Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hughes masterful in 14k victory over Flying Horses; initial softball rankings

Albany High's senior starter Mike Hughes (above) struck out 14 Troy High hitters and clubbed two of the Falcons' three hits in a wacky 7-4 Big 10 Conference victory at Troy High School on Wednesday afternoon.

Hughes battled cold and windy conditions (it rained through the first two innings and the sun conveniently poked through the clouds at the conclusion of the game) and walked five Flying Horses but was able to buckle down and fire his fastball past the Troy hitters.

"It didn’t feel like 14," Hughes said. "I felt like I was struggling a little. They made a lot of good contact, so it didn’t really feel like 14 k’s, but that’s a big number."

Troy's Ryan Chamberlain (above) was the only hitter to really get anything going against Hughes, driving in three runs on a 3-for-3 performance from the plate, including a second inning triple. (All photos by J.S. Carras)

Chamberlain motors into third after smacking a leadoff triple over the head of Albany center fielder Denzel Williams in the second inning. The Flying Horses, however, stranded him 90 feet away as a groundout and two strikeouts could not get him across the plate.

"My teammates were on the bases and I was just seeing the ball and hitting the ball," Chamberlain said. "(Hughes is) just a great pitcher, as everybody knows."

Troy's Matt Krogh makes a leaping grab at second base to end the top of the second inning in Wednesday's game at Troy High.

Troy starter Anibal Maldonado (above) lasted an inning and a third after walking six batters and taking responsibility for six Albany runs. Sophomore reliever Jesse Twiss did a great job, however, holding the Falcons hitless in his appearance until the seventh inning, allowing the Flying Horses to climb back within two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
The rain and the slippery conditions certainly did not help Maldonado's grip on the ball and the showers stopped nearly as soon as Twiss entered the game, which might explain his success.

"It shows you what kind of pitcher (Hughes) is with the conditions and the mound," said Albany head coach Joey DiPiazza. "It wasn’t the perfect situation for a pitcher to pitch in and that’s why he is the special pitcher he is."

Albany (4-1, 4-4) is near the top of the Big 10 standings, as CBA improved to 4-0 on Wednesday with a big victory over Bishop Maginn. The Flying Horses, however, proved that any team in the league can hang with any other. Their poor start was what doomed Troy to trying to dig themselves out of too deep a hole.

"That’s what we’ve done a lot this year, come back," Chamberlain said. "We have to get out to good starts. We have to get out to good starts so we don’t have to fight back like that."

We also received the initial New York State softball polls for the year, which I've pasted in below.
A lot of this is based on early buzz about a few non-league victories and teams that have visible college-level talent, so look for the rankings to balance out once league play gets into full swing in the next few weeks.

2009 NYSSCOGS/NYSSWA Softball State Rankings (week 1)
Poll editor: Perry L. Novak
(March-April 21)

Class AA
1: 9-0 West Babylon-11
2: 8-0 Valley Central-9
3: 12-1 LI St. John Baptist-CHS
4: 10-0 Tottenville-PSAL
5: 8-0 Bay Shore-11
6: 4-0 Shenendehowa-2
7: 9-0 East Islip-11
8: 8-1 Liverpool-3
9: 5-0 Columbia-2
10: 4-0 North Rockland-1
11: 3-0 Fairport-5
12: 2-0 Williamsville North-6
13: 3-0 Minisink Valley-9
14: 5-1 Cicero-North Syracuse-3
15: 4-1 Rome Free Academy-3
16: 5-1 Union-Eendicott-4
17: 3-1 Horseheads-4
18: 4-1 Clarkstown North-1
19: 4-1 Webster Schroeder-5
20: 1-0 Clarence-6
21: 6-2 Brentwood-11
22: 4-1 Oceanside-8
23: 3-0 Niskayuna-2
24: 4-2 Arlington-1
25: 0-0 Lancaster-6

Class A
1: 5-0 Maine-Endwell-4
2: 8-0 Corning West-4
3: 4-0 Pearl River-1
4: 4-0 Victor-5
5: 5-2 Burnt Hills-2
6: 3-0 Lakeland-1
7: 2-0 Williamsville South-6
8: 3-1 South Glens Falls-2
9: 6-2 Miller Place-11
10: 4-1 Lansingburgh-2
11: 8-2 East Hampton-11
12: 4-1 Oneida-3
13: 6-1 Seaford-8
14: 3-0 Phoenix-3
15: 4-1 Mendon-5
16: 7-1 Plainedge-8
17: 1-1 Cornwall-9
18: 4-1 Eastchester-1
19: 4-0 Fulton-3
20: 2-1 Goshen-9
20: 0-0 Malone-10

Class B
1: 5-0 Chenango Valley-4
2: 8-0 Schuylerville-2
3: 9-1 Hampton Bays-11
4: 8-2 Windsor-4
5: 3-0 Fredonia-6
6: 4-0 Mechanicville-2
7: 3-0 Waterloo-5
8: 6-1 St. Dominic-CHS
9: 0-0 Immaculata-CHS
10: 2-1 Westhill-3
11: 4-1 Dobbs Ferry-1
12: 3-0 Marlboro-9
13: 7-2 Susquehanna Valley-4
14: 5-1 Canastota-3
15: 2-0 Pembroke-5
16: 4-0 Highland-9
17: 4-1 Homer-3
18: 4-2 Albertus Magnus-1
19: 5-0 South Jefferson-3
20: 0-0 Canton-10
20: 1-0 Salmon River-10

Class C
1: 6-2 Pulaski-3
2: 3-1 Binghamton Seton-4
3: 2-0 Warsaw-5
4: 3-0 Duanesburg-2
5: 7-1 Stillwater-2
6: 3-0 Chester-9
7: 1-0 Sandy Creek-3
8: 3-2 Lake George-2
9: 0-0 Cassadaga Valley-6
10: 6-2 Greene-4
11: 0-0 St. Lawrence-10
12: 2-2 Sidney-4
13: 1-0 Haldane-1
14: 1-0 Ticonderoga-7
15: 4-2 East Rockaway-8
16: 4-2 Onondaga-3
17: 2-2 Chapel Field-9
18: 5-3 Port Jefferson-11
19: 7-1 Waterford-2
20: 0-0 Oakfield-Alabama-5

Class D
1: 3-1 Afton-4
2: 2-0 Bolivar-Richburg-5
3: 3-0 Argyle-2
4: 3-0 Heuvelton-10
5: 2-2 Fort Ann-2
6: 1-0 Livingston Manor-9
7: 4-0 Poland-3
8: 4-0 Deposit-4
9: 0-0 Elba-5
10: 2-0 Oriskany-3
11: 1-0 Crown Point-7
12: 0-0 Ripley-6
13: 2-0 Fillmore-5
14: 2-0 Jefferson-4
15: 1-3 Stockbridge Valley-3
16: 3-0 Hancock-4
17: 1-0 Canaseraga-5
18: 2-0 Hartford-2
19: 2-2 Hamilton-3
20: 2-1 Schenevus-4

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