BINGHAMTON — Five trips to a New York state baseball championship game, nearly 700 career wins and 11 Section II titles.
All Queensbury coach Jay Marra was missing from his likely Hall of Fame coaching resume was the cherry on top.
Saturday at NYSEG Stadium, pitcher Jack Sylvia and the Spartans helped hand-deliver Marra an elusive Class A state baseball crown as Queensbury beat Lakeland 5-1 in Binghamton.
“I’ve been getting texts and emails from guys that played for us 20 years ago and this is all for those guys who helped build the program,” Marra said… “Our mantra from day one as been ‘Why not us?’ so we are here. Thank God.”
Sylvia went the distance, allowing one run on four hits. For the nine Queensbury seniors, including Noah Edwards, who pitched in Friday’s state semifinal win, a dream they’ve been whispering about since they were preteens was realized.
It took Marra 40 years coaching at Queensbury (20-4) to find a group capable of combining their skill, leadership and good fortune into a title run.
Though he took time to credit Spartans teams from years’ past, he would not give credit to the person who deserves it most — himself.
Instead, he said that praise belongs to his duo of aces.
“Back-to-back complete games (from Jack and Noah),” Marra said. “Jack just kept hanging in there and making pitch after pitch. I kept telling him ‘throw the ball over the plate and we will catch it for you.’ And he did.”
Lakeland scored on Sylvia early, getting a run in the second inning, but the Hornets did not lead long.
With runners on first and second, pitcher Jack Sylvia drove in the tying run on an RBI single in the fourth.
After center fielder Mike Guido reached first on a walk, the bases were juiced for junior Brendan Scott.
Siezing the moment, Scott sent a shot to deep right-center field. As soon as Scott made contact, Marra started waving his right arm like a mad man, signaling all Spartans runners to get their butts home.
And that is exactly what they did as Scott easily reached third for three-RBI triple.
“That is probably the biggest hit of my career,” Scott said. “To come up like that in the state final, this is a big day for me and the team.
“I got two strikes on me and got back in the box,” he said of his triple. “I found a pitch I could handle and took it in the gap.”
Sylvia’s control of the mound meant Lakeland was done scoring, and a ground out in the top of seventh made way for a long overdue Queensbury infield celebration.
For Marra, 40 years is a long time to be doing anything. When asked if he was thinking about retirement, his response came faster than a Sylvia or Edwards heater down the middle.
“Heck no,” Marra said. “I love it and got a good thing.”