With aspirations for a championship, the Hamilton baseball team began its trek in the Section III Class D playoffs.
As a no. 4 seed in a 13-team bracket, the Emerald Knights were the highest seed to face an opening-round game.
And while the defense was shaky at times against no. 13 seed Remsen on Tuesday afternoon, Hamilton still beat the Rams 8-2, mainly by breaking out the bats in the early going.
Remsen got to Hamilton pitching ace Jordan Doroshenko for a run in the top of the first inning, but Hamilton offered a loud answer in the bottom of the first, scoring five times.
Lucas Rhyde singled, then came home with the tying run on Jack Sullivan's double. Hamilton went up 2-1 when Doroshenko doubled home Sullivan, and he scored on Kinon Nolan-Finkel's single to make it 3-1. A Rams error, plus run-scoring hits by Will Keever and John Andrczjek, extended the margin.
Doroshenko had all the runs he needed. In four-plus innings of work, he struck out nine, overcoming three Hamilton errors. Single runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings added to the cushion as Don Philhower and Sullivan both worked in relief.
Weather permitting, on Thursday the Emerald Knights host no. 5 seed Poland in the Class D quarterfinal, the Tornadoes having blasted Old Forge 24-6 in its opening-round game.