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Bedford Hills/Katonah beats North Salem for Title

SHRUB OAK, N.Y. -- After Alex Olsen had come within inches of a home run with his at-bat in the third inning, he would not be denied in his next time up. Olsen drilled a three-run homer over the center-field field, lifting Bedford Hills/Katonah to a 7-6 win over North Salem in the Westchester-Putnam Baseball Association 12-and-under title at Lakeland High School.

The line-drive home run landed halfway up the hill beyond the center-field fence. North Salem threw a scare into Bedford Hills/Katonah in the bottom top of the sixth inning. North Salem had runners on second and third with two outs. Dillon Medd’s curveball bounced away from catcher Jacob Preizler, but he pounced on it beyond the plate and flipped to Medd covering home to get the North Salem runner at the plate for the final out.

“I hit that ball of the end of the bat,” said Olsen of his at-bat in the third inning. “I thought it had a 50-50 chance. When he caught it I was pretty disappointed.” Centerfielder John Finnegan made the catch, against the fence, much to the relief of his teammates. In the fifth inning, Olsen made sure it would not happen again.

“I saw it was a good pitch and I put my best swing on it,” said Olsen, 13, and an eighth-grader-to-be at Fox Lane Middle School. “I got the barrel of the bat on the ball and it went ‘Boom.’” Medd, who walked, and Alex Curro, who doubled in a run, scored on Olsen’s clout. Medd knew it was gone. “Alex has hit a lot of home runs for us,” said Medd, 12, and an eighth-grader-to-be at Fox Lane Middle School. “As soon as Alex hit it, I put my hands up and began screaming my lungs out. It was a rocket.”

The homer capped a four-run uprising, giving Bedford Hills/Katonah the lead. However, Medd still had to close it out in the sixth inning. North Salem did not go down without scaring Bedford Hills/Katonah.

Preizler’s quickness and Medd’s immediate reaction to the wild pitch enabled Bedford Hills/Katonah to prevail. “I’ve always been taught to break for the plate when the ball is in the dirt,” Medd said. “I had to get there so the run didn’t score. Jacob made a perfect throw to me and it was a bang-bang play. This was not the way anyone expected it, but I will take the final any way we can. Winning this is one of the most exciting moments I’ve ever had.”

Nick Sapone hit a solo homer for Bedford Hills/Katonah, Curro finished with two hits and two runs and scored and Kevin Ackerman singled and scored two runs. North Salem led 4-0 at one point. Conner Brady hit a two-run homer in the second inning then David Corradi laced a two-out, two-run single in the third. Corradi would later add a solo homer and Adam Bitando also belted a solo home run.

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