The AllOtsego Report podcast
Episode 3: Championship Week
Episode 3 of The AllOtsego Report podcast, Championship Week, answers the question of why an induction on a Wednesday in September, continues to talk about housing in Otsego County and recaps the final week of 2021 spring high school sports.
COOPERSTOWN — A National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum official said the rescheduling of Induction Weekend to a Wednesday in September came down to one simple factor: the calendar.
“Looking at the calendar, we just had a very limited amount of options,” Jon Shestakofsky, vice president of communications and education, told Iron String Media, Friday, June 11.
The exclusive interview took place two days after the Hall announced it would shift from a virtual induction on the traditional Sunday afternoon in July to a limited capacity, ticketed-only induction Wednesday, Sept. 8, at the Clark Sports Center in the town of Middlefield.
Shestakofsky said the date was the best available option. He said there was no weekend date in September that worked for all of the induction stakeholders, including Major League Baseball, the MLB Network, the inductees and their families, the Hall and the Hall of Famers.
Before Cooperstown would celebrate a section championship in baseball, it had to endure a crushing defeat in softball, as visiting Pulaski won the Section III Class C softball championship Saturday, June 12, beating top seeded Cooperstown, 18-0, at Cooperstown Central School.
Pulaski took a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning and then got out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the second inning. The combination seemed to rattle the Hawkeyes, who played uncharacteristically sloppy in the field and could get nothing strung together at the plate.
Pulaski pitcher Emily Birmingham struck out six and gave up five hits, including doubles to Dani Seamon and Abby Miller, but she had movement inside that kept Cooperstown’s hitter off balance.
When Cooperstown loaded the bases in the second inning, Jeana Geertgens responded with a sharp line drive, only to see Pulaski shortstop Clare Reynolds stretch high to make a great defensive play to keep Cooperstown off the scoreboard.
Cooperstown’s varsity baseball team got a firetruck parade on Main Street on Saturday, June 12, after winning the Section IV Class C1 baseball title earlier in the evening at Oneonta’s Damaschke Field.
The Hawkeyes beat Port Byron, 4-3.
Senior Alex Hage, who plays first base, got the title-winning RBI, scoring sophomore pinch runner P.J. Kiuber, after he stole a base to get into scoring position. Kendall Haney got five outs at the end of the game to get the win for Cooperstown (14-1).
The title is Cooperstown’s third in five years in the sport, also winning the title in 2017 and 2019. The team lost in the final four in 2017 and in the Class C state championship game in 2019 and would have been a contender to win the program’s first state title. However, the coronavirus pandemic canceled the 2020 season and the 2021 state tournament.
The Hawkeyes are led by their six seniors, Alex Hage, Alex Hascup, Kendall Haney, Derek Moore, Alex Poulson and Chris Ubner.
ONEONTA – Alex Hage’s walk-off single to left field scored pinch runner P.J. Kiuber to give top seeded Cooperstown its third Section III Class C baseball title in five years, with a 4-3 eight-inning win over No. 3 Port Byron in the C1 tournament championship Saturday, June 12, at Damaschke Field.
“Right off the bat, I knew. We won,” said Hage, a senior who plays first base.
“I was just thinking I had to do my job,” he continued. “This was the spot. This is where I do the job I am here to do.”
Although there could be a legion ball game or two left for him to play, Hage’s walkoff was likely his last big at bat. He said he is looking forward to attending University of North Carolina-Wilmington in the fall, but he isn’t planning to play college baseball.
Luckily, he’ll have a section title to show for his final at bat, the third he and a handful of his fellow seniors have been around to experience for Cooperstown. The Hawkeyes won in 2017, advancing to the final four for the first time in school history. The 2019 team one-upped that performance, losing in the Class C state championship game.
The coronavirus pandemic took away two chances at state titles for the class of 2021, but the Hawkeye players and coaches said they are thrilled with their championships, especially after coming from behind Saturday, and also Thursday, against Pulaski.
“We ended the season on a win,” Cooperstown Coach Frank Miosek said. “How many teams get to say that?”
“This is the highest you can go this year and all three tournament games have been dramatic,” Miosek said. “We won 1-0, 10-9 and now 4-3.”
SCHENEVUS – The Dragons broke open a close game with a four-run sixth inning and senior pitcher Cassie Snyder gave up one run on four hits as top seeded Schenevus won its first section title in softball in a generation with a 7-1 win over Marathon in the Section IV Class D championship game Friday, June 11.
Snyder and her teammates, including fellow seniors Autumn Jones, Hannah Osborne and Elizabeth “Biz” Hoag have accomplished something that hasn’t been done in decades at their school. Schenevus softball Coach Ron Spranger said he thinks the school won its only other softball section title in 1978. And between 1995 and 2019 only two schools, Afton and Deposit, have won Section IV Class D softball titles.
The Olympians had gotten runners on in the first two innings, only to have them erased or stranded by the Dragons’ defense.
“That is the way we have played all season,” Spranger said. “We seem to be able to shake things off and turn around and make a play.”
“We live in a small community, so we’re all close,” Jones said. “We do a good job of supporting each other.”
Second seeded Edmeston won the rematch of the Tri-Valley League baseball finals, 18-1, over visiting Sharon Springs/Cherry Valley-Springfield, the six seed, Thursday, June 10, in the Section IV Class D baseball semifinals.
Ronnie Hickling had two doubles among his four hits, with six RBI and four runs scored for Edmeston.
Josh Martin had three hits and four runs scored.
Hickling also got the win for the Panthers, giving up one run on four hits while striking out five batters in five innings.
Edmeston will play at top seeded South Kortright in the Section IV Class D baseball finals at 2 p.m., Saturday. June 12. The Rams beat Afton, 10-4, at home Thursday.
Katie Crippen and Dani Seamon each had an RBI and Marley Lippitt pitched out of trouble in the top of the seventh inning as top seeded Cooperstown beat visiting Adirondack, 2-1, in the Section III Class C softball semifinals Thursday, June 10, at Cooperstown Central School.
The Hawkeyes got both runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Crippen doubled to score Jeana Geertgens and Seamon slapped a single to score Crippen.
Lippitt had her way with the Adirondack batters most of the game, giving up only one hit and one walk through six innings. However, she gave up two hits and a run in the top of the seventh, before ending game with a strikeout, stranding a runner on second base. She had 11 strikeouts in the game.
Geertgens and Crippen each went 2-for-3 for the Hawkeyes.
Cooperstown (13-1) advances to play Pulaski in the Section III Class C softball finals at 1 p.m., Saturday, June 12, at CCS.
COOPERSTOWN – Junior Liam Ford pitched the final two outs for his team and then got a walk-off, game-winning RBI as top seeded Cooperstown rallied to beat No. 4 Pulaski, 10-9, in the Section III Class C semifinals Thursday, June 10.
Senior Derek Moore led off the inning reaching on a throwing error. He then stole two bases and scored on Ford’s walk-off single.
Cooperstown Coach Frank Miosek credited his team with overcoming a rough start, after falling behind 4-0 and 8-5.
“We might have been concerned, … but we never panicked,” Miosek said. “We stayed together as a team.”
Cooperstown rallied for five runs in the bottom of the third inning, when Chris Ubner hit a three-run home run and Treston Emerick plated two more runs on a single.
No. 2 seed Schenevus advanced to the Section IV Class D softball championship game and won the Tri-Valley League championship in the process, beating No. 3 Worcester. 18-7, Wednesday, June 9, in Schenevus.
The Dragons trailed, 5-3, going into the bottom of the fifth inning, but scored 11 runs to take a commanding lead.
Schenevus senior Autumn Jones went 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored.
Cassie Snyder got the win for the Dragons, while Delimar Vega took the loss for Worcester (9-2).
Nick Acampora and Luke Dubben had RBI hits as the combined team of Sharon Springs/Cherry Valley-Springfield, a six seed, upset host Charlotte Valley, 2-1, in the Section IV Class D baseball playoff quarterfinals Wednesday, June 9.
Kyle France got the win for SS/CV-S, giving up no runs and one hit in four innings, while striking out three batters. Dubben relieved him and gave up one unearned run in the bottom of the seventh, before getting the save. He gave up four hits and struck out six CV batters.
Warren Quigley scored the lone run for the Wildcats.
The Cooperstown community had a mixed reaction to the news that the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum would move its Induction Weekend to a Wednesday in September.
The chair of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Jane Forbes Clark, announced Wednesday, June 9, that the induction would be moving from its traditional Sunday in July to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8.
Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh said she saw this move as “100% positive,” because the inductions would no longer be a virtual one.
“We’re essentially going from something that was going to be private to a free ticketed event,” Tillapaugh said. “I think the businesses are going to benefit. … We went from no public being involved to having a public event. I think that’s good for businesses and I think that’s good for the community.”
Bruce Haney from Where It All Began Bat Company at 87 Main St. said that he was “a little concerned about the staffing” since he was the only full-time employee at the business and wasn’t sure he would able to hire others on in September.
He said he was also was concerned about it being in September during the beginning of the school year as well as it being during the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah and in the middle of the Jewish High Holy Days.
“I’m sure not as many people will come,” Haney said.