Hudson Valley Sports Report

KETCHAM, JAY SET UP SHOWDOWN

Indians, Patriots Baseball Sweep Doubleheaders As They Prepare To Meet 

WAPPINGERS FALLS – With one of the best high school baseball rivalries in the area on deck this coming week, the two protagonists had banner days on Saturday.

Roy C. Ketcham, struggling over the last week or so, and John Jay, racing to one of its best seasons ever, both swept doubleheaders at home as they prepare to meet on Wednesday night at Dutchess Stadium.

Ketcham shut out Lakeland, 6-0, and beat Clarkstown North, 4-3, to get back to .500 at 6-6. In the opener, Tyler Viscusi hurled one of the most unique gems of the season so far – a seven-inning, five-hit shutout in which he needed just 51 pitches.

It was the least amount of pitches thrown by a Ketcham pitcher in a complete-game victory since Tim Zehnbauer’s 57 pitches two years ago. The catalyst for Viscusi was not only his sharpness, but the fact that the Indians’ much-maligned defense of late turned four double plays in the game.

“We’re making strides,” RCK coach Pat Mealy said. “We’re getting there. Tyler was great, and he also was helped by pitching with a lead, which we have not been accustomed to of late.”

Viscusi helped himself with two hits and three RBI, while Nick Nevins (two RBI), Bryce Mordecki and Jack Simonetty all had two hits each.

Vinnie Polini went 3-for-4 with two RBI, and then he came back in game two by throwing a strong sixth and seventh inning for the win against Clarkstown after Simonetty went a solid five – the first time both players had pitched on the varsity level.

“We put two kids together who just went out and battled,” Mealy said.

Tied 3-3 heading to the bottom of the sixth, Nevins led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice, and scored on Polini’s double.

“That,” Mealy said, “was something we needed very badly.”

A few miles south, John Jay also played a twinbill and beat

Yorktown, 7-5, and Lakeland, 7-1, behind terrific pitching performances from Shawn Baker and Robert Gray. Baker, a junior, earned his first varsity win by scattering four hits over 4.1 innings. Jonah Abdo struck out three to earn the save over two-and-a-third.

In the nightcap, Gray pitched one-run ball over six innings for the victory over Lakeland.

“I’m very proud of both Shawn and Robert,” John Jay coach Eric Frink said. “They ate those innings up at a time when we really needed it. Shawn was a workhorse, and Robert had all of his stuff working.”

Skyler Ohrvall had three RBI in the opening game win over Yorktown while Dan DiMarzo and Jack Matero both hit solo home runs.

In the second game, Johnny Tuccillo was 3-for-3 with an RBI, and Larry Costello had the first three hits of his varsity career.

The Indians and the Patriots will meet for the first time this year on Wednesday in the Orange Out game to raise money for Maria Ferreri Children’s Hospital, where John Jay pitcher Brandon Johnson received his treatment while battling leukemia. He will throw out the first pitch.

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