Saturday, May 20, 2017

Section II Class AA baseball semi-final: LaSalle vs. Niskayuna, 5/20/17

As the lone Colonial Council representative in the Class AA baseball sectionals, LaSalle could be considered a Cinderella team, having beaten Columbia and Ballston Spa to reach the semi-final round vs. Niskayuna tonight at Joe Bruno Stadium.

Sometime after the 5th inning, however, Cinderella's glass slippers turned into lead boots.

But, we're getting ahead of ourselves.

The Cadets drew first blood in the top of the 3rd against Nick Insognia. With DJ McMahon on 3rd, Kyle Borey grounded to second, but the throw to the plate was wide, and McMahon scored to give LaSalle a brief 1-0 lead. As it was, McMahon's single leading off the frame was the only hit the Cadets could muster against Insognia, who overcame early wildness, and got stronger as the night wore on.

Niskayuna tied the game in the bottom half on a base hit by Tyler Senecal, plating Conor Graham. Matt Toy, who'd reached on a fielder's choice, tried to score all the way from first, but center fielder Noah Grandjean threw him out at the plate to keep the game tied. Toy finished 3-for-4 on the evening, having reached base in all 4 at bats.

Unfortunately, LaSalle starter James Rubino ran out of gas in the 5th inning, and walked in the game winner with the bases loaded. The Silver Warriors tacked on one more run in the inning, then added two more in the 6th against Quentin Crudo to ice the game. When the Cadets took the field in the bottom of the 6th, the body language of some of the players suggested that their confidence had taken a major hit, unable to muster any kind of comeback against Insognia, who struck out the side in the top of the 7th to finish a complete game 1-hitter.

Niskayuna now moves on to play Suburban Council rival Shenendehowa, as the defending champions staved off a late rally in the bottom of the 7th to beat Saratoga, 5-3. The title game takes place Thursday at Bruno Stadium.
Also on Saturday afternoon, the championship games in the other classes were set. In Class A, it will be Mohonasen vs. Scotia-Glenville in a battle between the Suburban and Foothills Councils. Mohonasen routed Amsterdam, 17-3, while Scotia shut out Burnt Hills, 3-0. Over in Class B, top seeded Saratoga Central Catholic, out of the Wasaren League, will face Albany Academy (Colonial Council), as both teams posted shutouts on Saturday. Academy, in fact, is the last Colonial Council team left after beating league rival Voorheesville, 5-0. Class C saw two more shutouts, setting up Hoosic Valley vs. Greenwich in the title game on Tuesday. Also Tuesday, it'll be a battle of the Forts, as Fort Ann & Fort Plain will meet.
Section II has finally set the schedule for the boys' lacrosse sectionals, which will begin on Monday. Troy High & LaSalle are both in Class B (there is no Class AA in lacrosse), and could meet in the semi-finals if they beat their opening opponents on Monday. LaSalle travels to Burnt Hills, while Troy's laxmen will accompany the softball team to Ballston Spa. If Troy & LaSalle both win, the two teams would meet at LaSalle in the semi-finals.

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