Section 9 baseball: state playoffs on deck

It was a great day for baseball on Saturday, as Section 9 crowned five champions at Cantine Field and Lorenz Field in Saugerties. Here’s a quick look back at what happened and what’s on deck for our local teams in the state playoffs.

For some highlights and interviews from yesterday’s action, check out the video above.

 

Class AA

Valley Central 3, Pine Bush 0

Here’s my game story.

Great pitching has been the theme for the Vikings this postseason. Valley Central shut out Minisink Valley in the quarterfinal round, topped Kingston 4-1 in the semis and got another shutout in the Section 9 final.

Up next: Valley Central gets a bye in the opening round of the state tournament and heads straight to the quarterfinals. They’ll face the winner of an opening round playoff game between Ketcham (Section 1) and Elmira Free Academy (Section 4). That game will be played Friday at 4 p.m. at Arlington High School in Dutchess County.

Ketcham (21-3) defeated Fox Lane in the Section 1 final Saturday at Provident Bank Park, 9-2. For more on Ketcham, check out this story in the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Elmira Free Academy (14-8) won a Section 4 title for the first time in program history, defeating Horseheads, 5-3. For more on EFA, check out this story in the Elmira Star Gazette.

Valley Central’s quarterfinal game should be played on Saturday. I have not yet heard an official site or time for that game, but I will let you know when I know.

 

Class A

Wallkill 1, Marlboro 0

Here’s my game story.

Speaking of great pitching, Wallkill got plenty of that from Joe Pillitteri in a 1-0 win over Marlboro in the Section 9 final. Wallkill, making just its third appearance in a section championship game, won its first title. The Panthers also scored their first run, having been shut out in championship game appearances in 1996 and 1974.

Up next: Wallkill will host Section 1 champion Rye at Cantine Field in Saugerties on Friday in the opening round of the state playoffs. First pitch is 4 p.m. The winner of that game plays Section 4 champion Maine-Endwell in the quarterfinal round.

From the “this is not a typo department” Rye sophomore George Kirby threw 153 pitches in the Section 1 championship game, as Rye beat Lakeland, 6-5. Rye (20-4) won a Section 1 title for the first time since 1984. Check out this Journal News story for more.┬áKirby is now 9-0. Assuming he’s rested by Friday, it should be Kirby vs. Pillitteri in what figures to be a low-scoring game.

On Saturday, the Wallkill-Rye winner gets Maine-Endwell (8-8), which had to win its last regular season game just to qualify for the state playoffs. Maine-Endwell has won the Section 4 title seven years in a row. For more on the Spartans, check out the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.

 

Class B

Spackenkill 4, Rhinebeck 1

With both of these schools falling outside our coverage area, I didn’t catch this game on Saturday. Spackenkill (16-5) is certainly on a roll, having won 16 straight since opening the season 0-5.

Up next: The Spartans host Section 1’s Rye Neck on Friday at Cantine Field in Saugerties at 1 p.m. The winner of that game gets the Long Island champion in the state quarterfinals.

 

Class C

Chester 6, S.S. Seward 5

Here’s my game story.

It was a wacky ending for the Chester 9 in the section final. The Hambletonians turned a double play on an S.S. Seward attempted squeeze with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the seventh. That was it. Game over. Chester’s first baseball title since 1989.

Up next: Chester will play Section 1 champion Haldane in the opening round on Friday at 4 p.m. at John Jay-Cross River High School. The winner of that game gets the Long Island champion in a quarterfinal game on Saturday.

Haldane (12-9) has won three straight Section 1 titles, beating Tuckahoe 7-3 in eight innings on Saturday at Provident Bank Park. For more on the Blue Devils, check out this story in the Poughkeepsie Journal.

 

Class D

John A. Coleman Catholic 15, Livingston Manor 4

Here’s my game story.

The Statesmen hit the ball hard in the first three innings, but had nothing to show for it. In the fourth, Coleman Catholic pounced as the first 11 batters to the plate all reached base and all scored.

Up next: Coleman Catholic gets an opening round bye and will play Long Island champion Smithtown Christian in a quarterfinal round game on Saturday at the Dowling Sports Complex. First pitch is 4 p.m.

Smithtown Christian (14-3) doesn’t appear to get much coverage. Here’s the team’s MaxPreps page.

I’ll have more baseball coverage in the Times Herald-Record this week. For the latest, check out my Twitter feed: @THR_Montgomery.

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