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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 10, 2010

Dutchmen win Class AA
On edge, waiting to steal state title

By Jordan J. Michael

ALBANY –– Pitching and defense have gone hand in hand for the Guilderland baseball team in the post-season.

Clutch pitching from Vinny Tamburello and Eddie Pierce earned the Dutchmen a Class AA title and a spot in Saturday’s state semifinals in Binghamton. The offense hasn’t gone silent, but the defense is showing stronger signs of life.

On Monday, in the regional final against Auburn at Bellizzi Field in Albany, Pierce and the Dutch got out of jams in the third and fourth innings without surrendering a run. The Maroons mustered seven hits in the game, but never scored.

Guilderland won, 2 to 0, regardless of getting only three hits. The Dutch squeezed in two runs in the third inning off a sac fly by Luke Stark and a wild pitch by Auburn’s Steve Komanecky.

“Good teams always find a way to win and get out of jams,” said Head Coach Doug LaValley, who has led the Dutch further than any team in the school’s history. “We’ve stuck to our philosophy of toughness.”

LaValley expected his team to get more hits, but the champions from Section III matched up well with the Dutch and proved to be just as stubborn. That set the stage for a defensive game.

“We had great pitching and we scrapped together runs when we needed to,” said Sean Geisel, who scored the second and final run on the wild pitch in the third inning.

Pierce pitched six scoreless innings before Tamburello came in to close the deal. Tamburello, a lefty, came in to disturb the left-handed bats of Kris Catino, Tim Smith, and Komanecky.

Tamburello got Tim Locastro to strike out on some high cheese and Catino followed by swinging at strike three. Tamburello ran a full count to Smith, who hit a little blooper over Tamburello and sprinted down the line to reach safely. Komanecky stepped to the plate and cranked a 0-2 pitch to left field for a single.

The tying run was now on first base, but Tamburello kept his cool and forced Trevor Doan to ground out to Jimmy Quinn for the victory. Tamburello was the hero again after pitching a complete-game four-hitter against Saratoga last Thursday for the Class AA title.

“Coach planned to put me in there and I was ready,” Tamburello said.

“Pierce did a great job setting everything up for the seventh,” said LaValley. “We had a plan and, thankfully, it worked.”

Auburn had plenty of opportunities to score and Head Coach T.J. Gamba knew that was why his team lost the game. “They opened the door for us and we couldn’t come through,” he said. “I tip my hat to them for pitching well. It was a good game to be a part of.”

Geisel said that Guilderland’s amazing run through the playoffs is a combination of talent and team spirit. “The hype of sectionals gave us an extra shot of adrenaline,” he said. “Now, no one wants it to end because it’s so much fun and we’ve gone so far.”

The Dutchmen get another chance for a win on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Binghamton against McQuaid of Section V. There’s no doubt that the team will be ready because it has already been through so much.

“We keep stepping up in big situations and everyone is focused,” said Pierce. “We’ll check the scouting reports and prepare as much as possible.”

LaValley wanted to know why no one picked the Dutch. “Why not us?” he asked. “Everyone talked about the top teams, but we beat them to get here. Everyone sees the results now.”

Tamburello is sure that Guilderland has the loudest dugout around.

“A lot of team spirit goes a long way,” he said. “We’re a big family and we haven’t changed anything. We’ll ride this wave as long as possible.”

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