By Ed Townsend
PLEASANTVILLE Haldane’s Dan Kinnard silenced the Tri-Valley bats over six scoreless innings as the Blue Devils cruised to a 7-0 victory in the Class C Regional semifinal game played at Pace University on Tuesday.
Haldane broke open a tight 1-0 game with a six-run, two- out fourth-inning rally courtesy of some small ball and patience at the plate.
The Blue Devils took advantage of six walks and three singles to score their six runs. The big hit came when Ryan Koval drove in a pair of runs with a base hit to right center.
While Tri-Valley starting pitcher Joe Mickelson struggling with his control, Kinnaird appeared very much in command from the outset as he scattered five hits throwing just 66 pitches. He mixed a lively fastball with a good curve and kept Tri-Valley guessing throughout the game.
Haldane’s defense turned two unconventional double plays and a spectacular outfield assist in supporting Kinnaird. In the second inning, Koval snared a liner to center and doubled up Tri-Valley's George Baggata. Matt Forlow came up with an outstanding diving catch of another liner that looked like it would drop in at center field. A quick throw to second baseman Ken Doxey resulted in another double play.
In the sixth inning with Tri-Valley's Mike Foster on second base, a single up the middle looked like it would end Kinnaird's shutout bid but Koval charged the ball and gunned down Foster at the plate.
Tri-Valley did not advance a runner past second base until the sixth inning. The Bears stranded five runners.
Bears third baseman George Baggata had two hits for Tri-Valley, which ended the season with an 18-5 record.
Haldane advanced to the State Final Four by defeating Pierson/Bridgehampton in the Class C Regional Final on Wednesday.