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Shenendehowa wins Class AA baseball title over Niskayuna

Shenendehowa wins Class AA baseball title over Niskayuna

Reinisch, Disonell came up big
Shenendehowa wins Class AA baseball title over Niskayuna
Shenendehowa won its first Class AA title since 2016.
Photographer: ERICA MILLER

TROY — Brendan Disonell kept putting up zeroes, and Jake Reinisch delivered the biggest hit once again.

Disonell blanked Niskayuna over the final six innings, and Reinisch's deep RBI triple triggered a six-run ninth as Shenendehowa pulled away late for a 7-1 victory in the Section II Class AA championship game Monday night at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

Reinisch's walk-off single in the seventh gave Shenendehowa 3-2 semifinal win over Saratoga Springs, and his clutch blow in the final set the wheels in motion for the Plainsmen's first title-game win since 2016 and eighth in program history.

"The kid is a stud," Disonell said of his teammate, who also drove in Shenendehowa's first run in the first inning. "He is going to Wake Forest for a reason. He comes up big in big moments."

Disonell delivered in a  big way, too, scattering four hits, walking two and striking out 10 in a complete-game effort.

"Moxie. He's got moxie," Shenendehowa coach Greg Christodulu said of Disonell, a senior righty who only three times retired Niskayuna in order. "He's a grinder."

"I love goose eggs," Disonell said. "I love the feeling of going into the dugout after giving up no runs."

Disonell issued a one-out walk in the home ninth before he recorded a strikeout and got a groundout to finish the contest.

"I never won one [a championship] at any level," Disonell said. "I am going to say this is for the Shenendehowa community, our alumni and my brother [Devin]."


Niskayuna (No. 1 seed, 15-7) got its run in the third on an RBI single by Jacob Hand, and Disonell allowed only two hits afterward. Niskayuna starter Sam Morra gave up two hits through eight innings, and the next one he allowed, off Reinisch's bat, sailed to the fence in right-center.

"He gave me a little mistake and I had to take advantage of it," said Reinisch, a junior third baseman. "It felt good. He had me off-balance."

Ben Lavery reached on an error to begin Shenendehowa's ninth, and pinch runner C.J. Latham took second when Morra unleashed a wild pitch.

Section II Class AA baseball title game: Shenendehowa 7, Niskayuna 1 (9) from Ken Schott on Vimeo.

"Going up to the plate coach said, 'Expect a bunt sign,'" Reinisch said. "They took it off after our guy got to second, and I tried to put the ball in play."

"I thought we had a good game plan for him [Reinisch]," Niskayuna coach Chris Bianchi said. "We handled him. Unfortunately, [Morra] got a pitch up. He's a good hitter and he knows what to do with it."

Cole Hedden replaced Morra after Reinisch's RBI triple, and eight more Plaismen stepped to the plate before the inning was through. Sam Law hit an RBI single and Patrick McGuire hit a two-run single as part of the outburst.

"We did a good job of not giving in to them," Reinisch said. "We stuck with it.

Shenendehowa (No. 2, 16-7) threatened in the top of the eighth when pinch hitter Cal Van Der Veer led off with a walk, and his replacement, Evan Bean, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. Chase Carroll then line out to Hand, Niskayuna's second baseman.

"Morra flew under the radar a little bit this year, but he pitched well all season," Bianchi said of the junior righty who fanned nine and walked a pair. "He pitched a great game."

Shenendehowa took a 1-0 lead in the first when McGuire walked to begin the game, took third base on a pair of passed balls after strikeouts (Lavery reached on the second of those), and Reinisch hit an RBI fielder's choice grounder.

Niskayuna pulled even in the third when Aaron Whitley was hit by a pitch with two down, stole second, and came around on Hand's single.

Law turned in a pair of superb plays in right field. The Shenendehowa junior made a diving grab in the gap in the third inning just before Whitley reached, and made a sprawling catch in the sixth near the foul line. Niskayuna junior shortstop James Murphy also turned in a gem, going deep in the hole and firing hard to nip Nick Lemire in the sixth.

Lemire had two singles earlier in the game.

Photos: Images from Monday’s title game

Shenendehowa will meet Fayetteville-Manluis Saturday at 6 p.m. in a regional title game at Onondaga Community College. As the No. 7 seed  Fayetteville-Manlius (11-11) pulled off three upsets to win its first Section III Class AA title, knocking off No. 1 Baldwinsville in championship game 4-2 and beating No. 2 West Genesee and No. 3 Cicero-North Syracuse before that.

Niskayuna beat Shenendehowa 4-0 for its first Section II title in 2017.

Shenendehowa 100 000 006 — 7 5 2

Niskayuna 001 000 000 — 1 4 2

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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