Scotia-Glenville battled back from an early two-run deficit and later tied Friday’s Section II Class A championship game off Queensbury’s no-hit sensation, Charlie Peltz.
The Tartans stole nine bases, and sophomore Dan Zeglen rapped out three doubles, and still, it wasn’t enough.
“We were very charitable,” Scotia-Glenville coach John Striffler said after an 8-5 loss at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. “That’s the way we’ve been. I thought we played very well this year, but at the same time, we gave up a lot of things.”
Walks, a couple of fielding miscues and a string of infield hits hurt the Tartans in their biggest game of the year.
Queensbury (No. 2 seed, 18-5) scored five runs in the fourth and fifth innings without a ball leaving the infield to build a 7-5 lead, and Peltz made it through three shaky innings to get the win in the Spartans’ eighth title-game triumph and first since 2003.
Scotia-Glenville (No. 4, 15-8) had a threat going in the seventh when Brett Sarnowski singled with two down and Anthony Musto drew a walk. When a wild pitch skipped away with Zeglen at bat, Sarnowski raced to third and made it, yet overslid the bag and was tagged out to end the contest.
“We got punched out on aggressiveness,” said Striffler, after his team’s third loss to the Spartans. “That’s baseball experience. If it’s the first inning, it’s a great play. In the seventh, you’ve got to hold back. Maybe it’s my fault for not saying something.”
“He was hustling. You can’t fault him for that,” said Zeglen. “Bad luck in the end.”
Sarnowski had tied the game at 5-5 with his RBI groundout in the fifth inning. Peltz entered as Queensbury’s fourth pitcher and walked Marty McCollum with one down. McCollum stole second, moved to third on Tom Militano’s single and Sarnowski ended Peltz shutout streak at 36 innings with his roller to short.
“We did some good things,” said Zeglen. “On offense we never gave up.”
Peltz hurled three consecutive no-hitters leading up to the sectionals, and shut down Amsterdam (11-0) and Troy (2-0) in complete-game playoff wins before his appearance Friday.
“The plan was not to have him pitch at all. He kept telling me on the bus ride over that he was good for two or three [innings],” said Queensbury coach Jay Marra. “In the fifth I said, ‘Look me in the eyes and say you’re OK,’ and he did.”
Zeglen doubled to start the Tartans’ sixth and a pair of two out walks loaded the bases. Peltz escaped the jam when Chris Borden struck out on a suicide bunt attempt, and Zeglen was caught in an ensuing rundown.
Borden had missed on a bunt try earlier in the at-bat with Zeglen on the move, and Zeglen scrambled back to third.
“We should have had him in that first rundown,” said Marra. “I never thought we’d get another chance to do it. That’s the way today went. It was a strange game.”
Queensbury trailed, 4-2, when four walks in the fourth netted a run, and the Spartans got two more when both Reed Farrier and Brett Rodriguez raced home on a squeeze bunt by Alston Moses.
Two-out infield singles by Peltz and Phil Wettersten, an error and RBI infield singles by Rodriguez and Joe Marasco gave Queensbury a 7-5 lead in the fifth.
Peltz added an RBI groundout in the sixth.
“It wasn’t so much errors. It was those infield hits,” said Striffler. “They look like line drives in the book.”
Queensbury scored two in the second on an error and an RBI single by Rodriguez. Scotia-Glenville got those runs back in the third on an RBI single by Nick Schaub and an error.
Musto hit an RBI single in the fourth and Zeglen hit an RBI double afterward for a 4-2 Tartans’ lead.
“We left them in the game,” said Striffler. “As a program, we’ve got to work on the little things and get better.”
The game was a sectional rubber match, after Queensbury beat Scotia-Glenville in the 2012 semifinals and the Tartans ousted the Spartans in the 2011 quarterfinals. The Tartans reached the title game that year and lost to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in a nine-inning final.
Scotia-Glenville won its last sectional championship (Class B) in 1987.
Queensbury will travel to Clarkson University Monday for a regional semifinal game at 4 against Massena of Section X.
Greg Buckley drove in two runs, including the game-winner with a single in the fifth, and Shenendehowa finally secured another Section II title with a 3-2 Class AA victory over Shaker.
Shenendehowa (No. 3, 20-3) last won a championship in 1996, and before that in 1994.
“We kind of changed the focus,” said first-year Plainsmen coach Greg Christodulu. “We never talked about winning. Sure, we wanted to, but that’s not what we stressed. We talked about being consistent, playing baseball the right way, paying attention to detail and doing the little things that make a difference.”
Shenendehowa lost to Columbia in last year’s large-school final, 3-2, in nine innings. The Plainsmen also dropped the Class AA final to Colonie in 2006 in nine innings,
2-1, and bowed in the 2005 final to LaSalle in 11 innings, 8-7.
“This year, we’ve got a really close-knit group of guys, and we brought it together,” said Buckley. “To win something like this, this is big. It feels so great.”
Nick Guinta reached second on a two-out outfield error in the fifth, and Buckley singled him home to break a tie, with the senior’s liner to right just beyond the reach of Garrett Klahr’s dive.
“He [Shaker pitcher Nick Gavin] jammed me a little bit,” said Buckley. “Their guy made a pretty good read on it, and when I saw it drop in there, I was so excited.”
“Matt has been steady for us for three years,” said Christodulo. “That was a huge hit for us.”
Buckley also had an RBI groundout in the first, and Tyler Vice doubled in the second and scored on a wild pitch. Shaker (No. 4, 16-7) got its runs in the second on Sean Egan’s homer over the left field fence, and Klahr’s RBI single.
Shenendehowa reliever Bryan Warzek worked out of a first and third jam in the sixth with a strikeout and a groundout, and Taylor Vavruick pitched a perfect seventh to seal the Plainsmen’s second win over the Blue Bison in three games this season.
“All year we’ve had close games and we dug down,” said Buckley. “I think those close games had us ready for this.”
Shenendehowa will take on Baldwinsville of Section III Tuesday at 7:30 at DeLuttis Field in Rome in a regional title game.
SHENENDEHOWA 3, SHAKER 2
Shaker 000 020 0 — 2 6 2
Shenendehowa 110 010 0 — 3 6 0
Gavin and Killian; Kalish, Warzek (5), Vavruick (7) and Guinta.
QUEENSBURY 8, SCOTIA-GLENVILLE 5
Scotia-Glenville 002 210 0 — 5 11 2
Queensbury 020 321 x — 8 8 1
Forshey, Musto (4) and Schaub; Parsons, Nelson (4), P. Wettersten (4), Peltz (5) and Farrier.