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Wayne Post
  • Pal-Mac baseball wins first sectional title

  • The Palmyra-Macedon baseball team put in a lot of work this past offseason. Players woke up early for 6 a.m. fielding and batting practices before school and that dedication continued through the season. Senior captain Devin Robson believes that’s why the Red Raiders captured their first sectional title in school his...
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  • The Palmyra-Macedon baseball team put in a lot of work this past offseason. Players woke up early for 6 a.m. fielding and batting practices before school and that dedication continued through the season. Senior captain Devin Robson believes that’s why the Red Raiders captured their first sectional title in school history on Friday.
    No. 1 seed Pal-Mac defeated No. 3 Batavia, 7-3, in the Section 5 Class BB championship at McDonough Park.
    “It’s unreal,” said Robson, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player. “It’s been five years on varsity and we finally brought it home senior year. It feels amazing.”
    The Blue Devils took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third, but the Red Raiders pulled back in front in the bottom of the inning and secured some breathing room in the sixth.
    Cody Eckerson pitched a gem on the mound for Pal-Mac, allowing three hits and two walks while notching 15 strikeouts in seven innings of work. The senior helped out the offense as well, adding a late solo home run. Robson went 2 for 2 with an RBI and two runs scored; Mike McGinn went 2 for 4 with an RBI and two runs; and Noah West went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run.
    Robson started the scoring in the first when he hit a double to deep left-center field, bringing Matt Hall home.
    Batavia took advantage of two Pal-Mac errors in the third to go up 3-1. Jake Scheuerlein reached on an error and scored on a double by Brett Scheuerlein. An error with two outs allowed Brett Scheuerlein to score and Richie Francis tacked on an RBI triple.
    Robson tripled in the bottom of the third and scored on an error. West then tied the game with an RBI single that scored McGinn from second base. Later in the frame, second baseman John Morrison executed a perfect suicide-squeeze bunt down the first-base line allowing West to come home.
    “I just told those guy out there that they showed some guts today,” said Pal-Mac coach Jeremy Hulbert. “We gave up those three unearned runs, but we bounced right back in the bottom of that inning. That was key for us to get them back immediately before we let them get too much momentum.”
    Eckerson felt he pitched better as the game went on. He consistently threw his fastball, breaking ball and change-up for strikes. The lefty set Batavia’s batters down in order in the fourth and fifth innings, striking out the side in the fifth.
    The Blue Devils threatened to tie the game in the sixth, as the Red Raiders clung to a 4-3 lead. Two runners reached base on fielding errors with one out, but Hall turned a double play from the shortstop position, stepping on second and throwing out the runner at first. The senior committed the first error of the inning.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I was a little upset when I let that one go under my legs, but I knew I had to come back and make a big play and help Cody out because he was pitching phenomenally,” Hall said.
    Eckerson gave himself some breathing room by hitting a solo home run to right field to lead off the bottom of the sixth. It was the first home run of his varsity career. Hulbert gave the pitcher a hard time about his hitting at a recent practice, joking that all he does is walk. “Pitchers can hit,” Eckerson told his coach as he rounded third base. McGinn hit an RBI double in the inning and West added an RBI single.
    The pitcher struck out all three batters in the seventh and after the final strike, he spiked his glove on the ground and celebrated with the rest of the team between the mound and home plate.
    “My body kind of went numb to be honest with you,” Eckerson said. “It was a great moment, there was a huge smile on my face. I was so happy. We’ve never won a sectional title. It just feels so good to represent Pal-Mac as sectional BB champions.”
    Eckerson was named Class BB’s regular season player of the year and Hulbert was named coach of the year.
    Pal-Mac (18-5) faces Class B champion Wayland-Cohocton in the regional qualifier at 3 p.m. Saturday in Livonia.
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