Close call helps Cadets march by Dutch

GUILDERLAND — One pitch could have changed the result of the Guilderland baseball team’s Section II quarterfinal loss against LaSalle on Saturday.

The pitch came in the third inning and set the table for LaSalle to score four runs in the frame to open up a close game and allowed the Cadets to post an 8-1 win.

The loss ended the season for the defending Class AA champion Dutchmen.

“It was a big call,” said Guilderland Coach Doug LaValley. “It was the bottom of the third and it was a 3-2 count and they had runners on second and third. The ball was in a good spot. It was too good of a pitch to take. We did not get the call. It was a pitcher’s pitch. We needed to get that call. We needed that pitch. They ended up scoring four runs; it opened up the game.”

Luke Brickenback took C.J. Sohl’s 3-2 pitch and got a ball four call from the umpire to load the bases.

A strike three call would have ended the inning.

Will Remillard followed with a single that drove in two runs. Jared Reardon followed with an RBI single to left field that allowed Bridenback to score. Reardon scored on a throwing error to make the score 5-0.

“About momentum”

“It wasn’t an 8-1 ball game,” LaValley said. “It was closer, the score doesn’t indicate that. We had just three hits. You can’t win many games with just three hits.”

One of those hits was a lead off double by Nick Ranalli. Ranalli then stole third base but was stranded there.

“We lead off the game with a double but we didn’t get the run in,” LaValley said. “We get that run, we have the momentum. Baseball is about momentum. We gave them the momentum by not scoring.”

LaSalle scored one run in the bottom half of the first inning to take the lead.

Kyle Charron led off the inning with a single. Charron scored on Amar Lewis’s RBI double, one of his pair of two-baggers in the game.

Trailing 5-0, Guilderland scored its lone run in the top half of the fourth inning.

With two outs, Andrew Simpson drew a walk. He then scored on Steve Anderson’s double to right field.

Ranalli hit a single in the sixth inning but that was all the Dutchmen could muster against LaSalle pitcher Dave Roseboom.

Roseboom had the Dutch off-kilter with his assortment of off-speed pitches and breaking balls.

“We didn’t make adjustments,” LaValley said. “He was dictating to us, rather than us dictating to him.”

LaSalle, the Big 10 champions, scored three more runs in the fifth inning to help seal the win and remain unbeaten this season.

“I didn’t mind playing them in this spot,” LaValley said of playing the top-seeded Cadets in the quarterfinals. “We won our first game [24-4 over Schenectady] and we had the momentum. We had to play them sometime. If we were good enough, we would beat them. We were not good enough on that day.”

Beating Schenectady

The Dutchmen opened the Section II tournament with a 24-4 win over Schenectady.

The Dutch scored three runs in the first inning, six in the second, four in the third, and nine in the fourth frame to cruise to the win.

Jason Sherwood hit a solo homerun, Jake Colavito hit a two-run shot, and junior varsity call-up Matt Zanotta hit a solo homer to pace the offense.

The Dutchmen finish the season with a 14-12 record, a season after winning the Section II title.

“It’s tough to repeat,” LaValley said. “It’s a tough thing to do. Those teams only come along once in awhile. We would have liked to repeat. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a successful season. We’ve been in the sectionals for the fourth year in a row.

Looking ahead

“When I first took over,” LaValley added, “our goal was to get into sectionals. Now we’re not just satisified with that. That shows that our program is growing. Going to sectionals is not enough. Our goal is try to get a game at the Joe.”

Though the team loses key seniors, LaValley feels that he will have a team next year that can make a run to Joe Bruno Stadium, the site of the sectional semifinal and championship game.

“We have some pretty good kids coming back,” the coach said. “I definitely won’t have a 19-man roster next year. That’s for sure. I’ll cut it down to make it smaller. We’ll be OK.”

Graduating from the team will be Simpson, Sohl, Colavito, Ranalli, second baseman Ivan Plata, relief pitcher Kyle LeClair, starter Jason Westervelt, and catcher Pat Gareau, outfielder Josh Lochner, and infielder Chris Murray.

“They did a lot of the program,” LaValley said. “They made big contributions for the program. We had some three-year varsity guys that had good careers for us. We’ll have four or five college baseball players.”

Sohl will pitch at Siena next year. Colavito will take his big bat to Stetson University in Florida, Simpson will play at The College of Saint Rose, and Ranalli will play baseball — along with football — at Union College. Westervelt will be heading to the University of West Virginia in the fall.

LaValley also expects Murray, Plata, and LeClair to play in college as well.

“It shows how successful these kids have been,” LaValley said. “It’s not easy to say goodbye to the seniors.”

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