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Pitching leads Guilderland to Sectional title

Saratoga pitcher Matt Coleman stayed out of trouble until the top of the fourth inning. Nick Mastrianni belted a solo home run over the right field bullpen to lead off the frame, and Harry Brodsky drove in Tyler Hynes with a sacrifice fly to give Guilderland a 4-0 lead.

The Blue Streaks got to Tamburello in the bottom of the fourth, though. Luke Fauler hit a leadoff double and moved to third on a Tamburello balk. Two batters later, Coleman singled Fauler home for Saratoga's first run.

Back-to-back walks to Chris Davis and Alex Lushkevich loaded the bases for Billy Johnson, who hit a ground ball to second base. Guilderland got the force out, but it couldn't turn the double play, which allowed Coleman and Davis to score and draw Saratoga within a run.

Tamburello collected himself from there. Though Saratoga threatened to score the tying run in the fifth and seventh innings, he got the outs he needed from his defense to seal the victory.

"I rely on my defense," said Tamburello, who only struck out three batters. "I can rely on them for any ball that's hit because they make the plays every time."

Coleman also made his fourth appearance of the playoffs, and though he allowed seven hits, he also pitched well -- even getting Zanotta, who hit 16 home runs this season, to fly out and hit into a double play.

"I have a great deal of confidence in Matty [Coleman]," said Bailey. "The first inning, they got a couple of hits off of him, and he battled back to prevent them from having a big inning."

Guilderland and Saratoga entered the playoffs as underdogs. Both teams finished third in their respective divisions within the Suburban Council and had to beat the top seeds from the Suburban Council (Shenendehowa) and Big 10 (LaSalle) to reach last Thursday's championship game. Saratoga knocked off Shen in the quarterfinals, while Guilderland defeated LaSalle in the semifinals.

"Without question, they did our school proud," said Bailey. "Getting out of the section is never easy, and we came within a game of doing it."

Guilderland faced Section III champion Auburn in Monday's Class AA regional final at Bob Bellizzi Stadium in Albany.

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