John Jay-EF holds off Suffern in marathon
HOPEWELL JUNCTION, N.Y. – Eight hours and fifteen minutes.
That’s how long it took No. 2 John Jay-East Fishkill to weather the heat and thunder and eventually put No. 7 Suffern away 6-3 in the Section 1 Class AA quarterfinals.
The Patriots arrived at school at noon on Saturday the night after prom for their 2:30 p.m. start with Suffern. Due to the heat index being above 96 degrees, neither team was allowed to take the field. Then, the thunder came. With storms in the area, the game didn’t start until 4:55 p.m. The game was delayed again in the fifth inning for another hour.
Finally, at 8:15 p.m., John Jay secured the victory.
“I’ve coached football and baseball at this school for nine years now,” John Jay coach Tom O’Hare said. “That’s probably 300 contests, and I’ve never been a part of a game like this before.”
Despite the delays, the heat, and the threat of rain, the game was well played. With the score tied 2-2 in the second inning, John Jay attacked. The Patriots scored four runs in the inning behind an RBI-double from Ryan Kaplan and an RBI-single from Mike Laffin, who was 3-for-3. Jason Coscio hit a sacrifice fly and Adam Calabro scored a run with a groundout.
“When someone punches you, you have to punch them back twice,” Laffin said. “We wanted to put them down right there and anyone on our team can do it on a given day, and we’ll do it any way we can.”
Ryan DiMarzo started for John Jay and gave up just three runs on five hits in four innings of work. He was removed for Jon Repetto after the hour delay to start the fifth inning. Repetto gave up just an infield single in three innings of work to get the save.
“We gave the ball to a couple of our seniors and we had all the confidence in the world in them,” Laffin said. “Once we got the lead we knew Ryan would get the job done.”
Suffern threatened in the seventh inning against Repetto with a leadoff walk and an infield single with one out. With darkness quickly approaching, Repetto buckled down and induced a game-ending double play with the tying run at the plate.
“Coach told me to just settle down out there,” Repetto said. “He told me to be calm, feed off of what Ryan did to start the game and let my defense help me.”
Suffern’s Joey Aioli hit a solo homerun in the fourth inning, but the Mounties only mustered six hits on the day.
John Jay will host No. 6 Carmel on Tuesday in the Section 1 Class AA semifinals. Carmel beat John Jay in a one-run game a week ago.
“Things couldn’t have worked out better for us,” Laffin said. “That game left a sour taste in our mouth, and we felt like we gave it away. We definitely wanted another crack and them and now we got it.”
Contact John Malone on Twitter: @MSGV_Malone