By Edward Aaron
Special to the News
For the first time in sixteen years, and just the second time in school history, the Medina baseball team won the Section VI Class B Championship last weekend and advanced to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association final four in Binghamton.
In its semifinal matchup against Schuylerville (18-7), Medina (21-3) fell victim to a late rally by the Section II champions and lost, 6-3. A three-RBI double from Colton Weatherwax in the bottom of the sixth inning gave Schuylerville the three-run lead, and the team responded defensively by striking out all three Mustang batters faced in the top of the seventh to secure a victory and a trip to the Class B championship game.
“A few of them, I think the lights got them a little bit, maybe, the moment,” Medina head coach Jon Sherman said. “That’s what you have to do when you’re young is learn from that moment and then next time the moment’s there it doesn’t affect you.”
Brian Fry, a sophomore and the Mustangs’ top hitter, launched a lead-off triple to start the game, and scored on an RBI single in the next at bat. In the top of the fourth, Medina added another run on a sacrifice fly by AJ Seefeldt to extend its lead to 2-0. Schuylerville scored two runs in the bottom of the inning, one on a passed ball and another on a single from Charles Luzadis, to tie.
The Black Horses took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Nate Preston hit an RBI single. Medina was able to tie in the top of the sixth inning when Fry scored from third base as Seefeldt was caught in a rundown between first and second.
Schuylerville took command of the game for good in the bottom of the sixth. Following a leadoff walk, the Mustangs’ starting pitcher Trevor Luthart was pulled from the game, and junior Chris Goyette, the team’s number two starter, entered. He downed the first two batters faced, but a single and a walk loaded the bases with two outs, and Weatherwax hit his three-RBI double to take the lead heading into the final frame.
Schuylerville pitcher Matt McCarthy followed up the team’s offensive showing with a strong defensive finish to the game, striking out all three batters faced in the top of the seventh, ending the game and securing the win. He finished with 11 strikeouts.
“This is a hard working bunch of kids,” Sherman said. “We started way back in November, Sunday nights, optional practices. There were nine, ten guys there all the time, taking ground balls, taking at bats, putting things together. That’s how we could have the season we did. Not the result we wanted at the end, we still needed another two wins, but they work hard all the time, they do what we ask them to do.”
With only two seniors graduating, Medina will return the vast majority of its roster heading into next season, pursuing a second consecutive Section VI title.
“We’re not losing a single pitcher, we’re gonna be probably four or five deep at pitching next year with kids only getting stronger,” Sherman said. “A year older, a year wiser, we should be back in the same place if things fall into place.”
Schuylerville will play Section XI’s Center Moriches in the Class B championship Saturday at 1 p.m. at Binghamton University.