Monday, April 13, 2009

2009 high school baseball season preview

Large Schools

Lukas Bridenbeck, La Salle Institute

1. La Salle – The Cadets have won the past five Big 10 titles and they’re poised to repeat in 2009 with a team that is as strong as ever. Junior lefty starter Dave Roseboom and senior third basemen Kyle Charron were named to the Louisville Slugger preseason All-American team.

Patrick Puentes, Columbia High School

2. Columbia – The roster is packed with college-level talent. Nolan Gaige has committed to the University at Albany amd Eric Hilton will pitch for the College of Saint Rose. Patrick Puentes, an outfielder, will play his college ball at Holy Cross and James Vooris will play at Brockport State.
3. Bethlehem – The Eagles have a dozen talented seniors on the roster, highlighted by center fielder Mike Fish and pitchers Randy Bowers and Sean Quinlan at the top of the rotation. Fish will play at Siena College and Quinlan (Niagara) and Bowers (Canisius) are set to join him in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference next season.
4. Lansingburgh – The Knights,with hopes of toughening themselves up for the Section II Class A playoffs, loaded up the non-league schedule with games against Suburban Council and Big 10 opponents under first-year head coach Joe Henkel. Senior righty Jordan Zareski is a power pitcher who will also spend some time at first base. The Knights will be solid up the middle with catcher John Yetto, shortstop Scott Fane and second baseman Frank Castiglione.
5. Albany – Pat Landers and Mike Hughes, who has drawn interest from Major League scouts, anchor a strong Falcons rotation that figures to improve for the fourth straight season. Jevonte Osterhout is one of the area’s top hitting third baseman and Justin Harris is another returning first team Big 10 All-Star.
6. Guilderland – First baseman Steve Anderson is a major masher in the middle of the Dutchmen lineup and will anchor a strong Suburban Council contender. He drove in 38 runs and hit eight home runs as a junior last season.
7. Mohonasen –
The Mighty Warriors appeared in the Section II Class A championship game and did graduate many players from that team. Starting pitcher Robert Tedesco will play his college ball at Siena and is one of the hardest-throwing hurlers in the Suburban Council.
8. Ichabod Crane – Former Troy High head coach Jack Brady takes the reigns in Valatie and he will have plenty to work with. Josh Ingham and Derrick Horn, returning Patroon Conference All-Stars, will head a strong Riders rotation. Ichabod Crane has won three Section II Class A titles this decade, including the past two.
9. Niskayuna – The Silver Warriors have been tripped up in the Section II Class AA semifinals the past two years and they’re hoping this is their chance to break through. Danny Peters hit .330 in 2008 and Gregg Rahn will also be relied upon in Niskayuna’s lineup.
10. Christian Brothers Academy – Senior shortstop Josh Lewyckyj and senior first baseman Chris Sand make for a terrifying middle of the order but the Brothers will need to find pitching depth if they hope to contend in the Big 10. Billy Creighton’s return to the mound will determine just how far the Brothers can advance in 2009.

The Record's 2009 preseason dream team
Large Schools

P Nolan Gaige, Sr., Columbia
P Michael Hughes, Sr., Albany
P Sean Quinlan, Sr., Bethlehem
P Dave Roseboom, Jr., La Salle
P Jordan Zareski, Sr., Lansingburgh

C Lukas Bridenbeck, Sr., La Salle
1b Chris Sand, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy
2b Will Remillard, Jr., La Salle
3b Kyle Charron, Sr., La Salle
ss Josh Lewyckyj, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy
of Annibal Maldonado, Jr., Troy
of Mike Fish, Sr., Bethlehem
of Pat Puentes, Sr., Columbia
dh Steve Anderson, Sr., Guilderland

Small Schools
1. Ravena – The Indians bring back Joe Boomhower, the reigning Colonial Council co-MVP and one of the best pitchers in the area. Keith Hoyt and Rob Nolan also return, meaning Ravena, which took home the league title with a 14-2 record last season, is again the frontrunner in this always competitive conference.
2. Maple Hill - The Wildcats finished third in the Patroon Conference a season ago and look to improve on a 13-10 finish with senior Jaime Schultz, Mike Doughtie and Nick Pappas leading the way. Schultz will play for High Point University, a Division I school in North Carolina.
3. Schalmont – Although the Sabres lost second baseman J.P. Sportman when he transferred to La Salle, they return Kyle McKelvery, co-MVP of the Colonial Council a season ago. Joe Amorosi, a junior pitcher should put the Sabres near the top in a battle with Lansingburgh, Ravena, Watervliet and Cohoes.
4. Granville – The Golden Horde lost only two players from their 2008 Wasaren League championship team and are poised for another run in the Section II Class B tournament. Granville ran into Zach Kraham and the Chatham Panthers last season but will trot out an experienced lineup.
5. Watervliet – Saint Rose-bound Caleb Gleason will slug the Cannoneers to many victories this season and he’s also Watervliet’s ace on the mound. Shortstop Phil Dayter and outfielders Kevin Pontore and Tom Ebenhoch fill out the rest of a strong lineup in the Arsenal City.
6. Cohoes – Senior pitcher Nick Benoit is poised for another big year on the hill for the Tigers but he will have his hands full in a Colonial Council that is competitive from top to bottom. Zach Ramsey is also dangerous as a pitcher and a first baseman.
7. Waterford-Halfmoon – The Fordians were tops in the Central Hudson Valley League last season and pitcher Zach Gardner, a first team CHVL All-Star last season, returns for his senior campaign. Zach Lennon also looks to emerge on the mound and Jeff Yattaw will be an RBI machine for the Fordians.
8. Cambridge – The Indians were in the middle of the pack in the Wasaren League in 2008 but are on the verge of a breakout. Zack Hunt and Kyle Parmenter will toe the rubber and catcher Jordan Hastings will manage the pitching staff and solidify the middle of the Indians’ lineup.
9. Chatham – The Panthers have won two straight Patroon Conference regular season titles and if they wish to repeat, they’ll have to do it without Zach Kraham, who now pitches for the University at Albany. Mike Sirani and Brian Gauthier are four-year starters.
10. Tamarac – Dave Bestle takes over as head coach for the Bengals after spending the last 15 years at Lansingburgh. His son Kyle is a freshman at Tamarac. Senior Chris Ryan hit .389 with three home runs a season ago.

The Record's 2009 preseason dream team
Small Schools

P Nick Benoit, Sr., Cohoes
P Joe Boomhower, Sr., Ravena
P Neil Fryer, Jr., Greenwich
P Bruce Loomis, Sr., Granville
P Jaime Schultz, Sr., Maple Hill

C Mike Doughtie, Sr., Maple Hill
1b Zach Ramsey, Sr., Cohoes
2b Kyle Brisson, Sr., Waterford-Halfmoon
3b Justin LeGault, Sr., Watervliet
ss Kyle McKelvey, Sr., Schalmont
of Nick Papas, Sr., Maple Hill
of Tom Ebenhoch, Sr., Watervliet
of Zach Gardner, Sr., Waterford-Halfmoon
dh Caleb Gleason, Sr., Watervliet

Section II games to watch in the upcoming weeks
April 14 Ravena at Watervliet Noon
April 15 La Salle at Albany 3 p.m.
April 25 Shenendehowa at Albany Noon
April 27 Colonie at Shaker 4 p.m.
May 1 Christian Brothers Academy at Troy 4:30 p.m.
May 4 Averill Park at Guilderland 4 p.m.
May 5 Ichabod Crane at Maple Hill 4 p.m.
May 7 Hoosick Falls at Tamarac 4:15 p.m.
May 8 Schalmont at Lansingburgh 4 p.m.
May 9 Columbia at Mamaroneck 1 p.m.
May 13 Bethlehem at Columbia 4 p.m.
May 15 Watervliet at Lansingburgh 4 p.m.
May 16 Columbia at La Salle 9 a.m.
May 16, 17 Waterford and La Salle wooden bat tournaments
May 19 Chatham at Maple Hill 4 p.m.
May 20 Catholic Central at Troy 4:15 p.m.
May 23,24 Uncle Sam Tournament



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