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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 20, 2006

V’ville baseball vs.Cobleskill

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville baseball team had just five hits in Monday’s game against Cobleskill.

And it was the last one that saved the game and possibly the season for the Blackbirds.

Senior Pete Lindner hit a single with the bases loaded to drive in Pino Ragonese with the winning run in a wild 9-8 win.

"I went into the at bat looking for anything to drive," Lindner said. "I just wanted to get a hit. I wish the one I hit before that was fair, but that can’t always happen."

Lindner, the reining most valuable player in the Colonial Council, had hit a bomb that would have easily been a home run if it were fair.

The game was tied going into the bottom of the seventh inning. The Birds had tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning off of Cobleskill relief pitcher Sebastian LaMountain.

Ragonese led off the seventh with a walk and advanced to second when Jay Conde worked a walk. Andy Catellier, who hit a home run over the left field fence in the fourth inning, hit a ball to third base, which looked to be an easy play. Catellier ran to first and, although, the Cobleskill first baseman did not have his foot on the base, Catellier was called out by the base umpire.

But the home-plate umpire overturned the call and the bases were loaded.

Lindner was the next hitter and, on the third pitch, he ripped a single that ended the game.


"Patience was the key," said Voorheesville Coach Hank Czerwinski. "We had some confidence going into the seventh inning. We wanted to get Catellier and Lindner, and Stephen Cardinal back up. We tied the game and they got back up."

The Blackbirds trailed by two runs, 8-6, in the sixth inning.

With one out, Lindner singled. Cardinal flew out to left field, but R.J. Curreri walked, and then Chris Massaroni reached first on an error that loaded the bases.

Jake Vandervort, a call-up from the junior varsity, hit a long fly ball that got over the head of the left fielder and hit the fence for a double that drove home Lindner and Curreri to tie the game.

"Jake Vandervort stepped up," Czerwinski said on Monday. "So did Tommy Pasquali at second base. We’ll probably bring up more j.v. kids tomorrow."

Czerwinski had to bring up junior-varsity players because of illness, injuries, and vacation. The Birds were missing Nick Duncan, who was on vacation, and Bryce Gray, who was injured in a game last week.

And, in the second inning, center fielder Matt Henry ran into the fence in center field, chasing down a fly ball hit by Ken Ventura. Henry left the game with an ankle injury.

"We were low on numbers," Czerwinski said. "And then we have three players away. So we brought up two j.v. kids. We had another kid get hurt so we’re down to 10."

The Blackbirds had another scare in the top of seventh when Lindner crashed into the fence on the third-base line, chasing a foul pop up. Lindner got up and, after a delay, finished the game on the mound, striking out the next two hitters.

Lindner pitched in relief for Curreri who went five gritty innings and threw a high number of pitches. He struck out five Cobleskill batters and gave up eight hits.

"R.J. stuck it out," Czerwinski said. "He threw over 100 pitches. But he has a week to rest before he pitches again."

Lindner pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the Blackbirds and earned the win after his heroics at the plate.

"Wide open"

The win evens the Blackbirds’ Colonial Council record to 3-3. The Birds are 6-4 overall.

Voorheesville did lose at Lansingburgh, 4-2, on Tuesday, dropping below the .500 mark in the league.

"The Colonial Council is wide open," Czerwinski said. "This is three in a row. We’ll try to keep it going."

"This could bring us more confidence," Lindner said. "We never lacked confidence. We know we have a strong team. It’s early in the season. But we didn’t think we would lose two games all year. Some of us thought we could go undefeated"

"I don’t plan on losing any more games," Lindner added. "This is the first time we’ve had three losses in the league. But I think stuff is starting to come around."

Lindner, who is bound for Stony Brook University to play Division I baseball next year, does not lack confidence and still holds on to a big dream.

"I still have the dream of playing in the major leagues," Lindner said. "Stony Brook has had a lot of guys drafted including Joe Nathan of the Minnesota Twins. They had three guys drafted last year."

The Blackbirds play Monday at home against Broadalbin-Perth and then host Watervliet on Wednesday and Schalmont on Thursday.

"I think we are starting to get our swagger back," Czerwinski said. "I think at the end of the year we can be one of the top teams in the Colonial Council. If we can avoid vacations and ambulance rides — we’ve had two games and two ambulance rides — and with all our players well we can move back to being one of the top teams at the end of the year."

Guilderland softball vs. Colonie

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland softball team was led by a sophomore to give Coach Jen Maxwell her first win over Colonie.

Jen McCutcheon pitched a one-hitter to shut out the Garnet Raiders, 2-0, on Wednesday afternoon at Guilderland High School.

"Jen is doing an outstanding job pitching," Maxwell said. "She was on the junior varsity for the past two years and pitched every game. She’s shown me what an outstanding pitcher she is."

McCutcheon pitched so well that the Lady Dutch only needed two runs to win the game. Both runs came in the fifth.

Junior Tricia Loux led off the inning with a single and advanced to second. Then Katrina Ernest bunted and reached first safely after a bad throw by the Colonie third baseman. Michelle Girwec’s bunt was also mishandled and the bases were loaded with no outs.

Lauren Napoli then singled to drive in Loux for the first run of the game. Marissa Valletta then grounded the ball to the shortstop who threw to home plate to force out Ernest. Next, on a wild pitch, Giwerc got caught trying to steal home for the second out of the inning.

But Nancy DeLeon added to the lead with a single that drove in Napoli, who had advanced to third on the wild pitch.

"Good contact"

"Today we made good contact with the ball," Maxwell said. "We want to put the ball in play and let them make mistakes. You can’t win the game if you’re not on base."

The Lady Dutch put the ball in play all day but couldn’t get anything to drop in for a hit. They were also a victim of bad luck in the third inning.

Ernest led off the frame with a walk but was caught in between bases when Giwerc hit a ball that was dropped by the second baseman. The Colonie player was able to throw to second to force out Ernest who was heading back to first base because she thought the ball had been caught.

The same thing happened to Giwerc as Napoli hit a ball that was dropped by the Colonie shortstop and Giwerc was retreating to first base.

Colonie’s best chance to score came in the fifth inning.

With one out and runners on second and third base, Ernest threw a ball to third base to try and pick off the runner, but the ball was overthrown. Napoli made a heads-up play and threw a perfect strike back to Ernest who took the brunt of a collision but held onto the ball and tagged out the Colonie runner. McCutcheon struck out the batter on the next pitch and the inning came to a quick end.

"I called up Lauren Napoli from j.v.," Maxwell said. "And she makes a great throw to get the girl out. Katrina gets the ball and blocks the plate. She took a pretty good hit. This is a very positive team and we can go far."

McCutcheon finished the contest with 13 strikeouts.

"Jen has definitely gotten better every year," Maxwell said. "She is only in 10th grade. She has great pitches and she can also field any ball hit to her. When Ashley [Wyland] pitched the other day, Jen played third."


The win was the second in a row over a Suburban Council foe this week. The Lady Dutch beat Columbia, 4-3, in 10 innings

"We had a big win on Monday," Maxwell said. "It went 10 innings, and went to the international tie breaker. I was fortunate that our lead-off hitter started on second base. So I had my two through four hitters come up."

Under the international tie-breaker rules, a runner begins the inning on second base. Valletta started on second in the 10th and scored when Sarah Heller hit a single to left field to win the game.

The wins evened the Dutch’s Suburban Council record to 2-2. Guilderland dropped a 2-1 decision to Schenectady on Tuesday and is now 3-3 overall.

"Last year, our league record was weak in the beginning of the season," Maxwell said. "We tried to come back and get into sectionals. It’s nice to get some league wins in the early part. We want to get to sectionals. This team could get there."

Guilderland plays Shaker today (Thursday); Catholic Central High School on Friday; and Saratoga on Monday.

"We have a bunch of girls that are dedicated to softball," Maxwell said. "We are a very positive team. We want to go far."

Guilderland baseball vs. Colonie

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland baseball team bounced back from a tough loss on Monday to beat previously undefeated Colonie, 11-4, on Wednesday afternoon.

The Dutchmen erased a 2-1 deficit with seven runs in the fourth inning and give a win to junior pitcher Nick Polsinelli.

The victory improved the Dutchmen’s record to 2-2 in the Suburban Council and 3-2 overall. Guilderland lost to Columbia, 9-8, after losing a three-run lead on Monday.

"We let one slip away on Monday," said Guilderland Coach Doug LaValley after Wednesday’s game. "We had five errors. We came with a purpose; we’re a pretty good team."

Polsinelli pitched four-and-two-thirds innings to get the win in Wednesday’s game. Sophomore C.J. Sohl pitched the final two-and-a-third to seal Guilderland’s win.

"He does the job," LaValley said. "He comes in and throws strikes. That’s what I want him to do; it lets us make plays behind him."

Offense explodes

The Dutch trailed, 2-1, going into the fourth inning but scored seven runs in the frame behind hits by Andrew Simpson, Kevin Doherty, Jimmy Sabbag, Mike Goldstein, and Joe Lima.

"Our guys are capable of doing that in any inning," LaValley said. "We have the type of offense that can explode. It’s one through nine and we have some guys off the bench that can do the job."

Colonie scored two runs in the fifth inning when Polsinelli tired but Sohl got a strikeout to end the stanza and protect the lead.

The Dutch tacked on some insurance runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning.

Henderson, a lefty, led off the inning with a booming homerun to right field. Jake Colavito then doubled to centerfield. Simpson then reached first base on an error by the Colonie first baseman and Greg Barcomb, who was pinch running for Colavito, moved to third.

Simpson then broke to second base for a steal. The throw by the catcher sailed into center field and allowed Barcomb to score easily.

Doherty then hit a double that bounced over the fence to score Simpson and make the score, 11-4.

Polsinelli struck out seven batters in his stint on the mound, while Sohl struck out a couple and got some good defense by Sabbag at second base in the sixth inning.

"We came in with confidence," LaValley said. "But we have one tomorrow that we have to come ready to play. Shaker is a good team, but, if we play our A game, we can play with anybody. Today we didn’t have our A game. But I would say it was a B-plus. Anytime you beat Colonie, it’s always a good one."

The Dutchmen play Shaker today (Thursday) and then take part in the LaSalle Wood Bat Tournament over the weekend.

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