SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) - For the first time ever, the Hamilton baseball team is going to the state final four. The No. 4-ranked Emerald Knights clinched their berth with a 4-2 hold-your-breath win over top-ranked South Kortright from Section IV in the Class D quarterfinals Tuesday at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse.
Hamilton (20-4) scored all of its runs in the first three innings then had to hold on as South Kortright (17-2) got the tying run to the plate in the fifth and put the tying run on base in the sixth and seventh. Starting pitcher Jordan Doroshenko escaped the fifth-inning jam with a strikeout, right fielder John Andrzejek saved the day in the sixth with a falling-down catch on a would-be game-tying line drive and closer Tyler White ended the game with a 1-6-3 double play--a play made nicer by shortstop Lucas Rhyde as White's throw to second nearly sailed into center field.
The Class D final four will be played at Union-Endicott outside of Binghamton this Saturday. Hamilton will play No. 3-ranked Arkport (19-2) from Section V in the semifinals at 1:00. The championship is at 4:00.
Coming into the game neither team had lost to another Class D opponent this season, and Hamilton set a clear tone early. After Doroshenko struck out the side in the top of the first inning the Emerald Knights loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half on a walk, a single and another walk. A wild pitch by Kyle Hotaling scored one run and a fielder's choice that missed at home scored another for a 2-0 lead. An RBI infield single by Jack Sullivan in the second inning made it 3-0 and a two-out RBI single by eighth-grader Ben Yacavone in the third ended the scoring for Hamilton.
South Kortright, which also lost to Hamilton in the state boys soccer playoffs this past fall, scored on RBI singles by Joe Kaufman in the fifth and Dan Many in the sixth, respectively.
Doroshenko finished with 10 strikeouts in six innings, allowing two earned runs for the program's biggest win to date.