Calhoun's Andrew Schneir turns the double play during game two...

Calhoun's Andrew Schneir turns the double play during game two of the Nassau Class A baseball finals against Clarke at SUNY Farmingdale on Monday, May 30, 2022. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Calhoun brought a one-run lead into the top of the seventh inning Monday. With their season on the line, the Colts wanted a little more breathing room before trying to get the final three outs against the top of Clarke’s batting order.

Andrew Schneir allowed Calhoun to breathe easily.

With two runners on base, on an 0-and-2 pitch, Schneir launched a rocket down the leftfield line. It easily had the height and the distance; the only question was whether it would stay fair.

The ball banged off the foul pole, sending Calhoun’s dugout and fans into a frenzy.

“I got down 0-2 quick and [Sean Welsh] was blowing fastballs by us, so I just looked for one and I barreled it up,” Schneir said. “I thought it was going foul. When it hit the pole, it was the best feeling of the year.”

No. 1 Calhoun defeated No. 4 Clarke, 6-2, in Game 2 of the Nassau Class A baseball championship series at Farmingdale State College to force a deciding game three.

Matt Kalfas struck out against Welsh to end Sunday’s Game 1 and again in his first at-bat on Monday but went 3-for-4, finished a home run shy of the cycle and hit a ground-rule double earlier in the seventh to help set up Schneir’s blast.

“I just tried to stay calm, look for my pitch and do my thing, and it really worked,” Kalfas said.

Schneir also drove in Joey Goodman with a sacrifice fly in a three-run fifth for Calhoun (24-3).

Clarke (22-6-1) scored twice in the bottom of the fifth. Nick Berasti drove in Zaim Deljanin with a double to leftfield, and with none out and Berasti on second, PJ Kakalos replaced Shane Linett on the mound.

An RBI groundout by Nick Giardino cut Calhoun’s lead to 3-2.

“I had full confidence in PJ,” coach Art Canestro said. “My only concern was him getting ahead in counts and pitching to contact, but he did that and he’s done it all postseason.”

Kakalos finished the game, allowing two hits in three innings. Linett earned the win, allowing two runs in four innings.

A champion will be crowned in Game 3 Wednesday when Calhoun faces Clarke at 4 p.m. at Farmingdale

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“Anything can happen,” Canestro said. “We had a Game 3 in the semifinals, so hopefully we’ll have the same outcome.”

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