Ron Moshier - Sports

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

RCH baseball no loser

If it’s any consolation – and really, it should be -- Rome Catholic High School’s baseball team wasn’t a loser in the Class D state final at Binghamton University.

Let the record show that Chapel Field Christian School and Lions lefty Travis Renwick won 2-0, and leave it at that.

As state championship games go, this was about as good as it gets, and Rome Catholic High pitcher Joe Melioris Jr. and the Redwings had a lot to do with that.

Melioris pitched a two-hitter, struck out 10 and did not walk a batter and the Redwings – second baseman Eli Hedrington, center fielder Gino Campanaro, and first baseman Mike Henderson in particular – played well behind him.

It just so happened that one of those 10 strikeouts came on a 3-2 wild pitch, and  that one of those hits was a mistake by the batter, not by Melioris, a swinging bunt down the third-base line that was followed by an opposite-field double that scored the only two runs of the game.

Unfortunately, that’s baseball, an at times frustrating game of “ifs” and “buts” whose outcome sometimes rages out of your control.

Unfortunately for the Redwings and their fans, that’s what kept RCH claiming its first state title. That, and the fact that unbeaten lefty Renwick was just as masterful, finishing with a three-hitter, eight strikeouts, and no walks.

No, the Redwings didn’t win. But anybody who saw that state championship game will tell you they didn’t lose it, either. Let the record show that Chapel Field’s Lions won 2-0, and that RCH made them earn it.



Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Proctor, Whitesboro baseball teams to play regional doubleheader Monday

Section III baseball champions Thomas R. Proctor High School and Whitesboro will be together again in a New York State Public High School Athletic Association regional doubleheader next Monday, June 9, at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam.

Whitesboro (20-5) plays a Class A regional semifinal at 4 p.m. and Proctor

(14-12) plays a Class AA regional championship game at 7 p.m. Both the Warriors and the Raiders will be playing the Section II champion from the Capital District area.

Section II semifinals are scheduled for today, June 4. In Class A, Ichabod Crane (18-7) plays Bishop Maginn (8-14) and Mohonasen (14-5) plays Scotia (15-9). In Class AA, Troy La Salle, 24-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state, plays Bethlehem (19-6) and Niskayuna (18-7) plays Columbia (17-9).

Whitesboro and Proctor won't know who they will play until Saturday night's Section II championship doubleheader at Joe Bruno Stadium.

A Whitesboro win Monday would send the Warriors to a Class A regional final Tuesday against a Section VII or Section X team at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse. A Proctor win Monday would send the defending Class AA state champion Raiders back to the state Final Four.

The one-day, state championship Final Four tournament will again be held in the Binghamton area on Saturday, June 14. The Class A tournament will be played at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton and the Class AA tournament will be played at Union-Endicott High School's Sylvester Field.

In Tuesday night's Section III championship doubleheader at Rome's Larry DeLutis Field, both Whitesboro and Proctor won in dramatic fashion, and both knocked off top-seeded teams.

In the Class A opener, top-seeded Mexico and Tigers ace James Williamson were on cruise control through six innings. Williamson had not allowed a Whitesboro hit and had thrown only 55 pitches, but after putting leadoff hitter George Hajjar in an 0-2 hole, he plunked him with a 1-2 pitch and then gave up a long run-scoring double to Al Ferenti. Matt Wilk tied it with a run-scoring single, and with two outs, No. 8 hitter Chris Vomer drove in the game-winner with a single to right field.

Senior pitcher T.J. Abounader, now 7-0, went the distance for Whitesboro, helping the Warriors win their first Section III title since 1974.

In the Class AA nightcap at DeLutis Field, Proctor also got a complete-game effort from its senior pitcher, Joe Perrotta. The right-hander allowed three unearned runs on four hits and struck out 10, but the Raiders had to erase 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 deficits before Jacob Henry scored the sixth-inning game-winner on a two-out wild pitch. Leadoff man Devin Warmack had two hits, two stolen bases, and an RBI for the Raiders, who earlier in the Class AA tournament had eliminated two state-ranked teams, Rome Free Academy and Liverpool.