BINGHAMTON — Ryan Yandow was intentionally walked twice on Friday to bring No. 3 hitter Colton Weatherwax to the plate.
You can imagine what was going through Weatherwax’s mind when it happened the second time, in the sixth inning.
“I said, ‘Let me make it hurt here,’’’ he said. “Let them walk him, because he’s a good hitter too, but we’ve got 3-4-5 coming and we’re all good.”
The “hurt’’ came in the form of a bases-clearing double that brought in three runs, and that was the margin of victory in Schuylerville’s 6-3 win over Medina in a Class B semifinal of the State Baseball Tournament at SUNY Broome. The Black Horses move on to face Center Moriches on Saturday at Binghamton University (1 p.m.) in the state championship game.
Matt McCarthy pitched a compete game for the Black Horses, who are playing for their first state title.
Their record is a not-so-spectacular 18-7, but that hasn’t stopped them from burning to the top during the postseason. The Horses were down 2-0 early in Friday’s game before rallying back.
“We’ve been down before,” coach Darrin Renner said. “This is probably the third game we’ve been down (during the playoffs). ... These guys fight and scrap, nothing seems to faze them. It’s just been beautiful to see, the way these guys come out to compete every game. They’ve done it over and over.”
Medina picked up single runs in the first, when Brian Fry tripled and scored, and in the fourth, when Nate Sherman doubled and scored. The Horses tied it in the bottom of the fourth, and they only used one hit.
Alex Vallee reached on a fielder’s choice and went to third on Charles Luzadis’ single. Vallee scored on a wild pitch and Luzadis scrambled home on a ground ball, just getting under the catcher’s tag on the throw home.
The Horses took a 3-2 lead in the fifth on Nate Preston’s RBI single, but Medina tied it back up in the sixth.
Schuylerville did all of its damage in the bottom of the sixth with two outs. A walk and an error put two runners on, then Medina chose to load the bases rather than pitch to Yandow, the second time they’d put Yandow on in favor of pitching to Weatherwax.
“I think the reason they walked Ryan twice in that spot is Ryan had had such a great game in the previous game,” Renner said. “I think on scouting, that’s mostly what they saw, that Yandow had those big hits.”
That meant everything fell on Weatherwax’s shoulders. He belted a deep shot to right-center field. Renner said his first thought was, “Everybody run!
“They were shallowed up in the defense all day in center and right,” Renner said, “so on contact, as soon as they hit it, with the defense they’ve been playing all day, I knew it was going to get over. You just want the kids to start hustling around the bases.”
It went for a three-run double, and with the bottom of the order coming up for Medina in the seventh, it pretty much put the game out of reach.
“Just trying to hit it where it was pitched,” Weatherwax said, “and it was outside, so I just put it over there. Swung as hard as I could. I was just trying to put a run in there.”
McCarthy finished with 11 strikeouts, including a strikeout of the side in the seventh. That gave the Horses a shot at school history on Saturday.
“I honestly have no words for it,” McCarthy said. “It’s such a great feeling to go this far and just to make history every game, one game at a time. We’ll battle at it and go for a state championship (Saturday).”