With aspirations for a championship, the Hamilton baseball team began its trek in the Section III Class D playoffs -- and didn't stop until it had reached the championship game by winning three times in five days.
Having already beaten Remsen in the opening round, the Emerald Knights would host no. 5 seed Poland in the Class D quarterfinal, the Tornadoes having blasted Old Forge 24-6 in its opening-round game.
Here, Jordan Doroshenko would go the whole route -- and work hard at the end to push his Emerald Knights past the Tornadoes 7-5.
They traded the lead early on, Hamilton scoring in the first inning, Poland answering with two runs in the top of the second to go in front 2-1.
That didn't last, though, as the Emerald Knights struck for four runs in the bottom of the second. An error allowed Ben Yacavone to score, and Jack Sullivan followed with a two-run single and Tyler White doubled home another run.
Poland closed to 5-4 in the fourth inning, but Hamilton got two runs of its own in the bottom of that frame as John Andrczjek doubled and scored, and Doroshenko also got an RBI.
Meanwhile, Doroshenko kept fighting off the Tornadoes' comeback attempts. He surrendered a run in the fifth inning and, in the top of the seventh, found himself in more trouble as Poland, down two, loaded the bases with one out.
With both the tying and go-ahead runs on base, Doroshenko kept his poise. He struck out Kenny Miller, then worked the count full to Rich Hazard before sneaking a 3-2 pitch to the corner for a called strike three that ended the game.
This led to Saturday's Class D semifinal against Oriskany, which had stunned top seed New York Mills in a 3-2, 11-inning classic at Rome's DeLutis Field just the day before in the quarterfinal round.
Worn out by that battle, Oriskany could not repeat its magic -- and Hamilton beat them, 4-1, to make it to the finals.
In Wednesday's Class D final at Alliance Bank Stadium (home of the Syracuse Chiefs), Hamilton will face the survivor of the other semifinal between Sackets Harbor and Coepnhagen. Game time is 4:30.