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Spa Catholic’s playoff run continues with win over Schuylerville

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — In the quarterfinal round of Class B sectionals on Monday, the Black Horses of Schuylerville and the Saints of Spa Catholic faced off in a matchup for the ages, with Spa Catholic topping Schuylerville 5-4 in 8 innings.

Schuylerville got off to a fast start after scoring two first inning runs, thanks to a Carson Dunkel RBI double and a Derek Willson single. Spa Catholic couldn’t get anything going offensively until the bottom of the third inning when Kaden Learch plated Dylan Custer making the score 2-1.

Terel Tillman who got the start for Spa Catholic entered the game with a record of 7-0 and coming off of a one hit shutout performance in the Wasaren League championship game versus Greenwich last Wednesday. Schuylerville seemed to have Tillman’s number, collecting 10 hits in the contest.

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Both teams remained scoreless through the fourth and fifth innings with Spa Catholic not recording a hit during that period. In the sixth inning, Schuylerville once again pounced on Tillman, this time with two outs, with singles by Paul Harshbarger and Jared Gregorek followed by a bases-clearing triple by Dunkel, his third hit and third RBI of the day, making the score 4-1 in Schuylerville’s favor.

The Saints looked to have something going in the bottom of the sixth inning but couldn’t come through leaving the bases loaded.  In the top half of the seventh Tillman worked a 1-2-3 inning but things were looking bleak for the Saints, three outs and their season is over.

The inning started off with Ross Garrow grounding out to make the first out in the inning. Custer then singled up the middle, his second hit of the day. Sophomore Nick Winslow stepped out and delivered another hit for the Saints, putting runners on first and second with one out. 

Kaden Learch was the next batter and grounded into a fielders choice, plating Custer and Winslow after a wild throw, but only giving the Saints one out to work with down 4-3. Dante Marin stepped up as the Saints final chance and proceeded to reach on an error moving Learch to third. The next batter was Jake Hart who on a 0-2 count laced a single up the middle to tie the game at four. Caden Awad then got hit by a pitch, but the following batter Tyler Haraden struck out, sending the game to extras.

Spa Catholic called on freshman and JV call-up Ryan McCarroll to pitch the eighth. Tillman’s stat line for the afternoon was seven Innings, 10 hits allowed and 12 strikeouts.

McCarroll worked a fantastic inning, only allowing one baserunner that reached on an error, keeping the game tied.

“When I have these guys playing on the JV team, they can get the call-up anytime, I’ve done it throughout my career and had guys come up specifically for sectionals,” said Spa Catholic coach Phonsey Lambert.

In the top of the 8th inning, McCarroll led off, this time reaching on an error to the shortstop. The next batter Custer laid down a sacrifice bunt to move McCarroll over to second base. Winslow and Tillman both walked, with it being Tillman’s fourth walk of the day. With the bases loaded Learch hit an infield fly to the SS Derek Willson, making it 2 outs and once again the bases loaded. Marin stepped up and hit a groundball to Willson, who threw to second base to try and get the force but the throw wasn’t in time, and that scored McCarroll, winning the game for Spa Catholic.

“That’s a very good Schuylerville team, coached by probably my best friend in coaching, Darrin Renner, he does a fantastic job with his guys.” Lambert said. “I can’t say enough about my guys today, they played their hearts out and it was just an awesome performance.”

Renner said, “Spa Catholic always fights right to the end and they put the ball in play when they had to and got a couple hits there to keep things going. Then they hit a couple balls and we just didn’t make the plays.”

Spa Catholic moves on to the semi-final round to face the #1 seed Albany Academy on Wednesday in Gloversville. First pitch is at 7 p.m.

 

Brandon Karam covers Section II athletics for The Upstate Courier, and is a rising junior at Saratoga Central Catholic. He can be reached via his email, BrandonRK2@gmail.com