Jun 04, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
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.
With that 8-0 lead, all Doroshenko needed was to close out his gem — but with one out in the top of the seventh, and working on a one-hitter with seven strikeouts, it got interesting.
Two walks, plus a hit batsman, loaded the bases, and another walk got home Copenhagen’s first run. Moments later, Colon smacked a two-run single and, at 8-3, LePage had to bring in White to relieve Doroshenko, who went to centerfield.
Kellogg promptly sent a deep fly ball to center — which Doroshenko chased down for the catch. It scored a run, but moments later, Jim Fisher popped out to Sullivan, and Hamilton was a sectional champion.
On Monday, Hamilton returns to Alliance Bank Stadium to play the Class D regional final, hoping to advance to the June 13 state final four at Union-Endicott High School near Binghamton.
This wouldn’t be a new experience for many Hamilton players. White and Keever, among others, played on the Hamilton boys soccer team that won the state Class D title last fall.