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Hamburg Post repeats as state American Legion baseball champions

Hamburg Post repeats as state American Legion baseball champions

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Tournament MVP Maxwell Schmarder (Olmsted) drove in three runs, including the go-ahead score in the sixth inning, to lead Hamburg Post 527 to a second consecutive New York State American Legion Senior Baseball championship Wednesday in Saugerties.

Hamburg erased a 9-3 deficit to win the championship with a 13-9 triumph over Smith Post 24 of Rome, adding to the title it won in 2019 the last time the tournament was held. Post 527 will move on to regional play next week.

While his teammates were rallying, Hamburg pitcher Kyle Kuczewski (Orchard Park) shut out the Rome team without a hit over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings before Joseph Reitebach (Hamburg/Gannon) took over to get the final three outs in the seventh.

Rome scored four runs in each of the second and third innings to erase a 3-1 Hamburg lead. Joseph Duffek (Orchard Park/Allegheny College) doubled home two of the first-inning runs for Hamburg.

Hamburg scored six times in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 9-9. Schmarder had a two-run single, and Alex Dzimian (St. Francis/D'Youville), Duffek, Jacob LaDuca (Canisius High School) and Matthew Armstrong (Orchard Park) drove in runs.

In the sixth, Duffek doubled, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Schmarder's sacrifice fly to make it 10-9. Connor Kiefer (City Honors) had a two-run double and Aidan Brunner (St. Francis) and Santino Turello (St. Joe's/Ithaca) had RBI singles.

Hamburg went into the championship round with a 4-0 record, including an 11-1 rout of Smith Post on Monday. It eliminated host Saugerties/Kingston 2-1 on Tuesday and needed to defeat the Rome team only once Wednesday to claim the championship.

Manager John Grotke's Hamburg team will face the Rhode Island champion Wednesday in the Northeast Regional at Fitton Field on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. Nearby Shrewsbury Post is the host for the regional.

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