Hudson Valley Sports Report

PHOTO GALLERY: CARMEL AT KETCHAM BASEBALL

Rams Beat RCK For First Title In 31 Years

WAPPINGERS FALLS – It can be an intimidating experience, playing at the Roy C. Ketcham High School baseball field.

The team is consistently and perennially strong, the coach has 400 wins on his resume, the fans pack the bleachers and hug the fences two, three, sometimes 10 deep, and a quick glance at the backstop and public address booth with the banners tell the story – 11 league championships, six Section 1 titles, three regional crowns, three state Final Four appearances and a state title.

None of it appeared to faze pitcher Jack Sullivan and his Carmel teammates.

Sullivan survived a shaky first inning to shut down the Indians, the Rams got to Indians star Xavier Kolhosser, and No. 4 Carmel won its first Section 1, Class AA championship in 31 years with a 5-1 victory over second-seeded Ketcham on Saturday.

“This was just a dream for a long time, and now it’s real,” said Sullivan, a University of Connecticut commit who was brilliant after the first inning. Sullivan threw 31 pitches in the opening frame, walked a batter, hit a batter and was victimized by an error that allowed Ketcham to take a quick 1-0 lead.

Carmel knew it was up against Sullivan’s equal in Kolhosser, who is headed to baseball powerhouse St. John’s University, and it took the Rams four innings to break through.

But they did, as what is arguably the best-hitting team in the section came to life.

Nick Montagna’s long double to left field tied the game. Sullivan then rapped an RBI single to give himself a 2-1 lead and, moments later, senior Matt Demme gave Sullivan some breathing room with a big two-run single that made it 4-1.

As it turns out, Sullivan didn’t need it.

He only got stronger as the game progressed, firing a complete-game two-hitter with 10 strikeouts.

Photographer Todd McDonough captured the emotion of the game in this great photo gallery.

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