The Horseheads baseball team will take aim at the Southern Tier Athletic Conference tournament championship today at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton.
Horseheads, which earned its fourth consective West Division title earlier in the week, will take on Central Division champion Binghamton Seton Catholic Central in the second semifinal at 1 p.m. Metro champion Vestal plays East champ Chenango Valley in the first semifinal at 10 a.m.
The championship game will be played at 4.
Last year the Blue Raiders lost to eventual champion Oneonta, 3-1, in the semifinals and were unable to get a hit off Mike Calkins. Right-hander Dylan Manwaring, now a senior who has committed to play baseball at Wake Forest University, pitched a five-hitter for Horseheads.
Oneonta also beat Horseheads in the 2011 STAC semifinals after the Raiders captured the conference championship in 2010 with a 22-9 victory over Maine-Endwell.
Seton (13-3) had not won a division title since 2000 before this year and its last overall STAC title came in 1984. The Saints’ rotation includes two dominant lefthanders: senior Patrick Gosney (4-1, 1.20 ERA) and junior Michael Korchak (6-0, 0.00 ERA).
Horseheads (11-7) is the only one of last year’s four teams to return to the STAC tournament.
Vestal (14-1) comes comes in ranked second in the state in Class A by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Horseheads handed Vestal its only loss, 6-2, in early April before the Golden Bears came back to beat the Raiders on the road, 7-4.
The Raiders are the second seed for the Section 4 Class AA tournament and begin their quest for a fourth consecutive sectional championship at home at 4:30 p.m. May 28 against third-seeded Corning in a semifinal. Vestal is the top seed in Class A, Chenango Valley (12-4) is first in Class B and Seton is first in Class C.