Bedford Hills/Katonah Routs Harrison in the 11A Title Game

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BHK won the title game by a score of 14-2, defeating Harrison handily. ANDY JACOBS PHOTO

The Harrison Hurricanes arrived at Danbury’s sprawling Rogers Park on Sunday with plenty of momentum after defeating three higher-seeded teams in their march to the championship game of the Greater Hudson Valley Baseball League’s 11A Division.

It took Bedford Hills/Katonah just one inning to put an emphatic end to all that Hurricane momentum.

BHK sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first and scored eight runs, all after two were out, and went on to a 14-2 rout of Harrison in a title game stopped by mercy rule after just three and a half innings.

“It makes it a lot easier,” said BHK head coach Dan Danisi about his third-seeded team’s first-inning eruption. “The boys did a lot of good work out there and put it away, put it away early and played hard. We beat a good team.”

The ninth-seeded Hurricanes had eliminated top-seeded Larchmont/Mamaroneck in the quarterfinals and fourth-seeded New Milford in the semifinals. They wasted no time getting an early edge on Sunday as Anthony Engongoro belted a one-out double in the opening inning and scored on Keni Franck’s single one out later.

But Bedford Hills/Katonah loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with two outs, then took advantage of some Harrison defensive troubles. Matt Konopka’s grounder to third was misplayed, bringing in two runs and giving BHK the lead for good. After a walk to Luke Spieler loaded the bases again, a grounder to short by Nick Fassert was booted, allowing two more runners to score.

Luke McCarthy followed with an RBI single and then leadoff hitter Alex Eimer collected his second hit of the inning, a booming double over the left fielder’s head that scored another run. Lucas Danisi brought in the final two runs when he dumped a single into center field.

After starting pitcher Danisi retired the Hurricanes in order in the top of the second inning, BHK padded its huge lead by scoring five more times in the bottom of the inning, again all with two outs. The first two runs scored when McCarthy’s fly ball to center field was dropped. Eimer then laced his third hit of the spectacular summer day, a two-run triple down the left-field line. After a Harrison pitching change, Danisi provided an RBI double to right that stretched the BHK lead to 13-1.

Danisi struck out the first two Hurricanes he faced in the third inning, hit a batter, then got an easy comebacker to end the frame. In the bottom of the inning, Peter Portugese led off with a single, stole second, then scored two outs later on Konopka’s single to center field.

The Hurricanes managed to score their second run in the fourth inning, but the game soon ended with an easy fly ball to center field that was gobbled up by Portugese, setting off a BHK celebration.

“A special team, a special group of boys,” said coach Danisi shortly after the final out. “About halfway through (the season) we got hot and haven’t lost. About six or seven straight. They really turned the corner and are playing really good baseball.”

Bedford Hills/Katonah emerged from a field of 19 teams to capture the championship, the second for coach Danisi, who guided many of the same players to a title when they were nine-year-olds competing in the Westchester Putnam Baseball Association.

“We got hot at the right time,” he said. “No doubt. No doubt.”

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