For a brief second, Averill Park baseball coach Jim Kahler thought about taking out his starting pitcher, Tyler Childrose, after six innings in Friday’s Section II Class A final against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.
But with the way Childrose was dominating the Spartans, the thought quickly passed.
Childrose struck out 12 and tossed a three-hitter, helping Averill Park win its first Section II title with a 2-1 victory over Burnt Hills at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.
The Warriors advance to the regional against an opponent to be determined.
“He had 91 pitches going into the last inning,” said Kahler, who is in his first year as Averill Park’s coach. “I looked at him and he said, ‘No, I’m going to do the whole thing.’ I figured, why not?”
Childrose had at least one strikeout in each inning. He struck out the side in the sixth, and punctuated his performance by striking out Josh Quesada for the fourth time to end the game just before the skies opened up and dropped heavy rains on the field.
“I knew once I started locating my fastball, I knew they weren’t going to touch it at all,” Childrose said. “They had a tough time today.”
Childrose finished with 112 pitches, 71 for strikes.
“I told coach I wasn’t coming out no matter what,” Childrose said. “I don’t care how high the pitch limit was, I just wanted to win and I wanted to be out there.”
Five of Childrose’s strikeouts were called third strikes. Each time, he got the Burnt Hills’ batters with fastballs on the outside corner. He had a streak of four in a row.
“That was a good location,” Childrose said. “The ump was giving a little off the plate. I just kept pounding that zone, and they were just taking the pitch.”
Burnt Hills coach Rob Duell thought his batters should have been protecting the plate when they got down two strikes.
“It’s hard for me to tell where those pitches are from third base,” Duell said. “Whether they’re off the plate or not, the strike zone is what it is today, and we have to recognize that sooner. If that’s a strike today, then we have to do something, foul it off, whatever it is, and do a better job of getting to the next pitch because they are tough pitches to hit. I understand that.”
The Spartans certainly had their chances to score. They had runners in scoring position in four innings, but only scored in the fifth. And that came without the benefit of a hit.
After Cody Mooney walked to open the fifth. Drew Haughey laid a bunt down the first-base line. Childrose fielded it, but in his attempt to throw to first, he dropped the ball for an error. After a wild pitch, Steve Perone laid down a squeeze bunt to score Mooney.
“Give credit to [Childrose],” Duell said. “We had chances. When we got guys in scoring position, he got strikeouts and that’s what he needed to get. For us, we need to do a better job of putting the ball in play.”
Spartans starter Joey Butler pitched very well. The right-hander scattered five hits in going the distance. He tossed 91 pitches, 67 for strikes, and had a four-pitch fourth inning. Butler retired the final 11 batters he faced.
“Butler pitched great for us,” Duell said.
Butler was done in by a two-run third in which both runs were unearned. Chris Amadon led off by reaching base on an error by third baseman Ryan Gardy. Butler retired the next two hitters before James Apple hit a hard grounder behind third base. Gardy dove to his right to field the ball, and he came up throwing. The ball sailed past first baseman Haughey. Apple got an infield single, and the runners moved up on the error.
After Sam Beaulac walked, Max Tessitore singled off Butler’s glove to drive home Amadon. Ben Reinisch followed by lining an RBI single off Butler’s right leg.
“A couple plays that, I think, we usually make, we didn’t,” Duell said. “But they capitalized. You’ve got to give them credit. We were almost out of it. We got a ground ball, and it didn’t work out. I’m happy with how hard our kids played. Give [Averill Park] credit, they did a good job.”
Averill Park 002 000 0 — 2 5 2
BH-BL 000 010 0 — 1 3 2
Childrose and Arnold; Butler and Maynard.
On Thursday, Brad Smith threw a three-hitter, picking up his ninth win of the season, as Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville stunned top-seeded Fort Ann, 12-3, in the Section II Class D championship game.
Devan Battisti belted a two-run triple in the first inning to give the Wolves (14-6) the lead for good. Joe D’Antonino added an RBI single in the second, and Nate Trumble had a two-run single in the third to set the tone for the victory.
Dylan Klock finished with two doubles and two singles for the Wolves, Battisti had a triple and a double and Nick D’Antonino contributed a single and a double to OESJ’s 12-hit attack.
Cameron Stark drove in the only run for Fort Ann (12-2).
OESJ 212 101 0 — 7 12 1
Fort Ann 000 001 0 — 1 3 1
Smith and Johnson; Mattison, Bailey (3) and Johnson.