JFK takes down defending champion TZ
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SOMERS, N.Y. – Kennedy Catholic’s Oscar Giret admitted that he couldn’t find his curveball against defending champion Tappan Zee in the Section 1 Class A quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon.
He didn’t really need it.
Giret turned in a dominating performance, tossing a complete game shutout to lead the No. 3-seeded Gaels to a 6-0 win over No. 11 Tappan Zee. He struck out seven, walked one and scattered five hits.
“I didn’t have my curveball at all today, I just could not bring it down,” said Giret, who is 6-1 this season. “I threw some changeups and some fastballs and found the zone really early…I had a good rhythm out there. It was a little humid out there, but the rosin bag helped a lot. We played really good defense today.”
The senior right-hander cruised through the first two innings by retiring the side in order. Throughout the game, Giret was consistently getting ahead of hitters, recording key strikeouts and making the Dutchmen put the ball in play.
“He was ahead of the count almost the whole game,” Kennedy coach Bob Fletcher said. “He was very sharp today and I surmised he would be. This was his best game this year. He pitched in the [Class B] state championship game when he was a sophomore. He’s pitched in a lot of big games, so there was no question we knew he could handle the pressure.”
Kennedy was very aggressive on the base paths and benefited from some defensive miscues by the Dutchmen. Shortstop Mike Ennis singled and stole second in the first and scored on an error on a ball hit by Erik Bauer to give the Gaels a 1-0 lead. Bauer then scored after Tappan Zee let a pop up drop in the infield.
“We were lucky to take advantage of a few miscues,” Fletcher said. “We got some good, timely hitting, especially from the bottom of the order which has been our problem. In the playoffs our bottom of the order has been very steady. We were able to get hits when we needed them. We’re still not on all nine cylinders and we’re hoping some of the other guys can come out of it.”
The Gaels went up 3-0 in the second. Chris Gillian and Nick Maddalena started it off with back-to-back singles before another run scored on an error. Kennedy added two more runs in the fourth. Gillian was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch. Jason Agresti had an RBI ground out to make it 5-0. The Gaels tacked on another run in the sixth after a walk, a bunt single by Maddalena and an RBI ground out by Ennis.
Gillian scored three runs and stole two bases, while Ennis stole two bags and scored twice.
Tappan Zee starter Mike Woulfe pitched four innings, struck out four and allowed two earned runs. Matt Scherf had two hits including a double.
Kennedy will play the winner between No. 2 Harrison and No. 7 Somers on Tuesday in the Section 1 Class A semifinals. The Huskies knocked the Gaels out of the playoffs last year in the quarterfinals.
“We just try to take one game at a time,” Giret said. “We just have to play our game. We have to hit the ball and we’ve got to pitch well.”
“I was kind of hoping we could keep playing and not get a two day break because I think it would be an advantage to us and our pitching staff,” Fletcher said. “Because we’re not playing until Tuesday now we’re probably going to see the No. 1 now from the other team. Harrison is a very strong team and Somers is a very strong team. Both teams are very fundamentally sound. We need a pitching performance like this and errorless baseball.”