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Pleasantville Baseball Shuts Out North Salem in First Round

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Most fans would consider a complete-game shutout performance by a starting pitcher as a rousing success. Pleasantville’s Joe Chiasson did not agree Friday when assessing his own performance.

“Wasn’t the best. It was more of, ‘Let them hit it and let my fielders take it,’ ” Chiasson said. “I know I had probably the most walks in one game that I’ve had all season. I wasn’t on 100 percent, but we always come through. Defense always backs me up when I can’t get it. I trust them.”

Despite his critique of himself, Chiasson led the No. 4 Panthers to a 3-0 victory in the first round of the Section 1 Class B playoffs. Pleasantville will face No. 5 Dobbs Ferry at 11 a.m. Saturday at Pace University.

Pleasantville coach Bob Jordon was much quicker to praise his pitcher.

“He always does a great job, gives us an awesome opportunity to put one or two runs on the board and win a ballgame,” Jordon said. “We don’t have to score a whole lot of runs when he’s on the mound, and today that showed true.”

Pleasantville had the one run it needed going into the sixth inning, when the Panthers led 1-0. They added two insurance runs in the bottom of the frame to give Chiasson some breathing room.

“It’s always good when you know you can make a mistake and it’s not going to cost the game,” Chiasson said. “Definitely scoring two in the sixth was good.”

In a one-and-done format, a subpar performance could mean the difference between a deep playoff run and an early exit. But Jordon did not approach Thursday’s game with an upset in mind.

“We wouldn’t have considered it an upset,” Jordon said. “We know North Salem’s a good baseball team. … We weren’t going to fool around with anything but our ace on the mound, because you do that, I’ve found out through the years, you get in more trouble than not.”

North Salem coach Rob Gilchrist said the Tigers wanted to play spoiler to the Panthers, but with Chiasson on the mound, he was expecting a low-scoring game.

“I knew whatever team executed in the field and executed at the plate was going to win the ballgame,” Gilchrist said. “They executed some big plays.”

The sun finally broke through after several days of rain and allowed the Section 1 playoffs to begin. Chiasson said the Panthers thought about avoiding the upset at first, but the rain delays forced them to re-examine their approach.

“I think when the game was first scheduled, that’s what we were talking about, but then with all the delays, it was more of, ‘Let’s just get this game on and let’s not regret taking two days off for rain and let them beat us,’ ” Chiasson said. “We know what we had to do and we got it done.”

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