Story and video of Byram’s walk-off hit by Adrian Szkolar
ENDWELL — Byram Hills has seen its depth come through several times this season.
Next up to play the hero role for the Bobcats: Jacob Stuckelman.
The senior third baseman had two RBI, including the walk-off winner on a single to give Byram Hills a 4-3 win in 10 innings over Section 8’s Division on Friday at Maine-Endwell HS.
The Bobcats will play the winner of Queensbury (Section 2) vs. Hamburg (Section 6) in the state championship game at 4 p.m. at Maine-Endwell.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Byram Hills’ Kellen Hatheway got on base after being hit by a pitch for the 19th time this season, and teammate Anthony Russo moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt. That set the stage for Stuckelman, as he hit a blooper to near the foul line in left field to score Hatheway.
Byram Hills got the early drop on Division pitcher James Varela, getting eight hits in the first three innings. Kevin Wietsma and Michael Aberman both drove in runs in the second inning, while Stuckelman drove in one more in the third inning.
“Before the game, we scouted (Varela) out, watched a few videos,” Stuckelman said. “We knew what he had, and we just trusted what we had. He wasn’t throwing that hard, we just drove it the other way.”
Junior pitcher Frankie Vesuvio turned in an almost perfect performance for the Bobcats. He had a no-hitter going until the sixth inning, when Division finally managed to break through. After walking Division’s Tyler Crafa, Joe Piscitelli followed up with a double. Varela followed that up with two-run single. A few batters later, Ronmel Ocampo tied the game on a drive to left field.
“It happens, sometimes, people slip, but we have people behind us to back us up,” Stuckelman said. “We’re going to trust what we got; we’re going to play our game and see what happens.”
Follow Adrian on Twitter @Szkolar_Lohud for live updates from the Class A state title game
Photos by Jeff Miller/For The Journal News