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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 19, 2012

Voorheesville baseball winning, and having lots of fun doing it
By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– Many phrases fly from Voorheesville’s dugout during a game. Some are motivational; most are jokes.

The Blackbirds are executing well this season, off to a 6-0 start, but the main objective is to have fun. Voorheesville has a hop in its step and endless grins.

“We’re just a bunch of goofballs, I guess,” said Everett Hart after a 7-to-3 win over Chatham last Thursday. His teammate, Zach Childs, was making weird faces at him and Hart joked he’d “beat him up” later.

Childs continued to sneak around and make funny faces at Hart, who was clearly distracted by the nonsense.

“It’s funny,” Hart said. “We’re playing baseball and laughing the whole time.”

However, jokes aside, the Blackbirds are making quite the showing in the Colonial Council and Class C. Voorheesville has outscored opponents, 46 to 10, in the first six games.

“We’re on a roll,” said senior Kevin Connolly, who struck out 11 Chatham batters in a complete game. Connolly pitched a one-hitter and struck out 13 batters in his first start against Watervliet. He pitched another one-hitter at Schalmont on Tuesday, striking out 11. He’s signed on to play for Central Connecticut State next fall.

Connolly has 35 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched this season, but he’s not the only arm throwing gas. Senior southpaw Anthony Scaccia struck out 12 batters over five innings in a 13-to-3 victory over Waterford on Friday. Scaccia gave up two runs in the first inning, but his next 10 outs were via the strike-out.

“It’s nice to win,” Head Coach Kyle Turski said. “We know what we’re capable of doing. If we come out every day and do our best, then we’re going to do well. We don’t get too high or too low. This is a marathon, not a sprint.”

The Blackbirds had timely hitting and alert defense against Chatham at Dutchmen Field in Guilderland last Thursday. The team scored three runs in the first inning, two in the second, and two in the third. Voorheesville’s entire line-up had an impact on the game.

“There aren’t many holes in this line up,” said Connolly, who smashed a double to deep left field to lead off the third inning. “We have depth at every position –– pitching, catching, infield, and outfield. Depth and hitting will take you pretty far.”

Voorheesville amassed 13 hits of all varieties, even a bunt single, against Chatham. The bats were also in full swing on Friday with nine total hits.

Turski told The Enterprise that the majority of the Birds’ runs this year have come with two outs, which was the case in the first inning last Thursday.

“We’re hitting really well so far, but not any real big hits,” said Turski, realizing that his team did get a few deep smackers against Chatham. “We don’t quit and we’re never down, always up.”

“All best friends”

The Blackbirds have an interesting dynamic, Hart said. Zach Childs leads off, followed by John David Springer, Nico Church, Mike Chiseri, Mike Young, Scaccia, Connolly, Hart, and Mike Hennessy.

“Childs usually slaps the ball down and gets on base,” Hart said. “After that, we get really good hits from the next four, and they’re quick, too. Scaccia hits the ball really, really hard.”

Sandwiched between Childs and Hennessy are guys who have a lot of experience playing for Voorheesville, some going back for years. Hart said that the aforementioned “dynamic” wasn’t right last year. The team had an impressive 2011 season, but got upset by Cambridge in the first round of sectionals.

“We’ve learned from our mistakes,” Connolly said. “It’s something different this year because we’re all best friends. We’ve never had this type of chemistry before, so I’m really looking forward to the rest of this.”

Turski said, as a coach, he couldn’t teach the kind of camaraderie he’s witnessing from his players.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more from them,” said Turski. “They all hang out, joke around, and root for each other. I even see it from the guys that don’t always get into the game –– they just want to be a part of this team.”

Voorheesville had a tough outing against Schalmont on Tuesday, winning 2 to 0 off three hits. Young scored on an error after hitting a double in the second inning, and Chiseri doubled in Church in the sixth inning. The Sabres loaded the bases in the sixth, but Connolly was able to shut the door.

“Connolly is on right now,” Hart said, “looking really good.”

Can’t that be said for the entire team?

“Yeah, we’re playing great,” he said. “We’re doing really well.”

Voorheesville travels to Ichabod Crane today for a game at 4:30 p.m. Can the Blackbirds keep rolling?

“Everyone is contributing in their own way,” Turski said. “This is the best T-E-A-M when it comes to togetherness.”

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