Thursday, May 28, 2015

A "quiet" season ends with a whimper

It's hard to believe, but in the eyes of local media in the home district, lacrosse has overtaken baseball & softball in terms of media coverage. Worse, some schools have been, pardon the pun, lax in reporting scores during the regular season, which negates the newspapers' objective to direct readers to their online models.

Tonight, Troy High played Queensbury for the Section II Class A baseball championship. Troy had finished the regular season at 9-11, but had upset Burnt Hills and Scotia en route to the title game. Queensbury, one of the hottest programs in the area, entered play tonight at 17-5. As the #1 seed, the Spartans were designated as the home team for the game, played at Joe Bruno Stadium.

Troy, in their 2nd game at "The Joe" this month, sent freshman David Judge to the hill. The key word being, "freshman". Playing on a bigger stage than usual at Bruno Stadium, Judge didn't have his best stuff. In fact, at times it was worse than his complete game effort vs. Shenendehowa 3 weeks earlier. Queensbury scored the only run they needed without the benefit of a hit in the 1st, and pitcher Kyle Chambers took it from there, holding Troy to just 4 hits in a complete game shutout. The Spartans won, 7-0, adding 2 runs each in the 4th through 6th innings.

Was it nerves that did in Judge? Perhaps. He had trouble holding his focus on the strike zone almost from the get-go, and coach Will Whitty finally had to shuffle his infield in the 5th, moving Judge to first base. He has, though, the benefit of three more years of varsity ball, three more prospective post-seasons.

The game was played in a speedy 85 minutes. With the new pace of play initiatives in the majors, a lot of games are being played in less than 2 1/2 hours, never mind three hours. It makes one wonder if those same initiatives have been in high schools right along. I shan't, then, be surprised if a MLB game ends up clocking in at under 2 hours for 9 innings before this season's done. It's happened a few times in recent years, so it's not out of the realm of possibility.

An old classmate asked me about attending some THS football games next fall. It's been 4 years since the first time I'd seen the football team play. Ever since the start of the year, one of the changes in my personal life has been spending more time supporting my alma mater's sports teams. That will continue in the fall, and I'm looking at taking in at least 2-3 football games and a few basketball games next season. I'd been asked also about some regular season baseball, but that's unlikely. By the time I get back into town after work, especially given the rapid pace of games like tonight's, by the time I get to THS, the game would most likely be over or close to it. If they play at "The Joe", that's one thing.

And that's also a place where I'd like to see the softball team play someday. The girls advanced to the Class A final by dispatching South Glens Falls, 7-4, advancing to the title game vs. top-seeded Averill Park at Shen tomorrow. Looking ahead, though, it wouldn't hurt to have Troy book a softball-baseball double header at "The Joe" in the future. If that doesn't bring the fans out, what will?

The Troy baseball team finished 11-12 on the season, and I dare say about a majority of those games went under-reported. That has to change in 2016.

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