Amsterdam, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Shaker baseball team was the only higher seed to win its quarterfinal matchup, making the fourth-seeded Blue Bison the favorite in Monday’s AA sectional semifinals at Shuttleworth Park.
Starting pitcher Andrew Dongelewic showed that they weren’t just the favorite on paper. The senior pitched a complete game shutout, tossing 11 strikeouts in the process, as Shaker defeated eight seed Columbia 2-0.
Blue Devils’ starter Jacob Skarlis was no slouch as he fanned 11 batters himself, but Sam Case’s RBI single down the right field line in the third ended up being the decisive run for Shaker in the win.
“I knew from the start that I needed to locate my fastball, locate my off-speed, if I get all that, with my guys behind me and all my pitches and how they move, I knew I had the win,” Dongelewic said.
The Blue Bison got the winner of the earlier game between six seed Shenendehowa and seven seed Shaker. Those two were scoreless in the third when Alex Sandburg sent a solo shot over the wall in left to put the Plainsmen on top 1-0.
Nate Rodriguez evened things up for the Blue Streaks in the fifth. His RBI double to the gap in left center tied the game at one, then Toga broke things open in the sixth.
After already piling on a few to build a 4-1 lead, Noah Joly put the nail in the coffin for Saratoga with a three run homer to give the Streaks a 7-1 lead. They wouldn’t look back from there on their way to the AA sectional championship series.
“I didn’t even watch it off the bat,” Joly said. “I just hit it, it felt good and I started running and it got out. I’m just happy with it, it kind of put the game away so what can I say?”
“We’re very confident we can take it home, we just got to stay hot,” Joly said. “We’ve been hot the past few games we just got to stay there.”
Game one of the three game AA sectional championship series starts Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Joe Bruno Stadium.