With a sharp left-hander on the mound and a balanced lineup where everyone seemed to hit, the Hamilton baseball team had just the right formula for its first Section III Class D title in 12 years.
Jordan Doroshenko's pitching carried the Emerald Knights most of the way in an 8-4 victory over Copenhagen in Wednesday's Class D final at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse -- but as it turned out, those bats would be needed, too.
Doroshenko came into the final with a 6-2 mark, and quickly got into trouble in each of the first two innings, as two Gold Knights runners reached base each time, three of them by walks.
Each time, though, Doroshenko escaped, striking out Pat Snyder to end the first and using a strikeout and fly ball to get out of the second.
By that point, Hamilton already had a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, both Lucas Rhyde and Jack Sullivan walked, and Tyler White singled to load the bases.
Kinon Nolan-Finkel then sent a hard-hit ground right through third baseman Chris Kellogg's legs, scoring two runs. With the bases loaded again and Ramon Colon having replaced Snyder on the mound, Will Keever's sacrifice fly brought home the third run.
Those three runs looked like plenty of cushion with Doroshenko pitching. He shook off his early wildness and, starting in the third inning, retired 12 Copenhagen batters in a row -- and these were the same Gold Knights that had put up 41 total runs in three playoff wins.
"He (Jordan) pitches very well with a lead," head coach Joe LePage said.
Hamilton appeared to end the drama in the bottom of the fifth. Eighth-grader Ben Yacobin's two-run single made it 5-0, and the Emerald Knights didn't stop until Lucas Rhyde drove in a run with his second hit and White landed a two-run single of his own.