GBR 13 146 s advance to semifinals at states

GUILDERLAND — Pool play for the Eastern New York State Babe Ruth Tournament for 13-year-olds is over and Guilderland Babe Ruth is in good shape.

The Guilderland team finished 2-1 in pool play and advanced to the semifinals against Saugerties. The game was played on Tuesday night in Beacon (Dutchess County) with the championship game on Wednesday. Guilderland is the number-two seed.

Guilderland began the tournament on Friday with a 10-0 win over neighbor Rotterdam.

Dylan Collett was given the start and only needed five innings to complete the win.

Defense helped Guilderland’s cause as third baseman Matt Sand made numerous putouts. Second baseman Matt Breton caught a hot line drive and tough ground ball. John Evans, in centerfield, got a jump on a sinking line drive and Anthony Scaccia at first base made the catch of the game in foul territory with a diving backhand stab.

Offensively, catcher Ryan Ghizzoni led the team with two singles and drove in three runs. Shortstop Tim O’Connor hit a two-run double in the fifth inning; left fielder Jake Nussbaum had a timely single for two RBI’s and outfielders John Evans and Brett McNeil teamed up to each bring in runs.

Clobbering Kingston

Game two against Kingston, was put on the arm of O’Connor, who took the ball and threw a masterful complete game on Saturday night.

Guilderland won the game, 6-2.

O’Connor was supported well by his defense. The first inning was highlighted by catcher Ryan Ghizzoni throwing a runner out who was trying to steal third to end the inning.

In the second, Matt Bretton and Matt Sand took care of tough ground balls on the infield at second and third base respectively.

In the fourth inning, the outfield displayed its range as center fielder Dylan Collett and left fielder John Evans teamed up to take all three outs.

Guilderland began to swing the bats when shortstop Tyler Hynes doubled, followed by a double from Scaccia for the first RBI.

Things opened up offensively for the Guilderland boys in the fifth as Jake Nussbaum and Ghizzoni both drew walks and Matt Sand singled. O’Connor helped his own cause with a three-run double to left centerfield.

Hynes singled for the fourth RBI of the inning to bring in O’Connor.

Defense again held its ground in the sixth, as Hynes and Scaccia took care of all three outs.

Matt Sand added the final run with a double to have Ghizzoni cross the plate after a walk and two steals.

Jake Nussbaum saved two runs in the seventh for Guilderland with a diving block on a hard-hit ball to second for the first out.

A strikeout and a comebacker to the mound completed the game for the Guilderland boys and put them in the driver’s seat to reach the crossover portion of the tournament.

Beaten by Burnt Hills

Game three of the state tournament weekend pitted Guilderland against Burnt Hills.

Ryan Ghizzoni reached base all five times at bat, including four walks and a single for an RBI in the second.

He also made two big defensive plays in the fifth inning — one on a tough foul pop up and the other on a Burnt Hills’ suicide squeeze.

Ghizzoni made a body block on a low inside pitch, bare-handed the ball, and tagged the runner for the much needed out.

Every time Guilderland crept back into the game, Burnt Hills would get a timely hit to just stay ahead. Guilderland also had to use more pitching than it was accustomed to as Hynes started, was relieved by Collett after three innings and six runs, and finished the game with Matt Bretton.

Bretton had a gutsy at-bat in the second to draw a walk, and was brought in by Ghizzoni’s second walk of the day.

Guilderland crawled its way back into the game in the fourth when Collett singled and stole second, Ghizzoni and Sand each singled for an RBI, and cleanup hitter Brett McNeil doubled in two runs to make the score, 7-5.

Scrappy Jake Nussbaum, in the fifth inning, crossed the plate after beating out an infield hit, then proceeded to steal all the bases for Guilderland’s sixth run.

Phillip Rotella helped keep the game tight with solid plays in left field, but it wasn’t enough for Guilderland to topple Burnt Hills.

The 9-6 loss didn’t hurt Guilderland much, as it had already qualified for the semifinal with its 2-1 record.

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