ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON — With the Section II Class D baseball championship on the line, Germantown coach Brett Holmes had no problem giving the ball to freshman Mason Ferrer.
The young left-hander reward his coach’s faith in him by completely shutting down Fort Ann’s potent attack for five-plus innings, leading the Clippers to the Section II title with a 2-1 victory on Tuesday at Honey Field on the campus of Bard College.
Jonathan Mollo came on in relief for the Germantown and was equally as effective. Ferrer and Mollo allowed just three hits and held the Cardinals scoreless until the sixth inning.
A pair of Fort Ann pitchers also pitched well, giving up just two hits.
“I did not expect that to be a pitcher’s duel like it was,” Holmes said. “I started a freshman, Mason Ferrer, on the mound and he just pitched unbelievable, unbelievable. I knew that Jo Jo (Mollo) could come in and do the same thing and he did. He showed he could and we figured out a way to manufacture a couple of runs and get it done.”
Holmes couldn’t be more proud of his team for its efforts on Tuesday and throughout the entire season that was condensed into six weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It feels unbelievable,” Holmes said. “If you would have told me we were going to be here at the sectional championship I would have told you you were crazy. I have said all along, though, that I have the best athletes in the Germantown School District playing for me on the baseball team and it was just a matter of them believing in themselves as baseball players.
Holmes was especially happy for his seniors.
“We five seniors graduating and these guys are ecstatic,” Holmes said. “I’m very happy for all of them, but especially for my man Josh Sanzo. He’s put so much time in with me, six years, and he’s helped me build this program up.”
The game was scoreless until the fourth when the Clippers loaded the bases. Ferrer came in to score on a wild pitch and Owen Watson came home on a sacrifice fly to give the Clippers a 2-0 lead.
The two-run advantage stood up until the sixth when Fort Ann plated a run when Jack Dornan’s sacrifice fly brought in Adam Winchell. The Cardinals were threatening to tie the score later in the inning, but the rally ended when a runner was called out because of interference at third base.
Fort Ann threatened again the seventh, putting the tying run on base with two outs and its best hitter, Winchell, in the on-deck circle. But Mollo induced a harmless comebacker to the mound for the final out, preserving the Section II championship.
Germantown ends the season with an 11-5 overall record, while Fort Ann, which was making its 24th appearance in a Section II title game, wrapped up the year with a 10-6 mark.
“It makes it even sweeter to beat a team we all respect like Fort Ann,” Holmes said.
A large contingent of Germantown fans made the trip down Route 9-G to cheer the Clippers on and Holmes feels their support makes a difference.
“They’ve been with us all year and they’re amazing,” Holmes said. “When we went to Albany and all over, they were right there with us. We didn’t have a home game all year except for when we played in Hudson and they followed us all over the place.”