FISHKILL – In case you didn’t hear, it was number 10 seeded Arlington Baseball’s Sectional tournament this year. Ketcham didn’t get the memo, nor did John Jay or Scarsdale, as the Admirals played two thrillers and an “in the bagger”, to get to the Section One Class AA championship at Dutchess Stadium against White Plains.
It was yet another thriller with both teams going scoreless for eight innings. In the top of the 9th, with two on, Mike Bulgai came through with a two run opposite field triple that proved to be the difference, and Arlington won the sectional championship in a 2-0 extra inning affair.
“That’s what I love about this tournament”, said head coach Darrell Flynn. “It doesn’t make a difference what seed you are.” Arlington was seeded number 10 in the tournament, White Plains was seeded fifth.
The two previous thrillers were against # 7 seeded Ketcham and #2 seeded John Jay; both come-from-behind wins, both with an uncertain outcome until the final out. The Ketcham game was decided with the tying run headed to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the 7th. A perfect relay from Mike Bulgai in left to Linwood Burke at shortstop to catcher Austin Zakow cut down the runner at home and Arlington moved to the quarter finals against John Jay.
Down 1-0, Arlington battled back to a 4-1 lead only to see the Patriots take it back in the bottom of the inning to lead 5-4. But Arlington came right back in the next inning to go ahead 6-5, and pitcher Matt McGowan withstood a Jay threat with a runner on third and two outs in the final inning, moving Jay to the semi finals against Scarsdale.
The Scarsdale game was an “in the bagger” as Kevin Besko made just one mistake for a Scarsdale solo home run, but the Admirals had produced five runs and put themselves into the sectional championship game with a 5-1 win.
As Section 1 champs, Arlington will take on Horseheads, the Section 4 champs, on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at Maine-Endwell High School in the state tournament.