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Albany Academy baseball advances to state final four

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CANTON — It was a picture-perfect afternoon for baseball Saturday, as the Albany Academy Cadets punched their ticket to the state final four, outlasting Ogdensburg Free Academy 3-1 in extra innings.

The contest was tied up at one apiece since the fourth inning, but with one swing Academy senior Justin Geary changed everything. The outfielder delivered an RBI (2) single in the top of the tenth inning to break the tie and put his team one step closer to a state title.

For starting pitcher Ben Seiler, the trench-like battle was expected. “Going into it, we knew it was going to be a tough game. OFA is a gritty team, and they had a really strong arm out there, so we went in wanting to capitalize on opportunities.”

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The junior ace pitched 9 and 2/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits and striking out 10 to help his team. “It’s awesome. Nobody on our team was on the 2015 Class B Championship team, so this is all kind of new to us, but playing with a lot of these guys since seventh/eighth grade has helped us in tight situations because we can rely on each other in big situations and know our strengths and weaknesses.”

Academy shortstop Johnny Decker was quite relieved by Geary’s hit. “I was on third at this point in the game and when I saw the ball go through I was beyond relieved, I also couldn’t be happier for Justin.”

But Geary refuses to take all the credit. “They were the one who got on base, and all I wanted to do was make solid contact. We stayed positive throughout the whole game, and that helped us a lot.”

AA advances to play Seton Catholic Central, Section IV, at 3:00 p.m. on Friday. The game is at Binghamton University, and the winner will advance to the championship game.

“We can live in the moment for now, but we’re not done yet, and we have to get prepared for the tough road we have ahead of us next weekend,” said junior infielder Brett Young. “There’s nothing we want more than a state title, and we’re going to leave it all on the line down in Binghamton next weekend.”

-Alex Feuz – (@alexfeuz)

Dylan Rossiter contributed to this story

Dylan Rossiter is the Upstate Courier's founder and Editor-at-Large. He has covered Siena College men's basketball, the Tri-City ValleyCats, and Section II Athletics. Rossiter is based in Boston, MA and can be reached at Rossiter@UpstateCourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByDylanRossiter.