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Wednesday, May 25, 2016: West Canada Valley pitcher throws no-hitter

   Leading off today: Senior right-hander Michael Zaino worked his way out of early control problems and threw a no-hitter Tuesday as West Canada Valley routed McGraw 14-1 in the first round of the Section 3 Class D baseball tournament.

   Zaino allowed a first-inning run on a walk, two stolen bases, and a sacrifice fly to put West Canada in a 1-0 hole.

   "He was 46 pitches into it after two innings. We had a quick conversation in the dugout," Coach Greg Jones told "I said, 'If you don't clean it up, you're going to have to come out.'"

   Zaino then sailed through the next three innings while the West Canada Valley offense broke the game open. Zaino finished with six strikeouts and six walks allowed.

   "Once there were runs on the board, Mike just had to get ahead of batters, which he was doing the last five innings," Jones said. "He started to locate the ball really well. I think the nerves got to him early, but he settled in."

   Matt Tobin was 4-for-5 with a double and a triple to pace the offense. Josh Chapin went 3-for-5 with a home run a four runs batted in.

   Speaking of no-hitters: Kenny Gray pitched a no-hitter and doubled in the only run as Valley Central defeated Hyde Park FDR 1-0 in the Section 9 Class AA quarterfinals.

   Gray's first-inning hit down the left-field line was the only run he needed to outduel Brandon Greenspan, who threw a four-hitter.

   Sec. 5 surprise: Tanner Cooper went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and Bennett Hanford was 3-for-3 with three RBI as No. 5 seed Canandaigua upset top-seeded Greece Arcadia 10-3 in a Class A-1 semifinal.

   Greece Arcadia is ranked second in the state in Class A by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   Cooper also pitched a four-hitter with 12 strikeouts for the Braves.

   Potential milestone ahead: The last time Rick DeKay's name was mentioned here, it was a year ago when his Panama baseball team ended up on the wrong end of a 47-0 score against Maple Grove.

   DeKay, formerly a longtime (and successful) coach at West Valley until retiring, changed schools over the summer and now has Springville one win from a Section 6 Class B-1 championship. And if Springville defeats Alden Thursday, it would be DeKay's 400th career win.

   Springville advanced to the final with a 1-0 upset of East Aurora on Monday as right-hander Matt Sobota and lefty Kyle Warner combined to pitch a one-hitter.

   Softball highlights: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, which went 5-11 in its league schedule, defeated defending NYSPHSAA state champ Averill Park 4-1 in the Section 2 Class A semifinals. Junior Karly James contributed two run-scoring singles.

   Burnt Hills will play Troy in the sectional final Thursday. The Flying Horses will be playing in the title game for the fifth straight season.


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  •     • Tully scored six runs in the top of the seventh and edged Bishop Grimes 11-10 in the Section 3 Class C round of 16. Grimes had scored nine runs in the fourth inning to wipe out a 5-0 deficit.

       Morgan Hiltbrand pounded out four hits and Lexi Hotchkiss went 2-for-4 with three runs batted in.

        • Cooperstown pitcher Maria Noto hit a pair of milestones as the Hawkeyes beat Utica Notre Dame 14-0 in more Section 3 Class C action. Noto, who threw a one-hitter and struck out 13, notched her 50th career win and also broke her own school mark for strikeouts in a season. The junior also set the school mark for career strikeouts, ending the contest at 702.

       Boys lacrosse: Salmon River forfeited its Section 10 Class C semifinal at Massena, citing a combination of injuries and academically ineligible players that left the team with too few players to compete.

       Salmon River started the season 11-0 but the woes began with a 17-6 loss to Canton on May 12. That started a three-game losing streak and ended the Shamrocks' 91-game winning streak in Northern Athletic Conference regular-season contests dating to 2008.

       Change of heart: Buffalo Bennett junior linebacker Isaiah McDuffie is re-opening his college search after deciding to decommit from Syracuse University, The Buffalo News reported.

       McDuffie tweeted the development Tuesday. He had committed to the Orange while Scott Shafer was still the head coach.

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