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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 11, 2006

Guilderland boys’ lacrosse

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland boys’ lacrosse team showed its toughness on Tuesday night.

The Dutchmen, who are near the top of the Suburban Council, just behind Niskayuna, got off to a strong start and fought off a pesky, physical Columbia team for a 12-5 victory under the lights of the football field at Guilderland High School.

"This is definitely big," Guilderland Coach Sean McConaghy said after the game. "Every team in the Suburban Council has about a .500 average. They were 11-2 coming in and we were 12-2. We really came out to play. We played the whole 48 minutes and I haven’t seen that this year before tonight. Well, it was as close to 48 minutes as I’ve seen. Maybe it was 44."

Uriah Myrie got the Dutchmen on the scoreboard with 7:43 left in the first quarter. Myrie received a pass from Bob McIver in front of the goal after McIver caused a turnover with a stick check.

McIver then scored an unassisted goal after blowing by the Columbia defense with 7:05 left in the opening stanza.

Chris Conway scored an unassisted goal on a jumping high shot with 6:35 left in the first quarter.

Columbia got its first goal of the game with 4:03 left in the first quarter. Kyle Balzer scored with an assist from Casey Balzer.

But the Guilderland offense continued its good offensive showing on Tuesday and got a goal by Matt Stillman after moving the ball around. Mike Camardo found an open Stillman in front of the goal to make the score 4-1.

Guilderland tacked on another goal in the first quarter. Conway scored with 2:17 left in the frame with an assist from McIver.

Ben Newell scored an unassisted man-up goal, after a Columbia penalty, with 10:48 left in the second half.

Columbia got a goal from Timmy Daigle on an extra-man opportunity. Corey Heck got the assist.

The Dutchmen scored with 4:47 left until halftime.

Strong defense

Kelly Young caused a turnover in the Columbia offensive end and started a fast break. Young passed the ball to a teammate, got the ball back, and passed to Stephen Puvogel for a goal — to make the score 7-2.

Kyle Balzer kept Columbia in the game with 6:34 to go in the third quarter. Balzer scored on an extra-man goal to make the score 7-3.

McIver increased the Dutchmen’s lead with an unassisted goal on a man-up opportunity. Myrie scored with 2:24 left in the third period. The teams were playing five-on-five after a penalty to a player on each team. McIver assisted on the tally.

Guilderland rattled off three goals to start the fourth quarter.

McIver scored on a fast break with an assist from Young. Stillman scored with an assist from Aaron Cahill. Sean Davis scored an unassisted goal with 7:16 left in the game to make the score 12-3.

Columbia scored two goals in the final minute-and-a-half but the outcome was long decided.

The Guilderland defense was tough all night as defensemen Colin Brunk, Matt Rimmer, Scott Raffensperger, Kip Stillman, and defensive middies Young and Puvogel did the job shutting down a good Columbia offense.

"They have six guys that can move the ball and have 25 points each," McConaghy said. "They don’t have one go-to guy. Our defense played strong and we got some transition goals. We moved the ball well."

Guilderland goalie Judd Robinson made 13 saves.

Columbia took 32 shots to outshoot the Dutch by eight, but Guilderland was much more accurate.

Jordan Dubose also helped Guilderland win 12 of 19 face-offs.

"Those guys on the Columbia team are a tough bunch of kids," McConaghy said. "But we didn’t break down. We had some hits. The defense came to play and laid some lumber."

On to sectionals

The win improves the Dutchmen’s record to 13-2 overall and 10-1 in the Suburban Council. Guilderland plays Bethlehem today (Thursday) then wraps up the regular season against Saratoga on Tuesday and against Niskayuna, the top team in the league, next Thursday.

"We want to play good lacrosse in May so we can play lacrosse in June," McConaghy said of the sectionals.

The Dutch have broken down the season into three smaller ones. They are in the second season and heading toward sectionals, which is the third season.

"We’re in the second season to fine tune everything," McConaghy said. "We had dinner together and we talked about regressing and how we can avoid that. We want to rededicate ourselves."

Guilderland boys’ baseball

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The way the Guilderland baseball team has been scoring runs recently, the 11 it scored in Friday’s game looks like their in a hitting slump.

After scoring 18 and 19 runs in their last two games, the Dutchmen only managed to score 11 against Mohonasen to post an 11-2 win at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.

"We spend a lot of time on hitting," said Guilderland Coach Doug LaValley. "The kids have a good approach to it. It’s nice to score runs. It makes the pitcher know that he doesn’t have to be perfect. He has a little more margin for error."

In Friday’s game, Guilderland pitcher Nick Polsinelli didn’t need his team to score 11 runs.

Polsinelli gave up just two runs on four hits and struck out 10 Mohonasen batters. Polsinelli also committed the only Guilderland error in the contest. He made a bad throw to first base in the seventh inning when the Dutch already had a big lead.

"Nick pitched a good game," LaValley said. "He’s a quality pitcher. He threw 90-something pitches and had 73 going into the seventh. The last inning was his worse."

The win clinched a playoff spot for the Dutch as they earned their seventh win in the Suburban Council. Teams have to finish with at least a .500 record in league play to qualify for the sectionals.

After playing Niskayuna on Monday, and dropping a 9-6 decision, and finishing a suspended game against Saratoga, which they won, 13-8, on Tuesday, the Dutchmen have just two league games left — against Shenendehowa and Averill Park.

"It’s great we got into sectionals," Polsinelli said. "But we have to continue to do the job. We have to play for seeding."

Polsinelli also swung a big bat for the Dutch. He aided in the Dutch’s 14-hit attack with three hits — single, double, and triple.

Big inning

The big inning for the Dutchmen was the second as they scored four runs to take the lead.

Kevin Doherty led off the frame with a single. He then stole second base to move himself into scoring position.

After a flyout to left field by Andrew Simpson, Polsinelli singled to drive in Doherty and put the Dutch on the scoreboard.

Mike Goldstein then hit a bloop single that moved Polsinelli to third base. Goldstein attempted to steal second base and, when Mohonasen’s catcher threw to second, Polsinelli broke for home and scored. Goldstein was also safe on the play.

A groundout to third base by Joe Lima gave the Dutch two outs, but the next hitter, Bill Rafferty, singled. Goldstein beat the throw home to make the score 3-0. Rafferty advanced to second on the throw home and easily scored on Reid Moreland’s single.

Moreland stole second base but was stranded there when Ben Henderson struck out to end the inning.

The Dutch took advantage of three Mohonasen errors in the third inning to score three runs.

With one out, Doherty singled and scored on a wild pitch later in the inning. Simpson reached first on an error, advanced to second on an error, and ran to third on the wild pitch.

Polsinelli reached on an infield single and would advance to second on a balk by the Mohonasen pitcher. Simpson scored on the balk to make the tally 6-0. Polsinelli would later score on an RBI single by Lima.

Mohonasen scored its two runs in the top half of the fourth, but Guilderland answered with one in the bottom of that frame.

Henderson singled and scored on Jake Colavito’s single.

Guilderland tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to round out the scoring.

Henderson doubled and scored on Colavito’s triple that almost left the ball park for a home run. Simpson hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to allow Colavito to score.

Polsinelli then tripled and scored on an error to finish off the scoring.

"Good things"

The Dutchmen beat Bethlehem, 18-4, with 17 hits on May 1 and beat Saratoga, 19-3, on April 27, and beat Ballston Spa, 11-0, on April 28. The Dutch also edged out Shaker, 10-8, on April, 26.

This is the best hitting team I’ve ever had," LaValley said. "We do a lot of good things. We run well, we throw [pitch] it well, and we have a decent defense. We’ve got a good team."

The Dutch also have a young team. There are six seniors on the roster with Doherty, Moreland, Rafferty, and Drew Zanotta seeing most of the action. Steve Blaauboer and Nick Stark see some time off the bench.

There are three sophomores on the roster who get considerable playing time.

But the Dutch seem ready to make a run for a sectional title now.

"We have tons of potential," Polsinelli said. "Next year, most everybody returns, but there is no reason why we can’t get it done this year."

Voorheesville boys’ baseball

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville baseball team has put itself in position to win its second consecutive Colonial Council crown.

But getting it won’t be easy.

The Blackbirds have overcome some early season struggles and were 12-6 overall and had a 9-4 record in the league heading into Wednesday’s game at Cobleskill.

"We are holding it together," said Voorheesville Coach Hank Czerwinski. "Hopefully, we can keep it going. Basically, it is a must win for the rest of the season. We’re in first place because Lansingburh lost to Mechanicville. We’re up by one game, and we have ’Burgh on Friday."

The Blackbirds have been plagued with injuries this season.

"Just about every kid has had an injury this season," Czerwinski said. "We’ve had freshmen and sophomores step up. We started off with 12 kids and we had two leave in ambulance rides [with injuries]. That left us with 10 on the varsity."

Voorheesville is getting good pitching performances this season from senior Pete Lindner, junior R.J. Curerri, and sophomore Jay Conde.

"They have been pitching well," Czerwinski said. "Hopefully, they can keep it up for the rest of the season and in sectionals.

"Conde has a 3-1 or a 4-1 record for us," Czerwinski added. "Pitching has been a big key for us."

Dan Healy has moved up to the varsity to play catcher for the injured Stephen Cardinal, who was an all-league player last season. Jake Vandervort and Nick Blow have played in the outfield after being called up to the varsity.

Sophomore Chris Massaroni is batting over .400 in his first varsity season.

The Blackbirds are also getting big hits from Lindner, who went five-for-five with a grand slam in Monday’s game against Albany Academy.

Monday’s 16-4 win over Academy was the third in four games for the Blackbirds. They lost to Cohoes last week, but beat Ravena and Mechanicville.

"Against Academy, we busted out," Czerwinski said. "We hit two grand slams."

After Wednesday’s game, the Birds are scheduled to play Lansingburgh on Friday; Saratoga Spa Catholic, in a non-league game, on Saturday; and Broadalbin-Perth on Monday. The Birds wrap up the season with a make-up game against Cohoes at home on Tuesday.

Though Czerwinski said his team has to win every game for the rest of the season to clinch the league title, he knows that anything can happen.

"It’s high-school baseball," the coach said. "On any given day anything can happen. We go up to Cohoes and their kid three-hitted us. We just have to keep our focus and, hopefully, good things will come."

BKW boys’ baseball

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — Though the Berne-Knox-Westerlo baseball team lost two games last week and won just one, Coach Jeff Teats has seen some improvement from his young players.

The Bulldogs played tough against two of the top teams in the Western Athletic Conference and beat up on one of the weaker teams.

"We are obviously on our way," Teats said. "We know we are capable of playing with anybody."

Fonda-Fultonville came into the May 2 contest against BKW with an unbeaten record and escaped with a win but it took an extra inning.

BKW held the lead, 2-1, going into the top half of the seventh inning but Fonda tied it to send the game into extra innings. Fonda scored three runs in the top of the eighth to win the game, 5-2.

Josh Skinner started the game on the mound and gave up just four hits before leaving in the seventh inning.

The Bulldogs scored a run in the third inning, as Jeremy Springer scored on a sacrifice fly out by Ben Burton.

BKW then tacked on another run in the sixth inning. Jeremy Mann singled then stole second base and would later score in the inning.

"We got really excited," Teats said. "We had a lead on the first-place team in the top of the seventh."

The Braves, though, got a runner on base and the next hitter smacked a triple that scored one run. A wild throw allowed the second run to score on the play and tied the game.

"Out of our slump"

On Friday, BKW took on Fort Plain, another tough team in the Northern Division of the WAC. The Hilltoppers came into the game with a 7-2 record.

BKW lost the contest, 6-3, but held a lead in the first five innings.

The Bulldogs were up 3-1 but gave up two runs in the sixth inning to allow the Hilltoppers to tie the game. Fort Plain then took the lead with three runs in the seventh inning.

Burton pitched four-and-a-third innings for the Bulldogs and gave up just one run.

Bobby Patrick had two singles and two runs batted in for BKW. Skinner also hit two singles for the Bulldogs.

BKW came out on Monday and smacked the baseball around in beating Saint Johnsville, 24-0.

"We were able to finally break out of our hitting slump," Teats said.

The Bulldogs amassed 21 hits in the contest.

Rich Geist has three singles and a home run to accumulate three RBIs. Rick Ragone has two singles, two doubles, and five RBIs for the Bulldogs.

Greg Mulson hit three singles and a double and drove in two runs, and Mann hit a single, a triple, and had five RBIs for BKW.

The Bulldogs are now 3-8 on the season. They played a non-league game against Maple Hill on Tuesday and a league game against Mayfield on Wednesday. BKW then plays at Galway on Friday and hosts Duanesburg on Monday.

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