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Tigers Primed for Class C Title Run

Proms, finals, graduations and hot sultry days can be distracting when a high school baseball team is in the middle of a playoff run with a chance at winning a state title. According to Tuckahoe Tigers baseball coach John D’Arco, his Section 1 and state regional championship squad has been able to dance, take exams, sign yearbooks and avoid dehydration while focusing on this weekend’s New York State Class C baseball semifinals and hopefully a title game.

“These kids are really focused and I am honestly surprised at how well they have been able to concentrate on practices with everything going on,” D’Arco said. “We have a few kids who were on our championship football team and the Section 1 basketball team, so they know what it takes to win.”

Tuckahoe, 16-6 and the Section 1 representative for the Westchester/Rockland/Putnam area, will meet Section 5's Cuba-Rushford at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Conlon Field in Binghamton and if the Tigers win they play again at 4 p.m.

The Tigers’ strength is their pitching depth with Alex Melendez, Paul Luisi, Louis Gallo and Brain O’Toole chomping at the bit to throw a state title pitch.

“I like the setup because if you win we have a couple of hours to rest up and if you lose you get to come back home earlier in the day,” D’Arco said. “We think we have enough pitching to win this, but we all know that you can hit line drives that are caught and balls that can bloop in to win games. We’re confident that we have a chance to win.”

D’Arco, whose football team rolled to the Class C state title this past fall, is looking for the Tigers to win their second state baseball title. Tuckahoe won its first championship in 2002.

Cuba-Rushford is supposed to have a good sophomore pitcher, but you never know until you see players in person,” D’Arco said. “I know we’re ready, prepared and excited about a chance to play.”

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