PLATTSBURGH — Beekmantown baseball coach Eric Bell wouldn’t mind stepping out onto Chip Cummings Field the next two days.
The Eagles (18-3) captured the Section VII Class B title last Thursday with a 5-4 victory over Peru at Cummings Field.
Today, at 4 p.m., Beekmantown returns to the same site and will host Section II champion Schalmont (19-4) in NYSPHSAA regional play. Should the Eagles win, they will be back at Cummings Field on Tuesday to entertain Section X winner Ogdensburg Free Academy at 4 p.m. with the survivor advancing to the Class B Final Four.
“It’s an advantage for us being at Chip Cummings Field,” Bell said. “Our guys have played there before, some several times.
“Outfield speed in a big ballpark like that is also an advantage. Devin Fessette, Brandon Buksa and Zach Myers give us that speed and they back up one another well.”
Bell said the team is capable of playing better than it did in the 5-4 decision over the Indians.
“We weren’t at our best in the sectional finals,” he said. “We could have run the bases better, we struggled bunting and didn’t get the clutch hit at times.
“But, all year we have found a way to win. In every sport these kids play, they show a lot of heart. We’ve had some seventh-inning comebacks this year and the kids don’t quit.”
Senior Austin Bradish will be today’s starting pitcher for the Eagles.
“He’s a five-year varsity player and a captain,” Bell said. “He has limited his walks this year and has a 5-0 pitching record.”
Bradish, Justin Stevens, Fessette, Buksa and Brandon Rabideau are the leading hitters for Beekmantown. Second baseman Adam Goldfarb played well defensively in the win over Peru.
“Goldfarb plays well in big games, especially defensively,” Bell said.
Schalmont, meanwhile, won the Colonial Council Patriot Division with an 11-4 record. The Sabres have won nine games in a row since a 1-0 loss to Lansingburgh.
In sectional play, Schalmont survived a 2-1 win over Catskill in the opening round, blanked Chatham by a 6-0 margin in the semifinals and rolled to a 14-3 victory over Johnstown in the championship game.
Batting over .300 for the Sabres are Chris Amorosi (.369),Tyler Smith (.347), Andrew Cole (.339), Greg Musk (.328), John Pascarella (.327), Jimmy Hamilton (.310) and Joe Wignot (.309).
Schalmont’s top pitchers include Hamilton, with six wins and a 0.89 ERA, Pascarella with three wins and a 3.46 ERA, and Musk with a 1.36 ERA.
“Schalmont was the fourth seed in their playoffs, even though they won their division,” Bell said. “Section II is good, but we feel we can play with them. We just have to play relaxed.
“Musk pitched a no-hitter in their semifinal win over Chatham, which was the No. 1 seed, and we expect to face him. I think we’re playing pretty well right now and the kids are excited to play. We have improved as the season has gone on.”