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Baseball Mustangs beaten in Class B regional

Happy as it was claiming the Section III Class B championship, the Marcellus baseball team was after more history when it took on Section IV champion Chenango Valley in Monday's Class B regional final at Johnson City High School, near Binghamton.

In fact, both the Mustangs and Warriors were in search of a first-ever trip to the state final four - but it was CV that would get there, boosted by strong pitching and timely hitting as Marcellus saw its season end in a 6-0 defeat.

Phil Zdanowski, who had beaten Watertown IHC in the Section III Class B-1 final a week earlier, got the start on the mound for Marcellus, opposing CV's Mike Fillers, considered his team's no. 2 starter behind ace Austin Lewis, who was 8-0 this spring.

Early nerves caught up to Zdanowski, as he loaded the bases in the bottom of the first inning before Robert Heller, bringing home the game's first run.

The Mustangs nearly countered, putting runners on first and second with one out in the top of the second. But Kyle Hastings struck out and Brandon Amidon flied out, and Fillers never got a serious challenge again in his four innings of work.

Meanwhile, the Warriors made it 2-0 in the bottom of the third as, with runners on first and third, Mike Fernald just beat out a potential double-play grounder.

It wasn't until the fourth inning, though, that the game got away. And it was Fillers delivering the key blow, a two-run triple as part of a three-run rally that expanded the margin to 5-0.

Jordan Smith, the winning pitcher in the sectional Class B-2 final win over Clinton, relieved Zdanowski for the last two innings and contained the Warriors. But CV brought in Lewis, and he limited the Mustangs to one hit over the last three innings to clinch matters.

Marcellus could look back with pride, though, on a 16-6 campaign where it built momentum through the regular season and made a memorable post-season run, shocking two-time defending state champion Westhill in the B-1 semifinals before claiming the sectional title.

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