Pitching and defense are Schalmont’s bread and butter, but the versatile Sabres aren’t afraid to add some condiments to their winning recipe once in a while.
Senior left-hander Greg Musk didn’t have his “A” game, but he still tossed a two-hitter, and first baseman John Pascarella led an 11-hit attack by plating three runs with a two-run triple and bases-loaded walk to lead Schalmont over Fonda-Fultonville, 8-1, in the Section II Class BB-B playoff game Saturday at The College’s of Saint Rose’s Plumeri Athletic Complex.
Schalmont, the defending Class B champion, heads to state regional play at either Plattsburgh or St. Lawrence. The Braves finish up at 13-10.
“This feels great,” said Musk, who struck out seven but walked five and hit a batter. He also threw two wild pitches. “I felt good out there, but I struggled a little bit. I wasn’t on my game. Luckily, I had some good D [defense] behind me.”
Musk (7-0) had good velocity, but not his usual pinpoint control. He bounced numerous pitches in the dirt and failed to hit his spots like he usually does.
“I usually can hit the corners, but I wasn’t able to do that today,” said Musk, who added three hits and two RBI to help his own cause with the bat. “I wasn’t quite on top of things.”
Schalmont coach Bob Anderson said his team isn’t done by a long shot.
“This team has worked very hard to get back to the regionals, but we still have some unfinished business,” he said. “Our game is usually pitching and defense, but we had some clutch hits today. Last year, we lost in the regionals, so we know we still need to work harder.”
Pascarella, who delivered the biggest hit of the game with his triple to right field in the second inning, said the Sabres are extremely motivated to continue their postseason run.
“We’re not satisfied with where we are,” he said. “We have three more games left in the states, and we want to win. You can bet we will be practicing hard all week in preparation for next weekend.”
Pascarella said he saw the ball well at the plate against all three Fonda pitchers.
“We were all waiting for the fastball. If we didn’t get it, we waited,” he said. “We’re a pretty smart team. We make the good plays, and we don’t let things snowball.”
Schalmont jumped on Fonda senior starting pitcher Baylee Hall early. Musk drilled a double to right and scored on Dom Toma’s soft popup bunt single that landed between the pitcher and second baseman. Toma stole second and scored on Chris Hamilton’s single to deep short.
The Sabres tacked on two more runs in the second on back-to-back walks to Musk and Toma and Pascarella’s triple.
Fonda got on the board in the fourth when Patrick Hart walked, stole second and scored on an error.
But Schalmont came right back in the top of the fifth with three more runs. Hamilton walked, Brion Dufek singled to center and Jake Defayette singled sharply to left to score Hamilton. Musk’s single to center plated Dufek, and then Pascarella walked with the bases loaded to force in another run.
Schalmont also added another run in the seventh on an RBI single to center by Musk.
Fonda used three pitchers, as Hart replaced Hall with two outs in the fourth inning. Zak Shaw finished up the last two innings.
Schalmont 220 030 1 — 8 11 1
Fonda 000 100 0 — 1 2 0
Musk and Yezzo; Hall, Hart (4), Shaw (6) and Sinicropi.