CANTON — In his first three plate appearances, Massena’s Isaiah Dillabough grounded out and struck out twice.
With the ballgame tied and a runner on second base with two outs, Dillabough made his fourth trip to the batter’s box a memorable one.
Dillabough’s walk-off hit to right field propelled the ninth-ranked Red Raiders (14-3) to a 3-2 come-from-behind defeat of No. 11 Peru in a NYSPHSAA Class A baseball regional semifinal at St. Lawrence University’s Tom Fay Field Friday.
With the win, Massena advances to the regional final where it will meet No. 8 Averill Park of Section II at the Plumeri Sports Complex in Albany at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“Oh, I didn’t realize it until I got to second,” Dillabough said. “I was like, ‘Hey, I just won the game.’ It was a good feeling. All the butterflies went away.”
The Indians (10-7) managed one-run leads on two occasions. After Mitch Cunningham’s sacrifice bunt scored Blake Altizer from third base in the second, Tristan Archambault helped Peru grab a 2-1 lead with an RBI double in the fourth.
But relentless pressure from the Red Raiders didn’t go unnoticed.
One out removed from a potential defeat in the seventh, Isaac Ward scored on a fielding error to tie the game at 2-all before Dillabough’s late-game heroics in the next frame.
All three of Massena’s runs were a result of fielding or throwing errors.
“Anytime you have errors, especially in a game like this where you’re going up against a quality opponent, the good team’s going to make you pay,” Indians coach Brian Marino said. “At this level, you can’t give teams extra outs. We did (Friday). Unfortunately, it cost us.”
Conor Casey, a left-handed senior for Marino’s club, went the distance for Peru. Casey surrendered three runs and five hits on 11 strikeouts and no walks.