Tough pitcher clips Blackbirds

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville baseball team has gotten off to a good start this season, despite a small setback on Tuesday.

The Blackbirds won their first two Colonial Council games before losing to Mechanicville, 3-1, on Tuesday. The Birds also tied Schuylerville in a non-league game.

Voorheesville ran into Mechanicville’s top pitcher, Matt Grayson, in Tuesday’s contest. Grayson, a left-hander, struck out 14 Blackbird hitters in the contest.

The Blackbirds got a good performance from their pitcher, R.J. Curreri.
"R.J. went the full game and he pitched well," said Voorheesville Coach Hank Czerwinski. "He held them to three runs and two for most of the game. You give up just three runs, you should win the game. It was a good effort by R.J."
The Blackbirds only managed two hits in the game against a pitcher Czerwinski called "one of the better in the league this year." It was Mechanicville’s first game of the year.

Voorheesville is 2-1 in the league after beating Watervliet, 11-3, on April 4, and Cohoes, 12-4, on Monday.

That bats were alive for the Blackbirds in Monday’s game. They hit the ball well and got the timely hits that led to the 12 runs.

Junior Jason Conde was the star against Watervliet. He hit two three-run home runs and had seven runs batted in.
"It’s been different people," Czerwinski said. "Stephen Cardinal is hitting the ball well. Now that I’ve seen us play a few games, I might mix things up a little bit, get a batting order together where we can be successful."

Curreri, Conde, and Joe Berschwinger combined to pitch well against Schuylerville in the opening game of the season. The game ended in a 2-2 tie and was called because of darkness.

Curreri got the win against Watervliet, with Berschwinger pitching the final frame. Conde pitched and got the win against Cohoes on Monday. Jake Vandervoort also threw some in the game.

Full slate

This upcoming week will be a test for the Blackbirds. They have a full slate of games squeezed into the week.

The Birds host Ravena on Monday and Albany Academy on Wednesday. They have a make-up game with Schalmont on Thursday and play at Cobleskill on Friday.
"We’ll have to see how the pitching holds up," Czerwinski said. "We have Curreri, Conde, Berschwinger, and Vandervort. We want to get something out of Berschwinger and Vandervort that will make us tough in the league.
"After Grayson, Mechanicville doesn’t have much pitching," Czerwinski added. "A lot of the teams in the league have a number-one pitcher, but, after that, they’re not sure. With us, we have Curreri and Conde. If we can get good stuff from the other guys, we could be able to set the tone in the league."

But as Czerwinski pointed out, the season is still fresh and there are a lot of games to be played.
"It’s still early," he said on Tuesday. "We have to sit now for six days. Then we have to go back out there and be ready to play ball and get our games in."

Czerwinski is happy with the way his team has started this season.
"I’m very pleased with the start," he said. "We just need to keep hitting. Our pitching will be there. We just can’t let games slip by."

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