Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blue Devils top Colonie to become Suburban's best in 2009

Columbia High School senior pitcher Nolan Gaige (15) gets a fist bump at home plate from Patrick Puentes after hitting a two-run home run over the left field fence in the first inning of Wednesday's Suburban Council game against Colonie. Gaige also struck out six and earned the win on the mound. (All photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Ian Gaule (No. 10 in the photo above) hit a three-run bomb in the second inning as the Blue Devils stomped out to a 12-6 victory at Columbia High School. The Blue Devils won 13 games in the league this year, more than any other team in the regular season.

Gaige delivers during Wednesday's game. The University at Albany bound senior ran into trouble in the first inning, loading the bases, but got out of the jam on a great defensive play by first baseman Ben Tidd. Colonie scored five runs in the sixth inning (Colin Mooney hit a three-run home run) but Gaige had done enough at the plate (three RBI, two runs scored) to lead the Blue Devils to victory.

"(Gaige) is very competitive," Columbia head coach Chris Dedrick said. "He has a great attitude and a great approach to the game. I believe he is the best player in the league if not one of the best players around. He might be one of the best players in the state."

Columbia shortstop Nick Keefe catches a popup to record the first out of Wednesday's game. He walked and reached on an error in Columbia's nine-run second inning, scoring twice.

Columbia (13-3, 17-4), ranked No. 9 among New York State Class AA teams in the latest poll, bested Colonie (10-6, 13-8) by three games in the South Division and edged out North Division champion Shenendehowa (12-4, 15-6) for the most wins in Suburban Council play.

Columbia third baseman Bobby Peluso is hit by a pitch thrown by Colonie's Chris Kalica in the first inning of Wednesday's contest at Columbia High School. He remained in the game, walked and scored in the second and added a single in the fourth inning.

"We’re feeling really good going into sectionals," Gaige said. "We have been playing well all year and we’re going to keep doing what we’ve done all year and hopefully a good outcome comes out of it."

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