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BASEBALL PLAYOFF ROUNDUP: Early miscues hinder Proctor; Clinton’s Majka throws perfect game

Ben Birnell
Sports writer
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Posted 5/24/23

Chalk it up to nerves or unfortunate luck for the Thomas R. Proctor High School baseball team.

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BASEBALL PLAYOFF ROUNDUP: Early miscues hinder Proctor; Clinton’s Majka throws perfect game


Chalk it up to nerves or unfortunate luck for the Thomas R. Proctor High School baseball team.

Whatever terms that can be used to describe the opening two innings for the No. 3 seed Raiders in the Section III Class AA quarterfinal game Tuesday against visiting sixth-seeded Cicero-North Syracuse, it put Proctor in a hole it couldn’t dig out of.

The Northstars took advantage of the miscues and mental mistakes in those two innings, totaling eight runs en route to handing Proctor a 12-7 upset loss at Murnane Field. 

“I don’t remember us misplaying bunts, fly balls and little ground balls,” said Proctor coach Dave Guido, who was baffled by his team’s miscues. “It was just playoff tightness. I didn’t expect it out of our seniors. … We were so nervous.” 

It was a disappointing end for a Proctor team that had 13 seniors. The team finishes 15-5 overall after a regular-season that included 12 consecutive wins. 

Despite getting two quick outs in the first inning, Proctor followed with two errors that helped lead to three runs. Utica got back two runs in the bottom half of the first on C-NS errors and help from three walks, Joe DePaul getting hit by a pitch. Todd Abraham and Peyton Kimball each scored, though Proctor left two runners on.

“We’ve been a pretty clean team all year,” said the senior standout Abraham. “Our defense has been A1 and that’s what our team ran off this whole year. I guess maybe we were a little nervous. That’s definitely not Proctor baseball those first innings.” 

C-NS (10-10 overall) totaled five runs in the second inning that started with a Proctor fielding miscue on a bunt. Proctor was forced to make a pitching change in the second inning. 

“It was shocking to me the way we started the game,” Guido said. “It was like the Keystone Cops out there.” 

It is the third consecutive season that Proctor has ended in the sectional quarterfinals. CNS also ended Proctor’s season in 2021. 

Proctor trailed 9-2 after three innings as CNS starter Bryce Zicaro limited the Raiders. 

The Raiders made things interesting with a five-run fourth inning with help from six hits. 

Jacob Lew scored on a throwing error, Abraham and Ty Bonner each had RBI singles and Angelo Podagrosi had a two-run double to get Proctor within 9-7. However, Proctor left two runners on base. 

However, C-NS – which finished with 13 hits and four errors – added a run in each of the final three innings to extend the lead. Battista Wood allowed one hit in three innings of relief to hold off Proctor.

Among the Proctor seniors is Abraham, the NCAA Division I Binghamton commit, who finished Tuesday’s loss 1-for-4 with an RBI, two runs, a walk and two stolen bases. 

Juan Baez was 2-for-3 with a walk and batted above .400 for the season.

Abraham, a three-sport athlete, said he’s “learned so much” at Proctor.

“Great teammates and teachers and the best coaches,” said Abraham, who is set to play for the Utica Blue Sox in this summer’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League season. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I wouldn’t want to do it anywhere else.” 

Majka throws perfect game

Clinton pitcher Kyle Majka struck out nine batters and didn’t allow any hits or walks in Tuesday’s Section III Class B second round game.

The junior’s effort through 68 pitches combined with a two-run sixth inning helped Clinton score a 2-0 victory over visiting Chittenango.

Majka has a 1.21 earned-run average in 37 1/3 innings pitched this season, according to stats posted to High School Sports Stats website.

Matt King and Cameron Laurer each had RBIs in the sixth inning for Clinton (14-3 overall), which totaled five hits.

Clinton advances to play No. 3 seed and host Cazenovia at 5 p.m. Thursday at Googin Sports Complex.

Camden edges Oneida

The Camden baseball team scored four times in the bottom of the third and tacked on another run in the fifth as the No. 5 seed edged No. 12 seed Oneida 5-3 on Tuesday at Camden Yards.

Tyler Skinner had two RBIs and Brian Gonzalez and Connor MacArthur also had one RBI for Camden (14-5).

Ryan Leos allowed six hits and two runs while walking three and striking out seven in five innings. Josh Plumley allowed a hit and a run and struck out three in two innings of relief.

No stats were provided for Oneida (10-10).

Camden advances to play at 5 p.m. Thursday at Cortland (14-6) in the Section III Class B quarterfinals.

CVA falls to Cazenovia

No. 2 seed Cazenovia rallied against upset-minded No. 14 Central Valley Academy in Tuesday’s Class B Section III second-round playoff game.

CVA (11-11) had a two-run double from Pace Ludwig in the top of the first inning. The Thunder then added another run in the third.

However, Cazenovia (16-2) rallied with three runs in bottom of the sixth.

Cazenovia got the winning run in the seventh.

Individual statistics were not provided.

Adirondack eliminated

There will be no repeat for the Adirondack baseball team.

The Wildcats, which won a Section III title last season in Class C and made a surprise run all the way to state semifinals, moved up to Class B this season.

The team had its 2023 season season end Tuesday with a 7-3 setback to Lowville in the sectional second round.

Adirondack finishes 11-8 overall.

No stats were provided for the Wildcats.

Brody Brown led Lowville (11-6) with two RBIs. Four others had an RBI.

Westmo shuts out Herkimer

Hunter Kierpiec allowed four hits and struck out seven to help fifth-seeded Westmoreland notch a 4-0 victory over No. 12 seed Herkimer in the Section III Class C second round game.

Kierpiec improves to 7-2 this season after also allowing five walks and hitting one batter in the complete game win.

Westmoreland (15-5 overall) also shut out Herkimer in a 10-0 win Friday. Westmoreland has three shut out wins in the last five games. The Bulldogs have won seven straight games since a three-game losing streak.

The Bulldogs had four total hits and nine stolen bases. Anthony Sawanec led with a walk, stolen base and RBI. Mitchell Holmes also had an RBI.

Robert Stone had two of Herkimer’s four hits. Herkimer finishes 9-10.

Westmoreland advances to play Thursday at No. 4 seed Weedsport in the quarterfinals.

Mount Markham advances

The eighth-seeded Mount Markham baseball team scored three runs in the bottom of the first and then held off No. 9 Sandy Creek for a 5-3 victory Tuesday in the Section III Class C second round game.

Kevin Gates finished with six strikeouts for Mount Markham (11-5-1). Winning pitcher Mason Beigh totaled eight strikeouts.

No other stats were provided for either team.

Mount Markham advances to play at top-seeded Bishop Ludden (17-2).

Frankfort-Schuyler falls

Second-seeded Beaver River scored five times in the bottom of the first inning en route to a 10-2 win over No. 15 seed Frankfort-Schuyler on Tuesday in the Section III Class C second round game.

No stats were provided for Frankfort-Schyler (6-11), which got its two runs in the fifth inning.

Bobby Hazard had three RBIs for Beaver River (19-2).

11-run inning fuels Little Falls

Third-seeded Little Falls baseball accumulated 11 runs in the fourth inning Tuesday to cruise to a 16-3 win over No. 14 Cooperstown on Tuesday in a Class A second round game at Veterans Memorial Park.

No stats were provided for Little Falls (16-3), which led 4-2 after one inning and 6-2 after 3.

Emerson Toulson had two RBIs for Cooperstown (6-10).

Little Falls is set to get a visit from No. 6 LaFayette (13-5) at 6 p.m. Thursday in the sectional quarterfinals.

New York Mills scores walkoff

Tim Kirilko scored on an error in the bottom of the seventh inning as second-seeded New York Mills edged No. 15 Hamilton 6-5 on Tuesday in a Section III Class D first round game.

New York Mills (16-3) overcame six errors in the game.

Hamilton, which led 3-0 in the third inning, had tied the game at 5 in the top of the fifth inning.

Leo Cruz, Lucas Komnick, Ryan Komnick and Nate Alford each had an RBI for New York Mills.

Colin Olsen went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Hamilton (4-12).

New York Mills will host No. 7 Oriskany (11-4) in the quarterfinals at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Oriskany topped New York Mills twice last week.

Eight-run inning helps Oriskany

Seventh-seeded Oriskany grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning and then extended it with eight in the third inning en route to a 15-4 win over No. 10 Fabius-Pompey on Tuesday in a Section III Class D first-round game.

Oriskany also added five runs in the fifth inning. The team had 12 hits and drew 13 walks.

Eddie Wright finished 4-for-5 with a triple, two runs and four RBIs for Oriskany. David Cronauer went 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs, Karsten Bates finished 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, two runs and two RBIs and Noah Narolis added a double, a walk, two runs and two RBIs.

Anthony Kernan allowed two hits, a run, walked three and struck out nine in five innings on the mound.

Poland ousted

Third-seeded Morrisville-Eaton jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first innings and topped No. 14 Poland 12-2 in five innings in the Section III Class D first-round game.

Riley Dooley (four innings pitched) Evan Stewart (inning pitched) combined to limit Poland to two hits.

Morrisville-Eaton (12-3) was helped by Lincoln Dapson and Cale Marland, who each had three RBIs.

Carter Cookinham and Neal Waterman each had hits for Poland (5-11). The Tornadoes scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

West Canada Valley has season-most runs

Sixth-seeded West Canada Valley led 7-1 after two innings and then accumulated 13 in the third as the team earned a 29-6 win over No. 11 Remsen on Tuesday in the Section III Class D first-round game.

West Canada Valley (14-5) finished with 26 hits in scoring more than 20 runs for the second time in as many games. The 29 runs are the most West Canada has scored this season.

Sean Burdick finished 5-for-6 with a double, two triples and a home run (his third of the season. He had a season-most six runs and five runs batted in.

Brayden Shepardson went 4-for-5 with two doubles, five runs and five RBIs. He’s batting .507 this season.

Iain Farber added four hits, including a home run. He added four RBIs, four runs and a pair of stolen bases. Dylan Dayton added three RBIs.

West Canada is set to play Morrisville-Eaton on Thursday in the quarterfinals.


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