The Catholic High School Athletic Association baseball playoffs begin Wednesday with seeding round games involving three Westchester County teams, which all have a strong chance to contend for the city championship. Of course, it will be a long, challenging road to get there, and below is an outline of what it will take.
The CHSAA will host seeding-round games first — some to determine an Archdiocesan champion, plus five best-of-three series as tournament qualifiers — and will then play a double-elimination intersectional tournament to crown a city champ.
Nine of the 12 teams in the city championship tournament will be from the Archdiocesan, the other three will be from the Brooklyn-Queens diocesan, which will have a separate bracket to determine those seeds.
Staten Island's St. Joseph by-the-Sea is the defending city champ. Kennedy finished last season as the runner-up.
Iona Prep earned the top seed and homefield in the Archdiocesan tournament after going 4-0 in pool play last week, including wins over Kennedy and Stepinac.
Here's more about the CHSAA's postseason:
Wednesday, May 18
Kennedy Catholic 2, Stepinac 0: At No. 2 Kennedy, Harry Leipold hit a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh. Gary Gill-Hill earned the win for the Gaels after tossing a three-hit shutout. He struck out 11 and walked none. Kennedy will now play the Iona Prep/St. Joe's winner in Sunday's Archdiocean final. The game will be at Iona Prep if Iona wins and at Kennedy if St. Joe's wins. Stepinac will play in the third-place game against the loser.
Saturday, May 21
No. 4 St. Joseph by-the-Sea 4, No. 1 Iona Prep 3
Sunday, May 22
No. 2 Kennedy 1, No. 4 St. Joe's by-the-Sea 0: Ryan Boyd pitched a five-hit shutout, allowing no walks while striking out five. Nick Duryea walked, stole a base and scored on a pass ball in the bottom of the first for the game’s only run. Ed Galvao had Kennedy’s only hit of the game.
No. 1 Iona Prep 4, No. 3 Stepinac 2: Peter Fasciglione allowed just one earned run on five hits and struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings to earn the win. He also had an RBI single. Vito Giordano has an RBI single and earned the save.
City tournament qualifiers
Wednesday, May 18-Sunday, May 22
No. 5 Monsignor Farrell d. No. 14 Cardinal Spellman, 2-0
No. 6 Regis d. No. 13 Mount St. Michael, 2-0
No. 8 All Hallows d. No. 11 Xavier, 2-0
No. 9 St. Peter's d. No. 10 St. Raymond, 2-0
No. 7 Fordham Prep d. No. 12 Cardinal Hayes, 2-0
Note: Winners will receive Nos. 7-10, No. 12 seeds in championship tournament and will be seeded based on current seeds. Losers of these series will be eliminated.
CHSAA Varsity AA championship tournament
Thursday, May 26
Game 3: No. 6 McClancy 10, No. 11 Archbishop Molloy 4
Friday, May 27
Game 2: No. 12 St. Peter's 3, No. 5 Stepinac, 2: Sean Christiansen (four innings, four hits, four strikeouts) and Mike Venditti (no runs, two hits, three stirkeouts) combined to pitch a six-hitter in the loss. Luke Marino and Rohan Patel each had an RBI for Stepinac, which will play Monday it the losers' bracket against either St. Joe's by-the-Sea and McClancy at a time and site to be determined.
Sunday, May 29
Game 1: No. 8 Regis 4, No. 9 Fordham Prep 2
Game 4: No. 7 Monsignor Farrell 12, No. 10 All Hallows 2
Winners' bracket quarterfinals:
Game 5: No. 1 Xaverian 6, No. 8 Regis 3
Game 6: No. 4 Iona Prep 6, No. 12 St. Peter's 2: Jimmy Keenan pitched a complete game and allowed two earned runs on eight hits while striking out 11. He also went 1 for 2 with a pair of walks. Cristian Rodriguez helped fuel the Gaels' offense by going 3 for 4 with an RBI triple.
Game 7: No. 3 St. Joseph by-the-Sea 4, No. 6 McClancy 3
Game 8: No. 7 Farrell 4, No. 2 Kennedy Catholic 2: Gary Gill-Hill allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and struck out nine in five innings to earn the loss. Nick Mazzotta went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI for Kennedy.
Monday, May 30
Losers' bracket first round, all games at higher seed:
Game 9: No. 12 St. Peter’s 10, No. 11 Archbishop Molloy 7
Game 10: No. 10 All Hallows 4, No. 8 Regis 2
Game 11: No. 2 Kennedy Catholic 7, No. 9 Fordham Prep 2: Ed Galvao went 2 for 3 with a double and three RBI and helped fuel a six-run third inning for Kennedy. Ryan Boyd started and went four innings, allowing one earned run on five hits to earn the victory. Nick Mazzotta pitched two scoreless innings in relief.
Game 12: No. 6 McClancy 13, No. 5 Stepinac 8: Jaime Padilla hit a home run and had three RBI and three runs scored and Michael Morano had a hit, three walks and three RBI in the loss for Stepinac, which finished the season 15-7 in CHSAA play.
Wednesday, June 1
Winners' bracket semifinals:
Game 13: No. 4 Iona Prep 4, No. 1 Xaverian 3: At Monsignor McClancy, Jimmy Keenan had a go-ahead two-run single in the sixth and finished the game 3 for 4. Peter Fasciglione pitched five innings and allowed two earned runs on two hits and struck out seven. Ryan Bailey entered with two outs in the seventh after Xaverian had scored a run and recorded the final out to strand the tying run and pick up the save.
Game 14: No. 7 Monsignor Farrell 4, No. 3 St. Joseph by-the-Sea 3
Losers' bracket second round:
Game 15: No. 10 All Hallows 8, No. 12 St. Peter's 4
Game 16: No. 2 Kennedy Catholic 12, No. 6 McClancy 2, 6: At Iona Prep, the Gaels scored nine runs in the bottom of the sixth to win by mercy rule. After they fell behind 2-1 in the top of the fifth, Phil Mascia had a two-run single to give them the lead for good.
Friday, June 3
Winners' bracket final:
Game 19: No. 7 Monsignor Farrell 6, No. 4 Iona Prep 2: At McClancy, Kasey Gilman threw a complete game, allowing two runs on six hits and struck out 10 to earn the win, which was Farrell's 11th straight. The Lions earned a berth in the CHSAA city championship game and will play a team to be determined on Wednesday.
Iona Prep fell into the losers' bracket and will play Tuesday — also at a site and time to be determined. The Gaels' opponent will be determined by the winners of Sunday and Monday's games.
Sunday, June 5
Losers' bracket quarterfinals:
Game 17: No. 10 All Hallows 2, No. 3 St. Joe's-by-the-Sea 1
Game 18: No. 2 Kennedy Catholic 9, No. 1 Xaverian 0: At Monsignor McClancy, Gary Gill-Hill and Dan Duryea combined to pitch a no-hitter. Gill-Hill, who started and pitched the first six innings, allowed one walk and struck out nine on just 75 pitches. Nick Duryea went 4 for 4 with two home runs, four RBI and two runs scored. Nick Mazzotta went 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBI.
Kennedy advanced to face All Hallows at 4:30 p.m. Monday at McClancy. The winner will play Iona Prep Tuesday for a spot in the championship round Wednesday against Monsignor Farrell.
Monday, June 6
Losers' bracket semifinals:
Game 20: No. 2 Kennedy 2, No. 10 All Hallows 1: At Monsignor McClancy, Ryan Boyd pitched a five-hitter to put the Gaels in the losers' bracket final. He walked none, struck out six and allowed just one earned run. Kennedy trailed into the sixth before scoring twice. Phil Mascia (3 for 3) had an RBI during the rally.
Tuesday, June 7
Losers' bracket final:
Game 21: No. 4 Iona Prep 5, No. 2 Kennedy 0: At St. John's University, Peter Fasciglione pitched a three-hit shutout to send Iona Prep to its first city championship game since 2018. He walked two and struck out seven. The Gaels scored five times in the fourth, including three on a bases-clearing double by sophomore Tim Denet. Prior to the Denet hit, Fasciglione and Luke Nascimento reached base on bunts to give Iona Prep a 2-0 lead.
Wednesday, June 8
Game 22: No. 4 Iona Prep 5, No. 7 Monsignor Farrell 1: At St. John's University, Marcel Kulik pitched a complete game to earn the win and force a winner-take-all game for the city championship on Friday. Kulik, a senior right-hander who allowed just three hits, struck out five and walked none, needed just 80 pitches to complete the game and threw 60 of them for strikes. Peter Fasciglione led the Gaels' offense, going 2 for 3 with a triple and three RBI.
Because of the tournament's double-elimination format, Iona Prep will need to beat Monsignor Farrell a second time to win its first city championship since 2016. Farrell, which last won the title in 2017, when it beat Iona Prep in the final, earned the wiggle room by defeating Iona Prep 6-2 last week in the final of the tournament's winners' bracket.
Friday, June 10
Game 23: No. 4 Iona Prep 3, No. 7 Monsignor Farrell 2: At St. John's University, Iona Prep rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh, winning on Luke Nascimento's walk-off single to left field with the bases loaded and one out. They tied the game earlier in the inning on Zach Levinson's two-run double. Cristian Rodriguez, who worked a nine-pitch walk during the rally, ended the previous half inning by doubling a Farrell runner at second base after a fly out to right field.
Sophomore Ryan Bailey earned the win after tossing four innings of one-run ball in relief of Vito Giordano, who started and pitched the first three-plus innings. Nascimento reached based in all four at-bats, going 2 for 2 with a pair of walks and the winning RBI.
Iona Prep won its first city championship since 2016. The Gaels had reached the final in 2017 and 2018, losing the first of those to Farrell.
Senior Peter Fasciglione was named the Jack Curran Award winner as playoff MVP. He pitched a three-hit shutout against Kennedy in the losers' bracket final, then had three RBI against Monsignor Farrell to extend the championship round of the double-elimination tournament.
See complete coverage of the game on lohud.com:
Saturday, June 11
Catholic state championship:
Chaminade 3, Iona Prep 0: At St. John's University, Long Island's CHSAA champion, Chaminade, won the first Catholic baseball state championship. Chaminade advanced to the final by defeating St. Joseph's Collegiate of Buffalo 1-0 in eight innings the previous day.
This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: CHSAA baseball: Iona Prep beat Farrell for 2022 city championship