It was a magical high school baseball season for Southold. The First Settlers won their first Suffolk County championship since 2003. They captured what is believed to be their first regional title, advancing to the New York State Class C semifinals. And then, in that state semifinal against Hoosic Valley, they played an epic game that needed 10 innings to be decided.
Before that game ended, however, Southold ran out of magic.
The state semifinal at Binghamton University was a pitching duel, with three double plays turned by the First Settlers and a rare hidden-ball trick by Hoosic Valley that proved pivotal to its 2-0 triumph.
The game between the New York State Sportswriters Association’s top two rated Class C teams lived up to expectations and then some. Southold faced a powerhouse Hoosic Valley team that is 89-8 since 2012, according to the Albany Times Union.
In Southold’s half of the fifth inning, Dylan Clausen led off with a double. That is when Hoosic Valley resorted to some trickery that paid off big. The pitcher, John Rooney, quickly swirled around and made a throwing motion toward second base as Clausen dove back to the bag. The middle infielders and the center fielder acted is if the ball had been thrown into center field. Clausen took off for third.
The ball, however, was in Rooney’s glove the whole time and he made the toss to third base for the easy out.
Hoosic Valley (25-1) went on to defeat Geneseo, 5-2, later in the day to become the first team to win back-to-back state Class C titles since 1989.
Southold, which went 4-11 last year, finished with a 21-3 record.
“It’s something to be proud of,” Southold pitcher Alex Poliwoda told reporters afterward. “It’s something I’ll always remember throughout my whole life, being the first team in Southold history” to reach the state final four.
Photo Caption: Southold’s dejected players walk off the field after losing to Hoosic Valley in an epic New York State Class C semifinal at Binghamton University. (Credit: Daniel De Mato, file)
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