BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The historic run for the Schuylerville baseball squad ended quickly and loudly at the hands of Section XI’s Central Moriches in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B championship game at Binghamton University Saturday afternoon.
The Red Devils stroked two singles in the top half of the first inning and saw Alex Maag drilled a three-run home run over the centerfield fence before the Black Horses recorded an out.
The defending NYS champion Central Moriches didn’t stop there, pushing across three more runs in the third, scratched a run across in the fourth and exploded for five more runs in the sixth and stopped Schuylerville in the bottom half of the inning for an 11-1 mercy rule championship victory.
“We looked at all the stats, they have a guy who didn't even pitch today that throws 90-something and we thought we were going to see him, but they have so many arms and they're good at so every position,” Schuylerville manager Darrin Renner said. “They won the state championship last year, we knew they were very good and they're also 26-0.
“You kind of know what you're in for, that you have to go out and play hard and do the best you can. Every place we put the ball they hit it hard, they fielding everything we hit, so you have to tip your caps sometimes to a team for just going out and playing great.”
Schuylerville scratched out its lone run in the fourth after Colton Weatherwax led off with a single to center and starting pitcher Alex Vallee followed with a one-out single. Charles Luzadis hit into a fielder’s choice that erased Vallee at second but the throw from the shortstop went wide during the double play attempt allowing Weatherwax to score.
That would as much as offense as Schuylerville could muster on Saturday afternoon.
The loss was disappointing, but did not lessen the run by the group.
“To make Schuylerville history is something to be proud of even though we didn't come out with the result we wanted, this is something to be proud of and I think that a lot of people are going to think back on this team and think great things,” Black horse senior Paul Harsbarger said. “I know we are going to think about this for the rest of our lives and it's just a great run.”
The weekend also included a historic 6-3 win over Section VI’s Medina Friday in the state semifinal.
“That was probably the greatest experience of this whole run because the team we played yesterday I thought was terrific as well and we executed well yesterday, came through with big hits when had to and that's what it’s all about,” Renner said. “Today we had a couple situations early in the game when it was 7-1 if we had gotten a big hit or something maybe we could have changed the momentum, it just wasn't that day. It wasn't going to happen and every time we got a chance and lost it they put something else on the board.”
There were heads that were hung on the field, some last hugs and thanks among the Black Horse players before they were greeted with a hero’s welcome at the gate by family, friends and fans, both old and young.
“I just said to the guys in the huddle, I said we came in to this as the No. 4 seed in sectionals and walked out onto the state championship field with a chance to win a state championship. I think for these kids it’s a memory that they're always going to have,” Renner said. “You always want to win, you go out in that championship game you want to win, but I think for us this was a building block and something that we hope that we can continue in the tradition of Schuylerville Baseball in the future.
While the future of the program waited to give small high-fives to their local idols, there were still a few left to hand out one last time on the field.
“Jack Bodnar and I have been neighbors and we've known each other since probably age one and to do this with him and Christian (Petralia) too and the rest of the juniors is incredible,” Harshbarger said. “I've given them too many high fives and the last one today on the baseball field kind of hurts, but it’s been bittersweet.”