UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The American Legion State Baseball Tournament is underway from Murnane Field. Teams from all over the state have converged on Utica once again, with the winner advancing to regionals in Maine.
The two teams from District V who are competing are Smith and New Hartford. Smith was declared the winner of the District Tournament after a fight ended the semifinal game between New Hartford and Whitestown early. New Hartford advanced as well, since they were up big in the late innings when the game was called.
The coaches from Adrean Post, hosts for the tournament, say that one bad moment shouldn't take away from the storied history of American Legion Baseball.
"We take it personal when everybody tries to lump everything into one incident and we've been around since 1925," said Adrean Team Manager and State Tournament Organizer Mike Macchione. "It's just not fair. We go on. We know who we are. We know what we do and why we do it. Nobody gets paid, so at the end of the day, you have to have a deep desire to do this and I think that's true for all the coaches and managers."
"The teams that are here right now, they've worked tirelessly, they've put in several hours of practice, driving to this park and that park," added Adrean head coach Kevin Green. "To be able to be here right now and to be able to fight for this championship, honestly, I think that's all we should be focused on."
In first round action Wednesday, Smith topped Vestal 8-5 in ten innings. Smith took a 3-0 lead early, but Vestal came back to take a 5-3 lead.
Smith then tied it to send the game to a tenth innings, where they scored three runs to clinch the win and advance in the winner's bracket.