Some Athletic players from Guilderland

GUILDERLAND — The Albany Athletics of the Albany Twilight League had an outstanding baseball campaign this summer led by some Guilderland natives.

Joe Altieri of Guilderland led the Athletics as manager and general manager of the team. Two of his players — Tom Zink and John Marcella — are from Guilderland.

The Athletics concluded this past season as the most successful team in the long history of the Albany Twilight League.

The Athletics finished the season with a 46-7 overall record and a 20-3 mark in league play. The 46 wins set a franchise record for wins in one season. It is the second time since the 1980s that a team in the Twilight League has had 20 wins. The Athletics went 22-2 in 2001.
"I had a feeling we were going to have a special season when this team was put together," said Altieri, who has served as head coach and general manager for all 12 years. "We had a core of 14 to 15 players coming back and supplemented our roster with six to seven new players who really bolstered our pitching and offense.
"It was a lot of fun this year," Altieri added. "The guys on this team were intense, competitive, and talented and those are the perfect ingredients for success at this level."

The Athletics reached their first-ever North Atlantic Regional final, falling to Easton, Mass., 12-3, in the title game. It was only the second time a Twilight team has reached the regional finals since 1989 when Apex Printing won it and advanced to the National World Series. The Albany Senators reached the regional final in 2004, the same year that the Athletics finished third in the regionals.

The Guilderland players were major contributors to the success the Athletics had this summer.

Tom Zink, a 2004 Guilderland High School graduate, had a .342 batting average (38-for-111) and 17 runs batted in, and he scored 25 runs. He also had two home runs and 16 stolen bases.

Zink played all over the field, seeing time at catcher, right field, and third base this summer.

Zink attends the University at Albany and plays for the Great Danes during the spring.

John Marcella batted .310 (44-for-142) this summer for the Athletics. He had 40 RBIs, scored 28 runs, hit six home runs, and stole 11 bases this summer.

Marcella is the starting center fielder. He graduated from Christian Brothers Academy in 2003 and played baseball at The College of Saint Rose.

Altieri graduated from Guilderland in 1995. He improved his career record to 381-165-8 in his 12 seasons as coach. He had a 153-64-1 record in the Twilight League in 10 years as a member of the league.

The Athletics won their second consecutive Twilight League championship this summer as well as their second straight Upper New York Stan Musial League championship.

They are the first team to win back-to-back state and league titles since Apex Printing in 1992 and 1993.

The Stan Musial title was the seventh for the Athletics since 1998. The runner-up finish was the best ever for the Athletics.

The Athletics were ranked 21st in the pre-season National Amateur Semi-Pro Baseball Association nationwide poll.

The team got as high as number four in the NASPBA poll, which they reached on July 29.

The Athletics finished the season and are currently ranked sixth in the nationwide poll.

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