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  • Poughkeepsie Journal

    Baseball: Wilsey, Boenig lead dramatic rally as Spackenkill edges Chester in section final

    By Stephen Haynes, Poughkeepsie Journal,

    28 days ago

    SAUGERTIES - The entire Spackenkill baseball team ran the emotional gamut on Saturday, having their season and championship reign come within an out. But nobody experienced the highs and lows on this evening quite like Ryan Wilsey.

    He found himself at the bottom of a celebratory dogpile, his teammates giddily tossing themselves atop the heap while the pitcher literally smiled through the pain. Then, a minute later, he was hoisted onto their shoulders as a hero while the Spartans exited the field triumphant and jubilant.

    “I’ve never been part of a game like this; absolutely not,” the senior said. “This was crazy.”

    In a lengthy game that one observer described as having “three lives,” Spackenkill one-upped Chester’s incredible comeback with an even more improbable one.

    The Spartans scored four runs during a two-out rally in the seventh and Dylan Boenig delivered the winning two-run single as Spackenkill stunned top-seeded Chester, 14-13, in the Section 9 Class B final.

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    “It felt surreal,” the catcher said. “I got to first and just looked at my teammates and it was like, ‘Can you believe this is really happening?’”

    The championship was their third straight and Spackenkill also defeated Chester in the final last season. It wasn’t the result that shocked all the onlookers, but how it played out.

    Spackenkill, in pursuit of its second state title in three seasons, will face Section 1’s Croton-Harmon in a subregional Thursday, 12 p.m. at Cantine Field in Saugerties.

    In his 31 years of coaching, Don Neise said, “I doubt I’ve been involved in a game like” the section final.

    Against Chester, the second-seeded Spartans overcame an early four-run deficit and eventually surged to 10-4 lead. But everything seemingly went haywire in the fifth and sixth innings as pitching foibles and defensive gaffes helped the Hambletonians score nine straight runs. Joseph Grassi’s RBI single tied it and James Musco followed with a three-run triple in the bottom of the sixth.

    Wilsey, a seldom-used reliever, was summoned as Spackenkill hoped someone could stop the onslaught. He entered with a runner at third and his team reeling.

    “It was tough and I was definitely nervous,” the right-hander admitted. “I was taking deep breaths and telling myself, ‘You got this, and you’ve got a good defense behind you.’”

    Although he didn’t need it then, striking out two batters to strand a runner at third. But, there still was the matter of the Spartans needing at least three runs to preserve their season.

    “At that point,” Neise said, “you just want to string together good at-bats and see if you can make something happen.”

    Aiden Sickler and Dylan Updike singled, but Dan Collins eventually came to the plate with two outs. The senior worked a long at-bat before singling in a run. Bryan Hoyt then singled to get Spackenkill within 13-12 and set up Boenig, who lined a two-run single to center.

    “Each person has to be thinking, ‘Just get on base and pass it to the guy behind you,’” Boenig said of the two-out rally. “If we string enough of those together, we might do something special.”

    Wilsey then quickly recorded the final three outs, including a pop up to Hoyt at first base, which kicked off a celebration that was fueled as much by relief as it was excitement.

    “The lead changes, the intensity, that last inning,” Boenig said with a grin, as a water cooler was dumped on Wilsey. “This was unbelievable!”

    Boenig was 2 for 4 with four RBI, and Collins and Linus Oudom both went 3 for 5 with three runs to lead Spackenkill (16-4). Hoyt was 2 for 3 with two RBI and Wilsey drove in two runs and struck out three in 1⅔ perfect innings.

    “Chester is a great, resilient team, so I’m really proud of how our guys fought back and never gave up,” Neise said. “If we’re gonna pull out a game like this, we might as well keep going and win the whole thing.”

    Stephen Haynes:; 845-437-4826; Twitter: @StephenHaynes4

    This article originally appeared on Poughkeepsie Journal: Baseball: Wilsey, Boenig lead dramatic rally as Spackenkill edges Chester in section final

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