SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Whitesboro baseball team continued its surprising run in the postseason, with a thrilling 8-4 victory in nine innings over TVL rival V-V-S in the Section III Class A Championship Tuesday at Alliance Bank Stadium. The Warriors, who won the TVL East title this season. nearly let the win slip through their fingers, but scored four runs in the top of the ninth and held off the Red Devils, who won the TVL West, to take the sectional crown for the second time in three years.
Matt Engler and Ryan Watson each hit two run doubles in the ninth to give Whitesboro the cushion it needed. Engler also pitched the final two and two thirds innings in relief to get the win, despite a few shaky moments.
Engler induced what looked like a game ending double play by Tyler Lautner in the seventh, but the throw to first was off and Kevin Sayles was able to tie the score at four.
The following inning, Engler gave up a single to Anthony Rocco with Colin Laguzza on second. But Laguzza was thrown out at the plate on a bullet by Brandon Heitz in left field. Catcher Dylan Gorski applied the tag to send the game to the ninth.
Whitesboro took the early lead in the first inning, on a wild pitch by starter Jesse Whitmeyer, which scored Mike Sullivan. But the Red Devils tied it in the fourth, on a wild pitch by Warrior starter M.J. Hajec. V-V-S then took the lead on an RBI single by Laguzza.
But the Warriors took back the lead in the top of the fifth, on a two run double by Heitz, which scored Adam Paxton and Dan Russo. Whitesboro added an insurance run in the sixth, on an infield single by Paxton, which scored Connor Passalacqua.
Whitesboro, the nine seed in the Class A section tournament, advances to meet either the Section X or II champ in the regionals next Tuesday.