The Daily Star
---- — STAFF REPORT
Margaretville junior Colby Russo closed things out on the baseball diamond and on the stage Tuesday night.
Second baseman Russo hit an RBI single in the top of the seventh inning, got the final out on a sliding play near the bag with bases full in the bottom of the seventh and sang the final solo in a school concert to finish his evening.
His baseball exploits helped the 14th-seeded Blue Devils to a 3-1 upset of Milford in a Section Four Class D first-round game at third-seeded Milford.
Russo and teammate Danny Russo were working on a strict deadline Tuesday. Both were involved in the concert, so Margaretville coach John Bernhardt drove his car to the game and said he was leaving with both singers for Margaretville at 6:15 p.m., regardless of where the game stood.
“The game ended just before 6 p.m. and we got to the concert,” Bernhardt said. “I went to the concert and Colby did a great job on the solo.”
The Blue Devils (8-7) took a 2-1 lead into the seventh.
Cooper Reither opened the inning by reaching on an error. He stole second, went to third on Conroy’s groundout and scored as Russo hit a two-out single to left on an 0-2 count.
Milford (11-5) threatened in the bottom of the seventh.
Blake Elliott drew a one-out walk off winning pitcher Kyle Short. Jacob Taylor then reached on an infield error. Max Laing followed with a single to shallow right to right to load the bases with one out.
Short retired Stephen Banks on a popout to catcher Reither.
William Ward then hit a grounder up the middle. Russo ranged to his right, made a sliding catch and stepped on second for the forceout to end it.
“It was his day,” Bernhardt said of Russo.
Short had a big day of his own. He threw a three-hitter that included one strikeout and one walk.
Bernhardt said Short normally features his curveball but relied on his fastball Tuesday. It led 14 to groundball outs.
“When Kyle pitches, we’re not a 14 seed,” Bernhardt said. “We’re 6-2 in games he’s started.”
With the score tied at 1 in the fourth, Short doubled to lead off. He went to third on a wild pitch by losing pitcher Kevin Musser and scored on Mitch Hull’s groundout to make it 2-1.
Musser’s two-hitter included five strikeouts and two walks.
Eric Mathiesen produced Margaretville’s first run in the first inning. He walked, stole second, went to third on Short’s groundout and scored on a wild pitch.
Milford tied the score in the second, when Margaretville made two errors.
Margaretville will travel to sixth-seeded Edmeston on Thursday or Friday for a quarterfinal. Bernhardt said several members of his team qualified for sectional tournament in golf, which will be held Thursday. He said he thought the game would be moved to Friday.
“They’re a nice team,” Bernhardt said of Edmeston, which beat Morris, 12-1, Tuesday.
Edmeston 12, Morris 1
Mike Clark allowed one run on four hits over six innings and Linton Wainright went 3-for-3 with two RBIs as No. 6 Edmeston won at home in a first-round game.
Clark (5-3) finished with seven strikeouts and three walks for the Tri-Valley League champions.
The Panthers scored twice in the second inning to take a 3-0 lead. Wainright hit an RBI double in the inning.
Clayton Hawes had two hits and scored twice for Edmeston (15-5), which will host No. 14 Margaretville on Thursday or Friday in a sectional quarterfinal.
Edmeston coach Mike Clark said Wainright likely will start in the quarterfinal.
Stamford 5, Davenport 4
Erik Ehrhart’s infield single scored Glen Cioccari with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh as No. 4 Stamford knocked off Delaware League rival Davenport in a first-round game at home.
Cioccari reached on error to start the seventh. He stole second and went to third on winning pitcher Matt Anderson’s hard single to right. After Greg Mattice was intentionally walked, Ehrhart’s high chopper over the pitcher scored Cioccari.
Davenport tied the score at 4 in the top of the seventh, when Travis Briggs reached on a drag bunt, went to second on a passed ball, stole third and scored on a throwing error by catcher Greg Keating.
Anderson finished with 14 strikeouts in a six-hitter.
Ehrhart and Geoff Mattice had two hits apiece for the Delaware League champion Indians (13-2), who will play host to fifth-seeded Marathon on Thursday in a quarterfinal. The Olympians beat Richfield Springs, 10-1, Tuesday.
Justin Fisher had two hits for 13th-seeded Davenport, which ends its season at 6-7.
Windham 7, Downsville 6
With two on and no outs in the seventh inning, Aidan Cohane relieved and struck out the final two batters to lead eighth-seeded Windham to a first-round win at home.
Michael Lennon had two hits, including a triple, and an RBI for the Warriors (10-4), who will travel to top-seeded Elmira Notre Dame on Thursday for a quarterfinal. The Crusaders beat No. 16 Worcester, 12-1, Tuesday.
Kris Acevedo doubled and tripled, and had two RBIs for ninth-seeded Downsville (7-6), which received two hits apiece from Liam Fogarty and Kevin Doig.
Jefferson 10, Deposit 8
John Quagliano had three hits and scored four runs for 10th-seeded Jefferson, which won a first-round game on the road in the Class D tournament.
Trailing, 6-4, entering the sixth inning, Jefferson (10-6) tied the score on a two-run throwing error by Deposit pitcher Austin Decker.
Quagliano led off the inning with a single. A walk to Nick Smith and an error loaded the bases.
Decker then threw to third on a pick-off attempt. The Lumberjacks third baseman did not cover, allowing Quagliano and Smith to score to tie it at 6.
Austin Clayton hit an RBI single later in the inning and Nate Jonker’s RBI groundout made it 8-6.
Jimmy Reeves and Smith hit RBI singles in the seventh to make it 10-6.
Reeves, who was 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs, earned the victory for the J-Hawks improving his record to 7-2. He struck out 11 and walked six in a seven-hitter.
Smith and Hunter Minalga each contributed two hits for Jefferson, which will travel to second-seeded Hancock on a Thursday for a quarterfinal.
Hancock 15, Gilboa 1
Tyler Phillips, Kevin Consulazio and Lane Bass combined on a one-hitter as second-seeded Hancock won at home in a first-round game.
Phillips struck out eight and walked one, allowing a single to Christian Cooper with two outs in the fourth.
Consulazio hit a two-run double in the first inning as Hancock took a 3-0 lead.
Phillips also went 3-for-5. Ryan Smith and Eli Holton contributed three hits apiece for the Wildcats (15-5), who will host a quarterfinal against 10th-seeded Jefferson on Thursday.
Holton hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning.