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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.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hobbs, McArthur spend some time on the "Toga Football Hot Seat"

I don't usually post the competition's work, but Saratoga Springs pitchers Danny Hobbs and Cory McArthur gave an exclusive interview with fellow students, the Duchenne Duo. The nearly 15 minute segment gives a nice glimpse into the juniors' mindset ahead of Saturday's state semifinal, the starting pitcher-reliever perspective and just how goofy the two Blue Streaks pitchers are. Insightful and funny, nice work Peter!

Here is my Saratoga Springs vs. Orchard Park state semifinal game preview.

And in case you missed it, here is a story-by-story look at the Blue Streaks' run to the Class AA final four.

Section II Class AA quarterfinal: Saratoga 10, La Salle 3 —

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Saratoga baseball up to No. 4 in the state, plus notes

The No. 4 ranked Class AA team in the state.
The Saratoga Springs' baseball team moved up four spots to No. 4 in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association Class AA poll. The jump comes after a 2-1 win against No. 7 Cicero-North Syracuse in the NYSPHSAA quarterfinals.
Despite the jump, the Blue Streaks (according to the rankings) will technically still be the underdogs when they face No. 2 Orchard Park in the semifinals Saturday. The top teams in the state are:

Class AA Baseball rankings
1. Connetquot (24-4) Sec. XI
2. Orchard Park (22-1) Sec. VI
3. Mamaroneck (22-4) Sec. I
4. Saratoga Springs (19-5) Sec. II
5. Ward Meville (22-4) Sec. XI
8. Shenendehowa (19-4) Sec. II

It should be noted that (again according to rankings/seedings by the powers that be) Saratoga Springs was the underdog in the Section II semis vs. Guilderland (4-1 win), Section II finals vs. Shen (1-0 win) and state quarterfinals (2-1 win).
Other Section II teams competing in the state semifinals are No. 2 ranked Queensbury (20-5) in Class A No. 1 ranked Hoosic Valley (23-1) in Class C and No. 1 ranked Fort Ann (19-0) in Class D. Schuylerville finished as the No. 16 ranked team in Class B while sectional champs Albany Academy ended at No. 5.

This week was less stressful for ace pitcher Danny Hobbs, who didn't have to pass any tests or doctors appointments to be eligible to play this weekend. He's put in his normal practice this week and coach Rich Lofink says he will make the start against Orchard Park 1 p.m. Saturday at Union-Endicott. He'll keep the protective glasses until his face is fully healed.

My print story for Friday is about the jump middle infielders Zach Guzi and Nick Kondo made at the plate this season. My game advance for the state semifinal will run Saturday morning (online Friday night). Here's a link to the story with video interview of the two below.



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

News and notes from Saratoga Springs baseball Tuesday (with video)

Junior pitchers Cory McArthur, left, and Danny Hobbs show off their blue gloves.
  • The brand-new, blue-and-black baseball mitt Danny Hobbs has been waiting for finally arrived this week. Time, and the opinion of doctors, will determine whether he will get to use it in another varsity baseball game this season. The Saratoga Springs junior fractured a bone above his right eye in Saratoga Springs' Section II final win against Shen last week when he was beaned after throwing a pitch. Since then, he's been icing the injury in an attempt to get the swelling down to a point where he can see out of his right eye. Hobbs will likely have to pass another concussion test (like he did immediately after the injury) and be cleared by a doctor to be available to pitch in the Class AA state quarterfinal Saturday. The injury is definitely not the worse-case scenario as far as facial fractures go and the swelling has already begun to abate. He may need facial surgery down the road,for purely cosmetic reasons, once everything heals though.
  • The Blue Streaks (18-5) await the winner of Section III in the first round of states scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse. The team got a look at each of its potential opponents Sunday when it traveled to OCC to watch the Section III semis. Coach Rich Lofink said the pitching from the winning teams was comparable to what Saratoga has seen in the Suburban Council this season. The Section III final between Cicero-North Syracuse (19-3) and West Genesee (17-5) is scheduled for Wed. night. Saratoga Springs will likely have a presence at the final.
  • The Blue Streaks continued their preparation for whatever team ends up on top with a scrimmage against Section II Class A champion Queensbury at East Side Rec Tuesday. Multiple Saratoga pitchers got work (not Hobbs) and both teams had saw some success at the plate. Hobbs and fellow junior Cory McArthur took a minute away from the game to talk about the dramatic win in the final and their perspective from the postgame dog-pile.

Check back each day this week for stories about the team, video interviews and a preview of Saturday's state quarterfinal.