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Grand Island advances in State Legion tournament

Grand Island broke through against Sherrill pitcher Dewey Roden for three runs in the fourth inning and went on to upset the Utica area champions, 10-3, and advance in the winners bracket of the State American Legion Baseball Tournament at Murnane Field in Utica.

Matt Grace's two-run double off the wall was the hit that put Grand Island in front to stay, 3-2, in the fourth. Jordan Kowalski (Canisius High) followed with a triple. Tyler Muggli (Grand Island) started the rally with a double and Manny Montez (Niagara County CC) walked before Grace cleared the bases.  Brendan Sheehan doubled and came round to score and make it 5-2 in the fifth. Sherrill made three errors in the seventh as Grand Island scored five more runs.

Grand Island will face defending champion and tournament favorite Rockland County at 7 p.m. tonight in the matchup of the last two undefeated teams in the tournament.

Roden, son of Sherrill manager John Roden, came into Wednesday's game with an 0.28 earned-run average.

Left-hander Casey Gruarin (NCCC) pitched seven innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts, but walked seven. Kowalski pitched the last two for Grand Island. The two were able to pitch out of trouble most of the game against Sherrill (24-2), which had rallied to win its district championship with five wins over three days after an opening loss.

Grace, a right-hander from Niagara Falls High, is scheduled to be the Grand Island starter tonight. He pitched Grand island over defending champion McKeever Post in the championship game of the District 8 (Western New York) tournament.

 

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