Class A/B Baseball Notebook

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Losses like this tend to stick with you; for life. When No.7 Somers High (14-7-1) didn’t get its final crack in a rain-shortened 3-1 Class A quarterfinal loss to No.2 host Harrison last Saturday, the painful lesson that “life isn’t always fair” hit in like a mule kick to the chops. Regardless, it was the Huskies who advanced to the semifinals to challenge No. 3 Kennedy at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Kennedy will have well-rested ace Erik Bauer stoked to toe the rubber in an effort to win its fourth sectional title in five years, first in Class A. Kennedy hurler Oscar Giret pitched a five-hitter with seven strikeouts in a 6-0 win over former Class A champion Tappan Zee, a sloppy 11-seed, which committed four errors in the first two innings of a 6-0 loss. 2008, 2010

Kennedy’s pitching depth is the reason many Section 1 followers have the Gaels (16-6) emerging and playing the Byram Hills-Beacon winner this Wednesday, but No.2 Harrison is a legit obstacle, especially with ace Max Bruckner on the hill going for his 20th career win, as expected.

Marist-bound Bauer, Schyler Bates and Matt Kern are all well rested and ready for a return trip to Dutchess Stadium for the Class A title tilt (4:00 p.m.), which was where Somers expected to be prior to its rain-shortened loss.

The Tuskers hadn’t done much by way of hitting Harrison’s No.2 starter, lefty Mike Forgione, but senior captain Joe Tomasulo and his teammates tried to take the high road after umpires called the game.

“It’s tough man,” he said. “Our seniors are going to look back on our final season and see that we lost on a rainout. But it’s only a chapter in our life and we have to move on from it. It stings a lot but well get over it.”

It had to sting some when the Tuskers and Huskies met in the gym to shake hands, rather than doing so in front of home plate.

“It was a tough situation to finish a game like that,” Scambia, a junior, admitted. “With three outs still to go, we wanted to go out there and battle to tie it up. Unfortunately, the rain forced us to shake hands in the gym, which is an awful way for the seniors to go out since they couldn’t finish the game. All the seniors were very emotional and I wish we would have gone down in a better way than being stuck in a gym with no way of battling back to win the game.

When they first saw the 2012 Section 1 Class A baseball playoff brackets and saw that they would be pitted against each other in the opening round, both No.7 Somers and No.10 Lakeland were chomping at the bit. Somers, which has owned Lakeland in previous seasons, was out to prove its mastery over their playoff rival is anything but a fluke. Revenge-seeking Lakeland, which lost to the 16th-seeded Tuskers as the top-seeded and then-reigning Section 1 Class A champions in the opening round last year, will have to wait another year to turn the tide.

Somers ace J.T. Genovese lived up to billing, delivering the goods in a complete-game effort, giving the Tuskers a 3-0 opening-round win.

“That’s everything we expect of JT,” Somers Coach Joe Wootten said. “He had a great year this year and he came out firing today and did what he needed to do.Lakeland’s not just going to lie down for us, and their kid (Mike Nash) threw a heck of a game, too. He didn’t walk a batter so we had to earn it. That’s a testament to their ability, that’s all Lakeland. We had eyes on that game, and you know at some point if you’re going to be successful, you’re going to have to beat Lakeland at some point.”

LF Dan Ishoo delivered the game-winning run off a timely single to score Tomasulo. Tusker 1B Dylan McGuire did the same, plating C Joey Scambia for a 2-0 lead in the fifth. Tusker SS Alex Wienecke added an RBI single for a 3-0 lead when Joe Festo scored in the sixth.

Lakeland Coach Dennis Robinson got about as much as he could out of the 13-9 Hornets, who opened the year at 1-4 and placed second in the league, behind Kennedy Catholic.

“We’re a different ball club than we were in the beginning,” he said. “The kids grew, they stayed with us, especially the seniors. We got threw it (the rough 1-4 start). But in a game like this against a team like Somers, you can’t boot the ball and we did, especially a double-play ball. We’re new at basically every position on the field, but we reloaded, we didn’t rebuild. It just took us a little bit to get going. We’re real proud of them.”


After knocking off No.8 host Woodlands in the opening round, Coach Joe Natalie’s ninth-seeded Put Valley Tigers threw a scare into top-seeded Briarcliff, losing 3-2 to the big, bad Bears; the class of Class B baseball. After defeating Woodlands in the opening round — for its first playoff win since losing to Kennedy in the 2008 finals – Put Valley didn’t just show up for the tournament: They were in it to win it. The Tigers (11-10) lose six seniors, including polar opposites Rick Ortiz (.400 BA, 15 RBI) and Connor Gembecki (.332 BA), but we’ll go on record here and predict at least a dozen wins next year and a run to the Class B Final 4 within a year or two. The freshmen and sophomore classes have some impact talent, including sophs John Meagle (team-high 18 RBI), Steven Dick and Frank Brescia, as well as freshmen hurlers Ryan Basso (2-for-3, RBI vs. Briarcliff) and Eddie Lent and SS Nick Marro. Throw in a few good juniors, including chucker Eric Basso (2.23 ERA), and an 8th-grade pitcher named Charlie Pagani, and this unit should be poised for big doings next year and the years ahead.

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