead, you can’t ask for anything more than that,” said Wyanski.
McGarry pitched the seventh inning for the save Tuesday, and the senior righty worked his way in and out of jams in his stint Wednesday.
“He threw 75 pitches, but they were a hard 75 pitches,” said Wyanski.
“We got guys on. We didn’t get the big hit when we needed it,” said Schoharie coach Lenny Coons. “A couple of singles would have made it a different game.”
Cody Chase doubled to start the Schoharie (3-2, 3-3) third, and McGarry sandwiched strikeouts around an infield pop. Aaron Valvo doubled to start the Schoharie fifth, and McGarry fanned two, hit a batter and notched another strikeout. Evan Ottman reached on a one-out error in the Schoharie sixth and took second on a wild pitch before the Duanesburg ace got a strikeout and a groundout.
“I didn’t have a lot on my fastball,” said McGarry. “I spotted my fastball and went with a lot of off-speed pitches. I tried to keep them off balance.”
“Toward the end of the game, he was not going full strength, but he battled. He gives 100 percent to everything he does,” said Wyanski. “He wanted it as much for me as I did.”
McGarry gave Duanesburg a 3-0 lead with his second homer in as many days, connecting off Valvo.
“We had guys on second and third, and I was looking for something to hit. It was an inside fastball. He left it there,” said McGarry. “I think that definitely gave us a boost. I was thinking, ‘We’re one step closer. Now we have to shut the door.’ ”
Pat McGarry walked to begin the Duanesburg first, Drew Rice
doubled off the left-field fence and Sean McGarry cleared it. Holmes hit an opposite-field solo shot to right to make it 4-0 in the third.
“He [Holmes] had been struggling in our last three games. Last night, you could have put a beach ball out there and he would have missed it,” Wyanski said. “That was another big hit for us.”
Pat McGarry hit an RBI single and Rice had a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, and Holmes added an RBI single in the sixth.
Valvo struck out 11 and hit a pair of doubles. He doubled in the second but was left stranded when McGarry got a flyout.
Rob Henry walked to start that inning and Devin Brooks hit a fly to center. Holmes made the catch and quickly fired to first for a double play as Henry scrambled to get back.
Schoharie 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
Duanesburg 301 201 x — 7 9 2
A. Valvo and Ottman; S. McGarry, S. Barberis (7) and Cramer.