CLAVERACK -- One year after losing the District 15 10-12 year old AAA baseball championship to Taconic Hills, Coxsackie-Athens returned the favor on Wednesday night at Claverack Town Park.
C-A broke up a 6-6 tie with two runs in the fifth inning, then held off a late TH rally to earn a hard-fought 8-7 victory and claim the District 15 flag.
The new champs got off to a strong start, scoring four runs in the first inning. After two walks, Brendan Woytowich ripped an RBI single to right field, with a second run scoring on the throw in from the outfield. After Jackson Purdy singled and Gideon Hughes walked, Cameron Roe came through with a two-run single to make it 4-0.
Taconic Hills got one back in the second when Jacob Hunter singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Gavin Halstead's single.
C-A padded its lead with two runs in the third. Rich Perino tripled and scored on a wild pitch. Roe singled, T.J. Shutter doubled and Isaac Lasher stroked an RBI single to make it 6-1.
Taconic Hills finally got its bats going in the bottom of the fourth, plating five runs to tie the the score at 6-6. Gavin Hartka's two-run double was the key hit in the rally. Logan Fink, Hunter and Halstead each had an RBI single.
The score remained deadlocked until the fifth when C-A took the lead for good. Rich Perino doubled to start the inning and came around to score on roe's double. Roe eventually scored on Brayden Confrad's sacrifice fly to center.
Taconic Hills mounted one last rally in the bottom of the sixth when Jacob Alvarez singled, advanced two bases on wild pitches and scored on Fink's single. TH got a runner as far as third with two outs, but C-A reliever Joe Perino got the final out on a fly ball to right to preserve the victory.
Roe finished with a double, two singles and three RBI to lead C-A's 12-hit attack. Rich Perino added a triple and double, Conrad had a triple, single and an RBI, Lasher two singles and an RBI, Woytowich a single and an RBI, Shutter a double and Purdy a single.
Fink was a perfect 4 for 4 for TH with two RBI. Halstead had two singles and two RBI, Hunter two singles and an RBI, Hartka a double and two RBI and Alvarez and Charlie Schrader a single each.
Roe started on the mound for C-A and pitched four innings, striking out five, walking three and allowing six runs and nine hits. Joe Perino pitched the final two frames, striking out five, walking one and surrendering a run and two hits.
Hunter pitched the first inning for Taconic Hills, giving up four runs and three hits with two strikeouts and four walks. Halstead came on in the second and pitched five strong innings in relief, striking out five, walking one and allowing four runs and nine hits.
Coxsackie-Athens returns to action on Friday when it plays at Albany National at 5:45 p.m. Taconic Hills hosts Hudson Valley Little League of Ravena on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.