WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. – Arlington was shut out over the final six innings in the Section 1 Class AA championship game.
It wasn’t enough to prevent the Admirals from winning their first Section 1 baseball championship since 1987.
No. 9-seeded Arlington scored six runs in the top of the first inning and held on for a 6-4 victory against No. 2-seeded John Jay-East Fishkill.
“This feels great, it’s been 25 years since we’ve come out of the section,” Robbie Camastro said. “We wanted to let John Jay know we were the better team right off the bat and set the tone early.”
The Admirals certainly set the tone in the first inning by batting around and pounding out five hits to score all six of their runs. Big blows came from an RBI-double from Drew Lugbauer and a 2-RBI triple from Camastro who was 3-for-4 on the night.
“I just wanted to jump on the first fastball I saw,” Camastro said. “Ryan DiMarzo has a really good changeup and curveball and I just pounced on the first fastball he gave me.”
John Jay answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning due to a double by Adam Calabro, three walks, and two hit-by-pitches. Tyler Bruno got a strikeout to end the inning and John Jay left the bases loaded. It was a trend that continued throughout the game as the Patriots left 11 men on base in total.
The Patriots held Arlington scoreless after the first inning with great relief pitching from Matt Lisella (3 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 7 K) and Jon Repetto (3 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 3 K). Arlington’s Kevin McKenna matched John Jay’s bullpen with 2 1/3 shutout innings in relief. He only allowed one hit. Starter Kyle Bruno fought through a tough first inning to pick up the victory.
“I had a hard time finding my command early on,” Bruno said. “I settled down and pitched alright after that. When I got tired Kevin came in and did an excellent job.”
Arlington’s victory completed an improbable run through the playoffs. The Admirals won three games on the road to reach the championship including a 1-0 victory over No. 8 North Rockland, a 3-2 victory over No. 1 Mamaroneck, and an 8-5 victory over No. 4 Fox Lane. The Admirals lost twice to John Jay during the regular season.
“I don’t think we ever played below our standards this year,” Camastro said. “I just think it took a few games to see what we had and everything clicked at the right time in the playoffs.”
Chris Pinto was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Andrew DiNardo was 1-for-2 with an RBI in the loss for John Jay.
Arlington embarks on the road to a state championship against the Section 9 winner on Tuesday in the state regional semifinals.
“Hopefully at this point anything can happen,” Bruno said. “We’re just going to come out here focused and play baseball.”
Contact John Malone on Twitter: @MSGV_Malone