No. 6 Briarcliff 21, No. 11 Bronxville 8 — Did anyone see this coming? Not me. In fact, there are many certainties I have learned the last five years covering playoff baseball. One of them is that the first round is often the cleanest. Everyone (well, almost) throws their ace, and everyone is fresh and rested. I can’t go back through the years for obvious reasons, but were all the data available, I’d bet you this is one of the highest-scoring first rounders in years. … Briarcliff clearly swung the bats well. Twenty-one runs in five innings at the plate is remarkable. The Bears’ 21 hits were a high on the day as well. Seven players (SEVEN!?!) had multi-hit days. James Lombardi went 4 for 5, and Jordan Sacks, who also had six RBI, and Jo Jo Pandalfo each had three hits. … Sacks got the start and appeared to have pitched pretty well. He allowed no earned runs in five inings, but was hurt by a shoddy defense. Briarcliff committed three errors that led to four unearned runs. It’ll have to shore up the D against Nanuet, which, behind Dan Diaz, you can expect to play a clean game tomorrow. The Bears also can’t expect to rely on their offense to this degree, but it has to at least give Diaz and Nanuet a little pause. This was their ninth game scoring seven runs or more. Briarcliff really can hit when it’s on. … Also, give credit to Brad Taylor in defeat. He may’ve struggled on the mound, but he didn’t bring it to the plate, where he went 4 for 4 for Bronxville.
No. 7 Albertus Magnus 9, No. 10 Croton-Harmon 7 (eight innings) — Oh, how I would’ve liked to have seen this! I said to the guys (Jake included) at the office last night that I can’t imagine what Ryan Sullivan felt the moment he hit a walkoff homer in the eighth inning of a playoff game. First of all, this season has been a magnificent one for Magnus, which, for the first time since it upset No. 1-seeded Hastings in 2005, is a legit playoff team with real aspirations. The Falcons were probably pretty tight when they were so close to getting knocked out so soon; Sullivan’s walkoff must’ve been quite the sigh of relief. Of course, that doesn’t include the fact that he pulled off a feat he’ll remember when he’s 80. … Magnus needed a little late magic before Sullivan ever came to bat in the eighth. The Falcons trailed by four runs in the bottom of the sixth when they rallied to tie the score. That inning was yet another example of the magic around this team in 2009. If you’re Dobbs Ferry tomorrow, don’t let Magnus believe. … The Falcons had a big game from Ryan Celenza, who knocked in three runs, but they also received some help from Croton, which committed four big errors. The Tigers had undergone their own renaissance of sorts after a three-win 2008, so the miscues were doubly costly. … I think Dobbs and Magnus is one of the underrated games tomorrow. Both teams are very hungry for their own reasons, but I’ll have more on that tomorrow morning.
No. 8 Pleasantville 9, No. 9 Pawling 8 — Wild, wild game. Here are the scores: Pawling 4-0. Pawling 6-1. Pleasantville ties it 6-6. Pawling 8-6, middle of the seventh. Pleasantville 9-8, final. The emotional swings of momentum must have been legendary. Poor Pawling made the drive down yet played like it lived across the street from Parkway Field from the first pitch. But Pleasantville strung together the five-run rally in the bottom of the fifth to get the game competitive again, then unleashed the finishing blow after nearly coughing up the game in the top of the seventh. … I sometimes marvel at teams responding after allowed such a potentially crushing rally. Other than White Plains’ comeback against Scarsdale on Tuesday to qualify for the playoffs, Pleasantville’s must rank No. 2 in the mettle department. … Patrick Leyden had the biggest hit, maybe tied for the biggest of the day with Sullivan’s walkoff, a three-run double in the bottom of the seventh. I overheard a recap of the play from an ump in attendance. Wow.
Possible pitching matchups:
Nick Modico (Kennedy) vs. Andrew Lizardi (Pleasantville)
Zack Avalos (Dobbs) vs. Ryan Sullivan (Albertus Magnus)
Dan Diaz (Nanuet) vs. James Lombardi (Briarcliff)
Ryan Blicker (Hastings) vs. Ryan Pennell (Rye Neck)
Anyone see it differently?