Trojans shake off Spartans
Jake Casey was part of the one of the scarier moments of Tuesday’s Section 3 Class A first round playoff baseball game, but he also knew his Homer Central teammates were there for him.
Pitcher Casey was hit in the heel by a line shot off the bat of East Syracuse-Minoa third baseman Matthew Hunter with two outs in the top of the second inning, but the junior left-hander shook off the pain to toss a four-hitter as the fifth-seeded Trojans recorded the 4-3 victory over the 12-seeded Spartans.
Homer (14-7) advances to Thursday’s quarterfinal round and travels to take on fourth-seed Jamesville-DeWitt (16-4) at 4:30 p.m.
Other first round games saw ninth-seed Oneida nip eighth-seed Camden 4-3, sixth-seed Christian Brothers Academy edge 11th-seed Bishop Ludden 3-2 and seventh-seed Carthage down 10th-seed Indian River 7-4.
Other Thursday quarterfinals have third-seed Cortland (14-4) hosting CBA (13-6) at 6:30 p.m. at Beaudry Park, Carthage (12-7) heading to second-seed Watertown (15-4) and Oneida (9-10) traveling to top-seed New Hartford (11-9).
Hunter’s shot off Casey was the first of three ES-M hits that inning as the Spartans took a 2-1 lead . Sam Pascarella doubled home Hunter and Matt Barbini singled Pascarella in. Those hits came after Casey had retired the first five ES-M batters he faced.
The Spartans then added a run in the third inning after a lead-off walk to Joel Clark. Stephen Loder sacrificed the runner to second. Clark moved to third on a ground out and scored on an error which would have been the third out of the inning.
The only other hit Casey surrendered was a one-out double by Greg Fingar, the losing pitcher, in the top of the fifth inning. He was left stranded at third base after Casey struck out the next two batters and the visitors would not score again.
Casey allowed two walks, hit one batter and struck out eight on an off day.