SARATOGA SPRINGS — Was winning the first sectional title since 2005 enough for Schuylerville?
The Black Horses said no.
After facing a 1-0 early deficit against Northeastern Clinton, Schuylerville responded with four runs in the bottom of the third, taking the lead and then cruising to an 11-1 win in Thursday’s Class B sub-regional game at Veterans Memorial Park.
“Their pitcher was live early, throwing up high. We were chasing a little bit, but we calmed down, settled down and eventually got to him,” Schuylerville coach Darrin Renner said. “We put some runners on base, put the ball in play in the right spots, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Ultimately, Schuylerville (16-7) kept the momentum going, with an explosion in the bottom of the sixth inning to close out the game and season for Northeastern Clinton (13-7). With the victory, Schuylerville advances to play Ogdensburg Free Academy in Saturday’s state quarterfinal at Plumeri Sports Complex at 1 p.m.
“I wasn’t that nervous. I knew that my team had the determination to keep playing, keep hitting, and get runs,” junior starting pitcher Matt McCarthy said. “It’s amazing. It’s a great feeling to just play hard, have the team on my back as I pitch.”
In the top of the second, Northeastern Clinton’s Bryan Claudio hit a leadoff single, then advanced to second on a single by Landon Coulombe. Claudio stole third, and scored on an errant pickoff throw, giving Northeastern Clinton the 1-0 advantage.
Would Schuylerville have an answer?
In the bottom of the third, Schuylerville loaded the bases. Paul Harshbarger singled and stole second. Ryan Yandow walked, and Colton Weatherwax singled. Nathan Preston then launched a two-run double to center field to give the Black Horses the lead. Alex Vallee followed with a successful bunt, bringing another run. A fourth run scored on a wild pitch.
Schuylerville would tack on another run in the bottom of the fourth after a single by Yandow brought in Christian Petralia.
In the top of the sixth, Northeastern Clinton had its final opportunity to respond, with Kaleb LaBarge registering a leadoff single. But McCarthy didn’t allow another hit as he earned the complete-game victory.
In the bottom of the sixth, Yandow led off with a single. Weatherwax added his second double of the game, and Preston followed up with another two-run double to make it 7-1. Vallee drove in Preston with a single. After Cayden Renner singled, Jack Bodnar’s single drove home Vallee. Brady Eugair then walked to load the bases. Renner scored on a wild pitch. After Noah Morris walked to reload the bases, the game ended on the 10-run mercy rule when Harshbarger was walked.
“We won the first regional game three times in the past, but we’ve never won that second regional game,” said Renner. “We are going to attempt something we’ve never done. We are going to give it our best shot.”
Schuylerville will look to repeat its dominant performance and keep its postseason run going in the next outing against Ogdensburg Free Academy.
“We just need to play our game [and] don’t worry about the other team. We are determined, unpredictable,” McCarthy said. “It would be amazing to win states. It would be a great thing to do. Never in Schuylerville history has baseball ever won states.”
NE Clinton 010 000 — 1 5 0
Schuylerville 004 106 — 11 12 1