Clinton’s Andrew Taft (20) hits one flush late in the ball game.
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
The Clinton Warriors left it all on the University of Binghamton baseball field Saturday. In the end, however, the Section II Champion Schalmont Sabres were simply too strong in every department, taking the NYSPHAA Class “B” semifinal by a score of 14-6.
The loss by the Warriors concluded the careers of six seasoned senior veterans, Ian Foxton, Andrew Hobika, Andrew Taft, Alex Dobrzenski, Justin Jandke and Lenny Ortiz.
Each of these players were an integral part of Clinton’s rise to a state power over the past several seasons.
It was a strong start for the Sabres this afternoon, plating two runs, on four hits and a walk off of Clinton starter, Jon Hardy, in the top of the first inning.
Greg Musk, Dominic Toma and John Pascarella started the game off with consecutive singles.
Musk scored on Pascarella’s hit and Toma later scored on an RBI single from Joe Wignot. Hardy got huge strikeout of Kevin Paskevich with runners at second and third to end the inning with Clinton down by just two.
The Warriors etched out their first of two comebacks in the home half of the first with a nice two out rally.
Ian Foxton was hit by an 0-2 pitch with two outs, followed by a walk to Lenny Ortiz. Justin Jandke’s single up the middle scored Foxton to make it 2-1.
Andrew Hobika then stepped in and laced a base hit to right field, scoring Ortiz and tying the game at the 2-2, which is the way we’d go to the second.
Schalmont’s grabbed a 5-2 lead in the second, as #9 hitter, Jake Defayette, nailed a one out triple and scored quickly on a ground ball by Greg Musk, which was mishandled by Clinton’s Lenny Ortiz, making it 3-2 in favor of the Sabres.
A couple of doubles from Dominic Toma and Joe Wignot later, Schalmont had a three run advantage headed to the bottom of the second.
Schalmont starter, Matt Capovani, made quick work of the Warriors in the second inning and Jon Hardy returned the favor in the top of the 3rd, setting the Sabres down 1-2-3.
The Warriors second comeback of the contest came in the home half of the third when they tied it at 5-5.
Ian Foxton ripped a double to right to start things off, followed by a two out double by Andrew Hobika, making it 5-3.
Back to back singles from Reuben Hernandez and Brandon Broccoli fueled the rest of the comeback and the teams would remain tied at 5-5 all the way to the top of the 6th.
Schalmont put up three more runs in the visitors half of the 6th frame, as Andrew Hobika relieved Jon Hardy on the hill for Clinton.
The Sabres got singles from Musk and Pascarella and then got a big break on a throwing error by Ian Foxton on a ground ball by Chris Hamilton, allowing Musk to score and break the tie.
Brion Dufek then laced a two RBI single to make it 8-5, which is the way we’d go to the home half of the 6th.
Clinton added a run in the bottom of the 6th, as relief pitcher, Greg Musk, walked the first two Warriors to start things off.
A sacrifice bunt from Alex Dobrzenski set the table for Foxton, who laced an RBI single to score Reuben Hernandez, making it 8-6 headed to the 7th.
Schalmont’s bats came alive in a big way in the 7th, as the Sabres banged out 5 hits, coupled with a couple of Clinton errors in the field to open up a 14-6 advantage, which is the way this one would come to an end.
Clinton finished another tremendous season with a record of (18-6). The Warriors represented Section III in the State Class “B” semifinals two seasons in a row.
Schalmont (25-1) advanced to play Rye Neck for the Class “B” State Championship game later Saturday afternoon. The Sabers ended the day as state champs, beating Rye Neck 3-1.
Schalmont 14 Clinton 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Schalmont 2 3 0 0 0 3 6 14 17 0
Clinton 2 0 3 0 0 1 0 6 10 4