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Westhill repeats as state baseball champs

Single taliles in the second, third and fourth innings, plus two runs in the sixth, sent Westhill into the state final against JFK, who had elimintated Saratoga Catholic 4-2 in the other semifinal.

And that's when things got crazy.

Less than a half hour after Westhill closed out Tonawanda, a heavy thunderstorm hit NYSEG Stadium. All the rain forced the grounds crew at the Binghamton Mets' home field to put on the tarp to cover the infield.

When the rain stopped, Westhill and JFK took the field and went through full infield practice. But just as the Warriors were finishing at 4:30, another heavy rain shower hit, leaving the infield inundated with puddles of rain.

After a lengthy discussion, state officials decided, just after 5 p.m., to move the Class B final 10 miles west to Union-Endicott.

So everyone ventured to U-E, its field hard by the Susquehanna River, where they had to wait out the state Class A final (Pittsford Mendon holding off Wantagh 6-5) before finally taking the field. At 8:48 on a warm and humid evening, the first pitch flew.

JFK struck for a run in the second inning as the two teams played through a pair of brief rain showers. It was still 1-0 when, with two out in the top of the third and the Gaels having loaded the bases against Hewitt, a flash of lightning appeared in the east.

Umpires sent the players off the field again, and fans were asked to take shelter for an eminent storm. There was real concern that the final would have to move to Sunday.

But the storms stayed away and, 42 minutes later (it was past 10 p.m. by this point), the game resumed, this time for good.

McMullen replaced Hewitt on the mound and, in one pitch, struck out John Giordano, keeping JFK from adding to its slim lead - and, at the same time, giving the Warriors momentum that it would never relinquish.

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