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Mohonasen wins sectional opener

Mohonasen wins sectional opener

Beats South Glens Falls 12-6
Mohonasen wins sectional opener
Ryan Deguire of Mohonasen tags out Jared Thomas of South Glens Falls as he slides into second base Thursday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber/Gazette Photographer

ROTTERDAM - Mohonasen senior Ryan Lanaro was pretty sure the outcome was going to be different than that last two Section II tournament games his team played in.

After three innings in Thursday's Class A quarterfinal with South Glens Falls, the three-year varsity veteran was almost certain of it.

"It definitely boosts your confidence when guys are making plays and hitting the ball like that," Lanaro said.

Eric Starr made a diving catch in left field for the game's first out, Lanaro pitched perfect baseball through the first three innings, and the Mighty Warriors put up seven runs during that stretch on the way to a 12-6 home victory over the Bulldogs.

Dylan Pusz highlighted a three-run first with a two-run double, and those three runs were more than Mohonasen managed in its last two sectional games, both losses to eventual champion Queensbury.

"The last two years we lost 1-0 in extras," Lanaro said. "This year is a different year. We're a different team. We're tough, and our chemistry is through the roof."

Mohonasen (No. 3 seed, 10-8) scored in each of its six innings. Among its 14  hits, six went for doubles. Every starter made some kind of offensive contribution.

"They're a hitting team," Lanaro said after scattering six hits in a complete-game effort that included nine strikeouts. "It helped a lot that we were hitting, too."

Mohonasen was limited to two hits in last year's 1-0, eight-inning loss at Queensbury.

"That hurt. That hurt a lot," Mohonasen senior Brandon Kruzinski said. "All we've been thinking about it the road to The Joe [Joe Bruno Stadium]. We've played with each other since we were five, six-years-old. We've been on all-star teams together. We've got  good group. We're ready for anyone."

Mohonasen third-year coach Kevin Sheremeta can sense the desire from his veteran team that put together a winning record (8-7) in a Class AA-dominated Suburban Council.

"We have three players [Lanaro, Kruzinski, Ryan Deguire]  who are here for a third time," Sheremeta said. "Eight are back from last year. They're a hungry bunch. Every game they know could be their  last game, and they don't want to see that happen."

Kruzinski went 4-for-5 and only a quick glove by Bulldogs' first baseman Joe Battista on a sharp grounder in the sixth kept him from a perfect day at the plate. The center fielder also stole a base, scored twice, drove in a run and made Mohonasen's second diving grab in the fifth to rob Hunter Anderson of extra bases.

"It's like a booster shot," Mohonasen coach Kevin Sheremeta said of Kruzinski's superb defensive play. "He's such a great athlete. He's the best center fielder in our league, and Eric is the second best."

A.J. Savoie went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Starr went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. and Lanaro went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI.

"Our bats are coming alive at the right time," Kruzinski said. "He [SGF starter Ben Wilson] is a good pitcher, and we found gaps."

Mohonasen was on the board four batters in when Pusz doubled to right to bring home Lanaro, who had walked, and Kruzinski, who beat a bunt single before Deguire's sacrifice bunt.

Starr later delivered Mohonasen's third a run on  fielder's choice groundout. In the second frame, Lanaro hit an RBI double and Kruzinski hit an RBI single.

"We're hot at the right time," Sheremeta said. "We won our last three league games."

Battista did the most damage for South Glens Falls (No. 6, 6-13) with a two-run home run in the fourth inning and an RBI double in the sixth. Lanaro gave up three earned runs.

SGF 000 302 1 - 6 6 2

Mohonasen 322 221 x - 12 14 5

Wilson, Thomas (3), Yando (6) and Bovair; Lanaro and Coelho.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 395-3143, jims@dailygazette.com or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.







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