ROTTERDAM — There was a big late-game hit just like the last time Schalmont and Broadalbin-Perth met in the Section II baseball playoffs, but Wednesday’s clutch blow favored the Sabres rather than the other way around.
Jason Natalie’s two-run single broke a sixth-inning tie, and Jerek Hobb sent the Patriots down in order in the seventh to complete a two-hit pitching gem as the Sabres rallied for a 4-1 Class B first-round win at Bruce Bouck Memorial Field.
“That’s the biggest hit he’s had in his life, definitely,” Hobb said of Natalie. “In his last at-bat, he got mowed down. That was huge.”
Schalmont’s ninth man in the order, Natalie highlighted a four-run sixth inning with his two-out shot to the right-center gap that snapped a 1-1 tie. In his previous at-bats, the sophomore left fielder grounded out and struck out.
“I was trying to stay aggressive,” said Natalie, who had struggled against curveballs thrown by Broadalbin-Perth hurler Mike Magliocca. “I didn’t want to go down on three pitches. The first pitch I saw was a fastball and I swung at it.”
Schalmont (No. 8 seed, 9-10) also got runs in the sixth on a passed ball and on a wild pitch in erasing a 1-0 lead that Broadalbin-Perth (No. 9, 8-13) had held onto since the first inning.
“He’s played good. He’s played hard. He’s made some mistakes,” Schalmont coach Chris Teta said of Natalie, a first-year varsity player. “He’s hung with it.”
Broadalbin-Perth ended Schalmont’s 2021 season in the Class B semifinals when Ryan Visco hit a ninth-inning, walkoff home run in an 11-10 win. Broadalbin-Perth went on to capture the school’s first Section II title with another walkoff victory.
“We didn’t like the taste in our mouth,” Teta said. “When we were waiting to see who we’d pull [for the playoff opener], we were thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if we pull Broadalbin-Peth and get a chance at a little revenge on them.’ That definitely put a bad taste in our mouth. It feels good.”
Hobb was awfully good after the first inning, when he gave up game-starting singles to Magliocca and Luke Tambasco and fell behind 1-0 on a passed ball afterward. The senior lefty held the Patriots hitless the rest of the way while striking out 15 and walking two.
“The main thing on my mind was to not let it happen again,” Hobb said of last season’s loss to the Patriots. “I was going to do everything in my power.”
“We knew he was going to pitch good today,” Natalie said.
Hobb walked the third batter he faced and escaped further damage in the first inning with a flyout and two strikeouts. After that, in a stretch from the second to the sixth, the Stony Brook-bound senior captain retired 13 of the 14 batters he faced.
With one down in the sixth, Broadalbin-Perth got runners aboard on an error and hit batter, and Hobb struck out the next two Patriots to set the stage for his team’s comeback inning.
“He buckled down,” Teta said of his ace, who moved to the top of Schalmont’s career strikeout list with 238; Corey Osinski fanned 233 from 1994-96. “He became the bulldog we needed.”
Magliocca gave up five hits, fanned seven and walked four in his six innings. Hobb led off the first with a double and after two walks loaded the bases, Magliocca sandwiched strikeouts around a popout to end the threat. The senior right-hander then proceeded to retire 12 of the next 14 batters he faced.
“He’s been our heart and soul for four years,” Broadalbin-Perth coach RJ Pingitore said of Magliocca, who will prep for college while at Inspirational Academy in Florida next school year. “He’s a champion.”
“He threw excellent,” Teta said. “If you look in the dictionary for pitchers duel, that was it.”
Magliocca took a two-hit shutout into the sixth when Andrew Schraa singled, and Christian Tortorici reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second base. After Tyree Parker beat out an infield single and Tortorici took third, Tortorici scored the tying run on a ball four-passed ball that allowed Joe Baker to reach. Another walk to Dereck Perez loaded the bases, and, after Maglionna got a strikeout, Natalie singled home Parker and Baker.
Perez scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-1.
“We fought the whole game. We just go beat,” Magliocca said. “We’ve got to hope the rest of the guys coming back next year can win another one [Section II title] for the school.”
Parker was the game’s only player with multiple hits, both singles, and the senior stole a base.
Schalmont will play at No. 1 seed Catskill (13-4) Friday in one of the four Class B quarterfinal games.
“Every single Schalmont guy in that [handshake] line said, ‘Great game.’ They showed great sportsmanship,” Magliocca said. “I’ll be rooting for them the rest of the way.”
Broadalbin-Perth 100 000 0 — 1 2 0
Schalmont 000 004 x — 4 5 1