Hadley-Luzerne End Sectional Baseball Drought

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By Keith Harrington

Hadley-Luzerne had not won a sectional baseball title since 1968. Mekeel Christian had never worn the crown since changing their name from Schenectady Christian. Something had to change on Saturday. One team or the other would be hoisting the championship plaque.

The Eagles broke a 4-4 tie with a walk-off bases-loaded walk to edge the Lions 5-4 to win the Section II Class D title at Joe Bruno Stadium.

Noah Springer took ball four on a full-count pitch to force Mason Dunn home with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to hand Hadley-Luzerne the victory.

The game was tight throughout. Mekeel Christian scored a run in the top of the first to lead 1-0. Hadley-Luzerne plated a pair run in the bottom of the frame to take a 2-1 advantage.

The squads exchanged the lead in the third as well. The Lions scored twice in the top of the to lead 3-2, but the Eagles responded with two runs of their own to grab back the lead at 4-3.

Mekeel Christian tied the game in the sixth before Hadley-Luzerne’s dramatic effort in the seventh.

In the winning segment for the Eagles, Jacob Bristol reached base on an error. Dunn came on to pinch run for Bristol. Evan Kader singled and Antonio Morehouse bunted and the Lion committed their second error of the inning to load the bases. That set up the heroic walk by Springer.

Noah Springer earned the win on the bump in relief of starter Matt Case. Case pitched five innings, striking out 11.

Caleb Hussey took the loss for Mekeel Christian. Hussey gave up just five hits and recorded 10 Ks.

Mason Conklin led the Eagles at the plate with a single and an inside-the-park home run. Bristol added a single. Taylor Smead contributed a two-run single.

Joshua Barnes has an RBI single for the Lions, who also scored runs with a steal of home, a hit batter, and a walk.

Both teams finished with five hits, but four errors hampered the Lions.

Hadley-Luzerne raised their mark to 12-8 on the season. The Eagles advance to the regional finals next Saturday against either Bolton or Parishville-Hopkinton.

Mekeel Christian ends the season 12-8.