Oneonta High junior Emerson Kelby ran his record to 17-0 and secured a spot in the state tennis tournament with a pair of victories in the Section Four State Qualifier on Friday at the Binghamton Tennis Center.
Kelby started his day with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Dustin Eshelman of Moravia in the quarterfinals. He then beat Seton Catholic Central’s Mike Perry, 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals. The top three players from Section Four qualify for the state tournament that begins this coming Friday at National Tennis Center in Flushing.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, Kelby will play Evan Vail from Union-Endicott in the Section Four final. Kelby is looking for his second straight overall sectional title.
“His volley and his maturity,” OHS coach Paul van der Sommen said when asked which parts of Kelby’s game have improved this season. “He’s realizing that he doesn’t always have to hit every shot perfectly. He’s allowing his opponent to make mistakes.”
Van der Sommen also said Kelby has the talent to win a match or two at states this season. Last season, he lost both of his matches at Flushing.
“I think (Binghamton Tennis Center owner Mike Starke) said it best,” van der Sommen said. “He said Emerson is a man among boys.”
Added van der Sommen: “He hits the ball so hard. His serve has been clocked at 120-125 mph. Emerson can break a ball in half.”
Deposit 17, Morris 2
Second-seeded Deposit benefited from 14 walks en route to a Section Four Class D first-round victory Friday.
The game was scheduled to be played at Deposit, but it was moved to Morris because of field conditions. Deposit batted second.
The Lumberjacks (15-5) scored three times in the fouth inning to take a 5-1 lead and then broke it open with a nine-run fifth.
Kelsea Webster tripled and finished with two hits, and Allison DiStefano doubled for the 15th-seeded Mustangs, who finish the season at 7-9.
Kyle Papagelos went 3-for-4 and Shelby Pettersen was 2-for-3 for the two-time defending Section Four Class D champion Lumberjacks, who will host seventh-seeded Roxbury on Tuesday in a quarterfinal.
Deposit 17, Morris 2
SECTION FOUR CLASS D
First round at Morris
Deposit played as home team
15-Morris 010 000 1 _ 2 7 3
2-Deposit 011 393 x _ 17 5 1
Tessa Hitchcock (L) and Kelsea Webster. Justina Ellis (W) and Shelby Pettersen. 2B: Allison DiStefano (M), Shelby Pettersen (D) 2, Megan Faulkner (D), Catherine Bush (D). 3B: Haley Linkroum (D), Kelsea Webster (M).
Elmira ND 13, Windham 0
Eighth-seeded Windham fell on the road Thursday to top-seeded Elmira Notre Dame in a Section Four Class D quarterfinal.
The Crusaders scored in each of the first four innings, before the game was stopped for about an hour because of rain and lightning. It resumed, but the game was called after Windham hit in the top of the fifth because of darkness.
The Warriors finish their season at 10-5. They had nine freshmen on a 15-man roster. Brandon Cohane is the lone senior on Windham’s roster.
END (15-5) will host fifth-seeded Marathon on Tuesday.
Unatego’s Section Four Class C baseball quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Tioga was postponed Friday because of rain.
The third-seeded Spartans (17-3), champions of the Midstate Athletic Conference, and Tigers (13-4) are scheduled to play at 4 p.m. Saturday at Oneonta High.
Seventh-seeded Sidney (14-6) also had its Class C quarterfinal against defending Class C state champion Lansing (17-1) postponed. The Warriors and second-seeded Bobcats will play at 3 p.m. Saturday at Lansing.
Also, in the Section Four Class D playoffs, 14th-seeded Margaretville (8-7) will travel to No. 6 Edmeston (15-5) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
In softball, ninth-seeded Sidney (8-5) will travel to No. 8 Lansing (8-5) in a Class first-round game at 3 p.m. Saturday and 11th-seeded Bainbridge-Guilford (7-9) will play at No. 6 Groton (12-5) at 11 a.m. Saturday. Both of those matchups are first-round games.
In Class D, fifth-seeded Edmeston (17-2) will host No. 12 Davenport (6-5) at 4 p.m. Tuesday in a first-round game.