LITTLE FALLS 7, SAUQUOIT VALLEY 5, 17 innings, completion of suspended game
Lucas Godlewski had just enough fuel left in his tank to get the Little Falls Mounties through three innings Saturday — and he threw in a game-winning hit before they had to decide what to do about a fourth.
Godlewski’s two-out, two-run single broke a tie in the 17th inning Friday and helped put Little Falls in the Section III semifinals with a 7-5 win over Sauquoit Valley, the No. 1 seed in Class C-1. After pitching the first six innings of the game Thursday evening — play was suspended with the teams tied at 5 after 14 innings — the junior right-hander returned to the mound for the resumption of play. He retired the first seven batters he faced Friday, striking out the side in the 16th inning, and go the last two outs with the tying runs on base.
“I couldn’t throw another pitch,” Godlewski said after Thomas Jalowiec grounded into a force play at second base to end the game.
Mitchell Baumeister was next in line to take the mound for the Mounties, according to coach Bryan Shepardson. Zach McLaughlin had pitched five scoreless innings in relief Thursday and Josh Martin, the expected starter for Saturday’s game at Pulaski, threw three following a complete game in Tuesday’s win against Westmoreland.
Neither team put a runner on base in the 15th inning when play resumed. A two-out error gave Little Falls a runner in the top of the 16th.
Theo Wind led off the 17th inning with a single to left field for the Mounties then stole second base. Tyler Baumeister’s ground ball to third base was mishandled for an error but Wind was unable to advance the Mounties had runners at first and second with nobody out. McLaughlin and Jason Vespi followed with two more ground balls to third base and each time the Indians forced the lead runner out leaving Little Falls with runners still at first and second, now with two outs.
McLaughlin and Vespi executed a double steal with Godlewski at the plate, putting both runners in scoring position as Rob Slivinski ran the count to 2-2. Godlewski then delivered a clean single into center field with both runners hustling home on the play to give the Mounties their first lead in the game.
Sauquoit Valley finally got its first base-runners in the bottom of the 17th. Aaron LoPiccolo doubled into the left field corner with one out and Kevin Owens blooped a single to left to put runners on the corners. McLaughlin made a sliding catch on Slivinski’s fly ball into shallow center field and the Mounties converted Jalowiec’s ground ball into the final out of the game.
The turnaround will be a quick one for the Mounties (16-5), the eighth seed in a nine-team field despite having the second-most wins in the section in all of Class C and the No. 15 ranking in the state. Little Falls plays Saturday at 1 p.m. at No. 4 Pulaski, a 15-10 quarterfinal winner Thursday against Beaver River.
Page 2 of 2 - The other semifinal features Tully, coming off its shutout of Herkimer Thursday, and South Lewis. Saturday’s winners play for a split class championship Monday at 10 a.m. at DeLutis Field in Rome.
More to come.