South Colonie denies Bethlehem

"I didn't have any problems asking my kids to lay down a bunt in that situation because they're all such good hitters that they take being asked to bunt as a compliment," said Sutherland.

"Obviously, Matt (Nash) ran out of steam at that point," said Felitte. "We pitched him on only two days' rest. I may have pushed him a bit, but when you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like that, you sometimes take that risk."

South Colonie took command in the eighth inning against Bethlehem's relief corps. Matt Weinman worked a leadoff walk, stole second base and scored on Steve Crouse's single to give South Colonie its first lead. Crouse then stole second, moved to third base on Vetrone's bunt single and scored on Rivera's sacrifice bunt. Carucci followed with a two-run homer to seal the victory and the title.

Sutherland said getting the game-winning hit was poetic justice for Crouse, who gave up five runs in the first two innings before being relieved by Nylin.

"Is that baseball or what?" Sutherland said.

Because Clifton Park is hosting the World Series, South Colonie doesn't have to play in the Mid-Atlantic regional, which starts Thursday in State College, Pa. Bethlehem, as the runner-up, will represent the eastern New York region at that tournament.""

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