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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 17, 2008

Blackbirds looking to fly right after big loss

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville baseball team is looking for a little consistency this spring.

The Blackbirds have not played every game at the same level. Voorheesville picked up a couple of big league wins so far this season, but have lost three games in the league.

“We’ve been too inconsistent,” Voorheesville Coach Hank Czerwinski said. “Once we get some consistency, we’ll be fine. After vacation, we should be better. We’ll have all of our guys back.”

The Blackbirds lost to Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, 17-0, on Monday, and played Cobleskill on Tuesday. The Birds beat Mechanicville last Thursday, 14-8, and beat Schalmont, 7-1, last Monday.

Voorheesville also has league losses to Watervliet and Cohoes.

Routed by Ravena

On Monday, the Blackbirds struggled against Ravena as they got just four hits in the game.

“Our strikeouts are down,” Czerwinski said. “We put the ball in play but it was right at them.”

Junior pitcher Joe Berschwinger struggled in the first inning. He gave up three runs on six hits in the frame as the Ravena hitters swung the bats mightily.

If not for a beautifully turned double play that ended the inning, the Indians could have scored more runs.

Dan Irwin hit a ground ball to Voorheesville shortstop Jay Conde. Conde fielded the ball and threw it to second baseman Tommy Pasqualli who relayed the ball to first baseman Nick Blow.

Ravena scored 10 runs in the third inning as Berschwinger struggled with his command and Ravena continued its solid hitting.

Freshman Ryan Duncan pitched the final three innings, giving up just four runs.

Against Schalmont, Joey pitched well,” Czerwinski said. “We had no errors and we got clutch hits in key situations….”

“Ravena is one of the better teams in the Colonial Council,” Czerwinski said. “Watervliet and Cohoes are also good. They are all hitters.”

Shutting down Schalmont

Against Schalmont, Ryan Gatt had two singles and drove in four runs. Nick Blow was the big hitter against Mechanicville with a single, triple and four runs batted in.

“Consistency is something you wish for,” Czerwinski said. “But you don’t always get that in high school baseball.”

Missing players

Also hampering the Blackbirds this week is that they are missing a few players due to the spring vacation.

Duncan, a freshman, has not pitched at all this season and, later in the game, eighth-grader Mike Chiseri, a junior varsity call-up, was behind the plate, catching.

The Blackbirds are also missing Landon Church who will be having surgery on his knee and is out for the rest of the season.

“Ryan Gatt will be our fourth starter,” Czerwinski said. “He’s pitched well. He’s got a win in there somewhere. And against Cohoes he’s done pretty well.”

The Voorheesville squad has one of the largest group of seniors Czerwinski has been able to coach in a single season.

“This is the first year since I’ve been here that I’ve had five seniors start a game,” Czerwinski said. “But we don’t have much on the junior side. The JV is young and the varsity is young.”

The seniors are Massaroni, Conde, Pasqualli, Adam Duncan, and Kevin Klembczyk.

There are just four juniors on the roster including Church. The others are Nick Blow, Berschwinger, and Gatt.

After Monday’s game, the Blackbirds have a 5-3 overall record and a 2-3 mark in the Colonial Council.

“We have to start to pull it together,” Czerwinski said. “We have to work on a few things. But we haven’t been half-way through the Colonial Council.”

Dutchmen nine gut out two Suburban Council wins

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — It was a week of gut-check games for the Guilderland baseball team.

And the Dutchmen responded.

Guilderland came from behind to beat Ballston Spa, 6-5, on Monday and held off a pesky Mohonasen squad, 7-5, on Wednesday.

“Playing in these kinds of games will help us with big games down the road,” Guilderland Coach Doug LaValley said. “Coaches can easily coach and players can play in games that are blowouts. But it is harder to do the right things in a tight game. That is what we are trying to get done.”

“There closer than we like them,” said Senior Jake Colavito. “But what’s important is that we got the job done like good teams do. We’ll be right there sticking it out to the end.”

“A tremendous start”

On Wednesday afternoon, the Dutch got a strong pitching performance from junior Kyle LaValley.

In his first start of the season, LaValley pitched four shutout innings but ran into some trouble in the fifth inning.

Mohonasen scored four runs in the frame to cut the Dutch’s lead to one run, 5-4.

The Warriors scored their first run on back-to-back doubles.

LaValley then struck out a batter and got the next hitter to ground the ball to him.

Instead of throwing the ball to first, LaValley caught the Mohonasen runner in a run down between second and third base.

Third baseman Matt Roth threw the ball to shortstop Jimmy Quinn who then threw the ball back to LaValley for the tag out.

But LaValley gave up a hard-hit ball that was misplayed by Ivan Plata and then struggled with his control, hitting the next batter. LaValley then gave up a two-run single that made the score 5-4.

Kyle LeClair came on and got the next batter to ground out to short that ended the inning.

“We need to play better defense,” Coach LaValley said. “We made an error that would have ended the inning. That makes more pitches for the pitcher and we had to go to a guy who has already pitched this week.”

“My arm was kind of hanging,” Kyle LaValley said. “My elbow was sore from throwing the slider, but I battled through it. But when I hit that kid…”

“It was a tremendous start,” Colavito interjected. “He pretty much gave up just one run in five innings.”

“My arm felt good,” LaValley said. “I had a nice little nap and a big old breakfast. The trainer stretched me out well and I felt like I was throwing five miles per hour harder.”

“Timely hits”

The Dutch held on to the lead by scoring a run in the bottom of the fifth inning and one in the bottom of the sixth.

Andrew Simpson reached first base on an error. Pinch runner Pat Quinn stole second base and scored on Steve Anderson’s double to center field.

In the sixth, Nick Ranalli singled and moved to second on a short single by Colavito. Quinn drove in Ranalli with a two-out single to right field.

Mohonasen scored one run in the seventh inning to round out the scoring.

Guilderland scored two runs in the first inning.

Ranalli led off the frame with a double and later scored on a single by Anderson. Colavito later scored from third base on a wild pitch to make the score 2-0.

Guilderland picked up one run in the third inning.

Josh Lochner singled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Anderson.

The Dutch made it 5-0 in the fourth inning.

Catcher Jason Sherwood led off the frame with a double. He scored on a double by Plata.

After a sacrifice bunt by Jimmy Quinn, Ranalli drove in Plata with a double.

“We’re getting timely hits,” Colavito said. “We’re putting the ball in play. We’re cutting down on the strikeouts. And that’s a big part of it.”

“The team to beat”

The Dutchmen are 3-0 so far this season and have a 2-0 mark in the Suburban Council.

The Dutchmen beat Ballston Spa, 6-5, on Monday thanks to Anderson’s game-winning two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

Anderson had three hits in four at bats with a home run, a double, and a single. He finished the contest with four runs batted in.

The Dutchmen trailed, 5-1, after five innings but scored two runs in the sixth inning and three in the seventh.

LeClair got the win in relief of starter C.J. Sohl. LeClair got the save in Wednesday’s game.

“We’re getting the job done,” Coach LaValley said. “The guys know that we have to play better and good things will happen.”

“Our goal is to defend our title,” Colavito said. “We know that we have a good shot at it, but we know that it won’t be given to us. If we keep working the way we have been, we’ll definitely be the team to beat.”

Lady Dutch dominate cream of Council

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland girls’ lacrosse team has been untouchable this season, and, according to Coach Gary Chatnik, it can get even better.

The Lady Dutch played three tough league rivals this week and scored impressive victories.

Guilderland beat Shaker, 13-5, last Wednesday. The two teams battled for the Class A Section II title last year. The Dutch then beat perennial powers Saratoga, 16-8, last Friday, and beat Bethlehem, 13-7, on Saturday. The Lady Dutch closed out their week of games with a 16-0 win over Colonie on Monday.

Guilderland is 5-0 in the Suburban Council and 6-0 overall.

“The teams including Niskayuna are tough,” Chatnik said. “On any given day, anybody can win. And Lakeland is one of the top teams in the state and we beat them. Shaker, Saratoga, and Bethlehem are three of the toughest teams in the section. I like how we are playing. Each game we play, we are improving.”

Shooting Shaker

Danielle Tetreault had four goals and two assists to pace the Guilderland offense against Shaker. Jen Madsen scored three goals and assisted on two other goals.

Chelsey Newman had two goals and one assist, Courtney Davis scored two goals, and Bridget Daley and Amanda Best each scored one goal.

Abbey Fashouer had an assist in the contest.

Amanda Santandrea made nine saves in goal for the Lady Dutch.

Guilderland held Shaker’s top scorer, Kat Thomas, to one goal and one assist in the contest.

“The defense did a nice job,” Chatnik said. “We held them to five goals. We knew where their good people were and we pushed the ball well. We made good decisions.”

Socking Saratoga

Tetreault had another big game against Saratoga on Friday.

She scored five goals and had two assists to lead the Lady Dutch to the win.

Best, Newman, Madsen, Fashouer, and Courtney Davis each added two goals for Guilderland. Best, Fashouer, and Newman each had an assist.

Daley had a goal and an assist for the Lady Dutch.

Santandrea stopped seven shots for Guilderland.

“We were up on them, 16-5, at one point,” Chatnik said. “We moved the ball and we played with a lot of determination and desire. The defense played well throughout. The defenders — Amy Branchini, Corrinne Chatnik, and Lauren Cagino — were great. Saratoga is a good team. We played a good team game.”

Battling Bethlehem

The Dutch got off to a great start against rival Bethlehem and built an eight-point lead, 12-4, at one point in the contest.

“We were up, 12-4, then we threw the ball around a bit,” Chatnik said. “Bethlehem played well. They are a good team. We answered when we needed to answer. It was our third tough game in a row. It’s a tough way to open up the year. But that is the way I wanted to open the year. We handled them all.”

Tetreault continued her torrid scoring pace. She scored five more goals and had two assists against Bethlehem.

Davis scored three goals while Best and Newman each scored two. Best also had an assist.

Daley scored one goal and Fashouer had an assist in the contest.

Cuffing Colonie

Against Colonie, Tetreault scored two goals and had two assists. Brancini, Daley, Davis, and Newman each scored two goals.

Kristen Cagino, Lauren Cagino, Meera Chappidi, Fashouer, Madsen, and Casey Gerety each scored one goal.

The Lady Dutch played at Shenendehowa on Wednesday and Ballston Spa on Thursday.

Guilderland hosts Columbia on Friday and Bethlehem on Tuesday and then travel to Niskayuna on Thursday night.

Moving on up

“We are taking steps upward,” Chatnik said. “I think our best lacrosse is yet to come. We play with great desire and the girls understand what they have to do to win.”

The Lady Dutch also have a lot of depth that is contributing to the wins.

“We are not going to have anybody lead the section in scoring,” Chatnik said. “But we can get goals for seven or eight different players a game. We have 15 girls in the rotation that are playing well and moving the ball and looking for the open player.”

The Dutch are also a young team.

“Our best lacrosse is yet to come,” Chatnik said. “We are a young team. We have three seniors and two senior starters. We are still relatively young. Overall, we are progressing as I hoped we would progress. I’m very happy with where we are right now.”

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