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Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thursday's Saratoga-area baseball sectional match-ups

Class AA

No. 6 La Salle (16-4) at No. 3 Saratoga Springs (15-5)
Blue Streaks players to watch: Dan Coleman-pitcher, Nick Kondo-SS, Jake Fauler-OF
Cadets players to watch: Sean McLaughlin-3B, Jake LaFerriere-LF
Notable: Saratoga Springs has been unbeatable when starter Danny Hobbs (4-0) is pitching, most recently beating Shen 5-1. However, the Blue Streaks dropped three of its final Suburban Council games, and changed coaches, before beating Schuylerville to close the regular season. La Salle finished its independent schedule with a 16-4 record, 10-2 against former Big 10 teams, but does not have one dominant pitcher. Instead, Coach Brian Henkel expects to use his deep pitching staff to patch together a quality seven innings. The winner of this game will play the winner of Guilderland-Schenectady in a semifinal at Joe Bruno Stadium. 

No. 8 Niskayuna at No. 1 Shenendehowa (17-3)
Plainsmen players to watch: Ian Anderson-P, Connor Douglas-OF, Rich Drum-OF
Niskayuna players to watch: Garett Whitely-CF
Notable: Ian Anderson has been lights out in the regular season to lead Shen’s impressive pitching staff. If he does get the start, it will be the third time he pitches against MLB prospect Garrett Whitely, who some scouts have going No. 1 in the draft to Arizona. Shen won regular season meetings between these teams by scores of 9-1 and 15-4.

Class A

No. 7 Troy (9-11) at No. 2 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (10-9)
Flying Horses players to watch: Anthony Eaton
Spartans players to watch: Jon Sell-P, Aaron Delano-OF, Danny Maynard-C
Notable: Coming out of the Suburban Council with a winning record earned Burnt Hills the No. 2 seed. Jon Sell has been tough to hit this season but the Spartans' bat haven't always been able to give him run support. The team has had a great season - on offense and defense - from senior catcher Danny Maynard and junior Aaron Delano.

No. 5 South Glens Falls (13-7) at No. 4 Amsterdam (11-7)
Bulldogs players to watch: Matt Higgins, Jake Dubay, Nate Corhouse
Rams players to watch: Brett Stanavich
Notable: Amsterdam won the previous meeting between these teams in mid-April 4-2. The Bulldogs committed three errors on that day, however, have been playing good ball as of late. The postseason appearance is the first in several years for South High, who finished third place in the Foothills Council North standings.

Class B

No. 8 Cohoes (9-4) at No. 1 Saratoga Catholic (20-1)
Tigers players to watch: Jesse Curtin-P
Saints players to watch: Jake Moline-P, Ryan Czarnecki-C, Tim Brizzell-3B
Notable: Saratoga Catholic opened the season on an 18-game win streak and has not lost against Class B competition yet. The Saints will hope to ride the right arm of ace Jake Moline and have a better day at the plate than they did in the opening round Tuesday to clinch their first trip to the semifinals since 2012.

No. 5 Schuylerville (14-6) at No. 4 Hoosick Falls (12-3)
Black Horses players to watch: Matt Saddlemire-SS, Jake Petralia-OF, Joe Braim-P
Panthers players to watch: Alex Mendez, Wyatt Cushman
Notable: Two teams that know each other very well from past Wasaren League rivalry games will meet in the Class B quarterfinals. The Black Horses have since moved on to the Foothillls Council where they've fared well against Class A competition in preparation for this part of the season. Ace Jake Petralia picked up the win for the Black Horses in the first round Tuesday so fellow senior Joe Braim may get the nod to pitch Thursday with Matt Saddlemire available in relief.

No. 6 Corinth (8-3) at No. 3 Albany Academy (13-2)
Tomahawks players to watch: Alex Jenkins, Anthony Villano
AA players to watch: Connor Morgan-P, Rory Flaherty
Notable: Corinth got a huge day (4-for-4 with 3 RBIs) from Alex Jenkins in a 13-9 win over Fonda-Fultonville in the first round of the Class B sectionals. The Tomahawks will need another good performance at the plate if they want to pull an upset over the third-seeded Cadets.

Class C

No. 8 Greenwich (12-9) at No. 1 Hoosic Valley (14-0)
Witches players to watch: Lukas Whitehouse-P, Jon Stewart-C, George Ostrowski-1B
HV players to watch: John Rooney-P-1B
Notable: Hoosic Valley beat Greenwich twice during the Wasaren League season but, as the saying goes, it's always tough to beat a good team three times. With John Rooney on the mound, however, it makes it a lot easier. Rooney is undefeated in his high school pitching career. Lukas Whitehouse has submitted a solid junior season for coach Duke Beck's Witches and should get the start on the mound after George Ostrowski submitted a gem to beat Waterford-Halfmoon 3-1 Tuesday.


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