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Blue Bison come within inches of baseball crown

"We hadn't been behind in the playoffs," said Frank. "We got off to a good start against Victor, and the kid [McDonald] hit a nice shot to put them ahead."

The rain soon followed McDonald's home run, and the game was put on hold until 9 a.m. Sunday " a long time for Shaker to think about a rally.

"I don't know what the kids were thinking right away because they hadn't been behind, but a half-hour later they were ready to play," said Frank.

Senior Derek Gardella came in to pitch for Breen when the game resumed Sunday, and the senior did what he could to keep Shaker close. But Maves' bloop hit proved to be the difference.

Shaker advanced to its first state final by shutting out Kingston 6-0 in Saturday's semifinal game.

Hoffman wasn't his usual dominant self on the pitcher's mound against Kingston, but Shaker's defense bailed him out on several occasions. Hoffman finished with a five-hit shutout and struck out five.

"I thought Kingston played a great game," said Frank. "They hit the ball all over the field, but we made the plays."

Junior Eric Egan led Shaker's offense against Kingston with three hits and an RBI. Hoffman, Bryan Egan and senior Gabe Casillo also drove in runs for the Blue Bison.

Shaker finished the season with a 19-7 record and a spring's worth of memories including the school's second Section II Class AA title.

"We want to really enjoy the time we had with the senior class," said Frank. "These guys are going to be tough to replace."

Loudonville Christian (19-3) also reached the state finals in Binghamton and also endured a rain delay before falling to Livingston Manor 13-0 in the Class D championship game.

"I've never seen a team run out of gas like that before," said Loudonville Christian coach Tim Phelps.

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