It was Semi-finals day in New York's Section 2 for the baseball sectional tournaments on Saturday. 12 games, six venues. Ye scribe was at Joe Bruno Stadium for the Class AA semi-finals, an all-Suburban Council affair that, at the end of the day, might've seemed predictable in the eyes of some observers.
Christian Brothers Academy took on Saratoga in the first game, which had an announced starting time of 4 pm (ET), but actually began 4 minutes early, at 3:56 pm, perhaps in an effort to avoid the prospect of a spring rainstorm. While it did rain, it wasn't until the nightcap, and it didn't last long.
CBA's Elliott Raimo went the distance, giving up 2 runs while striking out 7, and had a couple of hits of his own, as the Brothers eliminated the Blue Sreaks, 5-2. CBA spotted Saratoga a 1-0 first inning lead, but to say that Saratoga starter Cory McArthur was wild would be an understatement. McArthur, in truth, needed a GPS to find the plate. He hit CBA centerfielder Nick Melillo on the first pitch of the game, and by the time he was lifted with 2 out in the 3rd, McArthur had walked 7 and hit Melillo a second time. Danny Coleman moved from third base to the mound and held CBA to 1 run in the final 3 1/3 innings. However, Saratoga just didn't have enough offense to catch up.
The second game saw defending Class AA champion Shenendehowa play Guilderland. The two teams met in Clifton Park on April 13, with Shen winning, 5-4, so it was likely we'd see a similar score. As with the first game, first pitch was moved up by about 4 minutes, and there was a brief rain shower, but not enough to prompt a rain delay.
Ben Anderson, whose brother, Ian, has gotten the attention of pro scouts, started, and went 5 innings. Now, here's something that I didn't know was possible in high school ball. If you've followed the Little League World Series over the years, you know that players can come in and out of the game under special rules. Similarly, Shen infielder Nik Malachowski was lifted for a pinch runner in the home 5th, then was seen jogging to the bullpen. In the top of the 6th, Malachowski took over the pitching. Anderson moved to catcher, with Matt Connors coming out of the game. Also, unlike in the pros, a designated hitter can be used for any position player on the field, not just the pitcher. That gives coaches extra flexibility, strategy that isn't used in the college game. Malachowski pitched the last two innings and struck out 3 to earn the save, as Shen rallied for 2 runs in the 5th and advanced to the title game, 4-3.
And, so, on Thursday, CBA & Shen will meet for the AA title. CBA won when these two teams met on April 20 at Shen, 3-2. Ian Anderson, one would expect, will be on the hill for the Plainsmen. While it was a modest crowd on Saturday, the final should have a bigger crowd, scouts included. The Major League Baseball entry draft comes two weeks later, and it's believed Anderson will be the latest Section 2 athlete to be drafted by a pro team.
Courtesy of the Albany Times-Union, here are the scores from the other 5 classes:
(both games at Plumeri Complex, Albany):
Queensbury 7, Amsterdam 2 (Final)
Scotia 5, Burnt Hills 4 (Final)
(both games at Ballston Spa HS):
Schalmont 7, Schuylerville 5 (Final)
Saratoga Central Catholic 5, Albany Academy 3 (Final)
(both games at Veteran’s Memorial Park, Saratoga):
Coxsackie-Athens 4, Voorheesville 3 (Final)
Hoosic Valley 7, Granville 2 (Final)
(both games at Shuttleworth Park, Amsterdam):
Greenwich 4, Whitehall 3 (Final, 8)
Greenville def. Canajoharie. (Score wasn't published, and I couldn't remember the score announced over the PA at the Joe.)
(both games at East Field, Glens Falls):
Fort Plain 6, Germantown 2 (Final)
Fort Ann 7, OESJ 0 (Final)
Troy High's lacrosse season ended with a thud on Saturday, as the Flying Horses dropped a 19-5 decision to Burnt Hills, and finish the season at 5-12. That leaves the softball team as the only Troy spring sports team still playing, and they will play South Glens Falls Tuesday afternoon at Schalmont High School, looking at knocking out the top seed.
Meanwhile, the baseball championships will be at Bruno Stadium Tuesday-Thursday, with games announced for 4 & 7 pm starts. The schedule:
Tuesday: Classes B & BB.
Wednesday: Classes C & D.
Thursday: Classes A & AA.
Bruno Stadium will also host New York State regional play on June 4, which will be the last high school games played at the Joe for 2016.