By WILLIAM MONTGOMERY
NEW PALTZ — It took the Kingston baseball program a long time to reach the state final four, as the Tigers' 2011 trip to Binghamton was the first in school history.
The wait for trip No. 2 was much shorter.
Sam Einhorn threw an 88-pitch three-hitter and Jesse Uttendorfer scored the only run of the game on a wild pitch as Kingston defeated Section 4's Horseheads 1-0 on Tuesday in a state Class AA quarterfinal at SUNY New Paltz.
Kingston (19-5) will play Calhoun (19-3) in a semifinal at 10 a.m. Saturday at NYSEG Stadium, home of the Binghamton Mets. The title game is at 4 p.m. Saturday.
"He did a great job pitching," Uttendorfer said of Einhorn. "He shut them down the whole game. The one run ended up being enough. We threatened to score a bunch of times through the course of the game, but one run wound up being enough."
Einhorn got into major trouble in the first inning, loading the bases with three walks. The inning ended with a strikeout and Einhorn didn't walk a single batter the rest of the game.
"He is one of my favorite pitchers to catch," Jake Ryan said. "He keeps his composure so well. Being a catcher, it's not aggravating because he doesn't explode and he doesn't start throwing the ball everywhere."
Einhorn had also thrown an 88-pitch three-hitter Friday against Pine Bush in the Section 9 Class AA title game. Throwing on three days' rest didn't seem to bother the junior right-hander in the least.
"It's always tough when you're out of your routine, but I tried to come out the best I could," Einhorn said.
Kingston stranded nine runners on base, eight of them in scoring position. Zack Short was 2-for-3 with a double and Pat Dorrian was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.
Following the game, former Kingston head coach Ed Mills came out on the field for a team picture with the regional championship trophy.
Mills, who retired from coaching in 2000 with a career record of 331-151, is dealing with symptoms of frontal lobe dementia. Mike Groppuso, Kingston's head coach, is Mills' nephew and he couldn't resist an opportunity to share the success with his uncle and mentor.
"Hopefully we can bring him back something none of us have had an opportunity to win," Groppuso said. "We'll see what happens, but we know what to expect now. We know we're going to face great competition."
Kingston (19-5) lost to Section 2's Shaker in the 2011 state semifinals, 6-0.
Immediately after Tuesday's game, the Kingston players weren't looking that far ahead. They wanted to enjoy the win over Horseheads for a little bit.
"This team has a lot of rich history and I think this one was for Coach Mills, who came out today," Einhorn said. "We're just thrilled to bring him this one."