Hudson Valley Sports Report

PHOTO GALLERY: ARLINGTON AT KETCHAM BASEBALL

Parker Nevins Gives RCK The Win And Trip To The ‘Chip

WAPPINGERS FALLS – Maybe it’s the genes?

Parker Nevins came to bat in a critical spot on Thursday, his Roy C. Ketcham High School baseball team tied with Arlington, the game already into extra innings and the winning run on third. If he hadn’t been in this situation before, he at least heard about it.

His brother, Nick, is a former standout player for RCK and his father, Tim, was a multi-sport star at Poughkeepsie back in the ‘80s.

Who’s the star now?

Parker came through with a clutch single and delivered the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning, and No. 2 Ketcham beat No. 3 Arlington, 3-2, in a tremendous Section 1, Class AA semifinal game.

The Indians will host No. 4 Carmel for the championship on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

It will be a rematch of the season opener, which Ketcham won 5-4.

“They hit the ball well, but so do we,” RCK coach Pat Mealy said. “It’s going to be a great game. They are probably one of the better teams we’ve played all year.”

And if it has half the electricity that Ketcham-Arlington had, it will be memorable.

This semifinal matchup was, arguably, the first high school sporting event that felt like 2019. A packed house, with both bleachers full and a standing room only crowd along the fences that was a good 10-deep.

“I’ve been doing this a long time on this field and there have been games of this magnitude before. This might have topped it all,” Mealy said of the game between the two long-time rivals. “Both of these communities needed this. Everybody was just living. It was like ‘let’s get some normalcy back here.’”

Ketcham had runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the eighth and Arlington elected to walk Conor Lynch to load ‘em up, the smart move to set up a force at any base.

The Admirals also elected to bring their first and third basemen in a little bit at the corners, knowing Mealy’s penchant and success with the suicide squeeze bunt during his 20-year career at Ketcham.

In fact, the coach called for a successful double suicide squeeze in a 5-2 quarterfinal win over Clarkstown South on Monday, with runners on second and third both breaking, the hitter pushing a bunt toward first base, and both racing home on the same play.

So after walking Lynch, Arlington coach John Biasotti went to the mound to discuss the situation with his defense. And Mealy came down the third base line to have a similar discussion with Nevins.

Mealy said another squeeze bunt was very much in play in his mind, and Nevins is a good bunter.

“I talked to Parker and I said, ‘I want you to tell me what you want to do here,” Mealy said. “He looked at me and said ‘Coach, I want to hit. I know I can get a hit here.’”

Mealy didn’t hesitate.

“When there’s trust there, I let these kids hold onto that rope. I like giving our players a voice,” Mealy said. “And Parker came through with flying colors.”

Nevins singled to left, and then enjoyed the mob of teammates and an unspoken message to Ketcham fans.

See ‘ya Saturday.

Please enjoy yet another great photo gallery from our Todd McDonough.

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