Spartans come home with elusive hardware
Queensbury’s 4th trip to final four in six years yields title
Few things in sports are more difficult than clinching a championship, and Queensbury’s will was tested Saturday evening.
Holding a 5-1 lead in the state baseball Class A championship game against Lakeland, pitcher Jack Sylvia had his most laborious inning, throwing 24 pitches, the final nine to mound foe Evan Berta.
Sylvia won the battle, inducing Berta into a forceout, and Queensbury had the prize it coveted, a first state baseball crown.
“It was way better than expected,” Sylvia said of the triumphant feeling, “especially the first time ever in Queensbury, and especially when we’ve had professional players like Brendan Harris playing for us. It felt great.”
Queensbury (19-4) got back-to-back complete games en route to the title. Noah Edwards hurled a one-run, six-hit victory, same as Sylvia, in Friday’s 3-1 semifinal victory over Canandaigua Academy.
“Back-to-back complete games,” Queensbury coach Jay Marra said, almost in disbelief. “Jack just kept hanging in there, making pitch after pitch. Our forte has been defense the whole time. We kept telling him, throw the ball over the plate, we’ll catch it for you, and we did.”
Sylvia threw 117 pitches (76 strikes), striking out six and walking two, including one in the final inning.
“I started to lose my velocity there,” Sylvia said. “I was just tired.”
Lakeland (16-10) led 1-0 when Sylvia ignited the Spartans’ offense in the fourth with a two-out RBI single. After Mike Guido walked, Brendan Scott launched a bases-loaded triple for a 4-1 lead.
“We felt with Jack on the mound,” Scott said, “throwing the way he was, if we could get him some runs, we feel like we can beat anybody.”
Guido gave Sylvia a little breathing room in the sixth with a run-scoring single, also with two outs.
“We were not hitting the ball at all,” Sylvia said. “When I got that hit, B-scott opened the floodgates, and it gave a lot of confidence. I could actually attack the hitters instead of playing passive.”
It was the fourth time in the past six years Queensbury has made the state final four.
“It means a lot to the whole program,” Marra said. “I’ve been getting texts and emails from guys who played for me 20 years ago, wishing me good luck today. This is all for those guys who helped build the program.”
Queensbury’s matt Chase hits a single against Lakeland during their Class A state final Saturday at NYSEG Stadium.