FM Baseball’s historic road to the State Championship game


Aum Patel

The baseball team cheers on their teammates from the dugout!

      This year the Fayetteville Manlius baseball team exceeded all expectations by making it to the State Championship for the first time in school history. The Hornets were huge underdogs going into their first sectional game all the way to the State Championship. 

      The team ended their regular season with a record of 6-12, which would typically mean it would have been the end of their season and they didn’t qualify for sectionals. However, this year it was an open sectional since not all teams played the full 20 games that they were expected to play, due to weather. Junior Michael Dutch said, “We had a rough regular season, but we went into sectionals knowing we had nothing to lose.” The team used this to their advantage and benefitted from the idea that no one expected them to win. 

The team faced Utica Proctor for their first sectional game in the quarterfinals, who they had lost to once before. Junior second baseman Sam Kuss said,“In the 6th inning of the Utica Proctor game, something clicked and we really started working as a team.” The Hornets ended up winning that game 5-4 in extra innings. After this game, they went on to beat CNS 8-5 and West Genesee 12-5 to win Sectionals. Most people expected either CNS or West Genesee to win, so it was a big surprise when FM came out on top. After this, the team played Saratoga Springs in regionals and were able to win 10-2.  In the state semi finals the team played Pine Bush and beat them 2-1 to advance to the state championship. In these two games the Hornets had really strong support from their student section and said they really used it to their advantage. Unfortunately, the team’s season ended on a sad note when they lost to McQuaid 4-2 in the state championship. 

Many factors went into the run that they had, including strong senior leadership from captains James Mason and Chris Hoalcraft.  Kuss said, “Part of the reason we were able to win was because our captains really led us through the playoffs.” Going along with that, Dutch said, “James and Chris are the best leaders anyone could ask for.”

As for the years to come, the team is ready to continue the path that they took this year. The team will have 7 returning starters, and is excited to come back to keep working next season.