Thursday, June 4, 2009

Schultz hits and pitches Wildcats into playoff; Fordians fall to Fort Plain

Maple Hill's Jaime Schultz grins after hitting a first inning home run over the left field fence at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy against No. 2 Cambridge in the Section II Class CC title game. The Wildcats won, 14-0, behind 11 strikeouts and a one-hitter from Schultz, who was relieved by Matt Busdiecker and Joe Dugan after 5.1 innings. (all photos by J.S. Carras - The Record)

Not a bad senior year at all for the Maple Hill senior, who won Section II titles in soccer, basketball and baseball.

He's been nearly unhittable of late. He pitched four hitless innings against Rensselaer in the Patroon Conference finale, no-hit Voorheesville in the Class CC quarterfinals and was flawless in relief against No. 1 Lake George in the semifinals.

He allowed a 45-foot swinging bunt single to Cambridge's Kyle Parmenter in the first inning, snapping the hitless innings streak, but was spectacular the rest of the way, finishing with 11 ks.

"It’s unbelievable," Schultz said. "I’ve been throwing the ball really well and when the guys do hit it, the fielders make the plays. We’ve been rock solid out in the field and it’s just good to get first pitch strikes over."

Schultz gets ready to let one rip at the Joe on Thursday afternoon. He threw 72 pitches and is likely available out of the bullpen in Saturday's Section II Class CC/C playoff game Saturday at Geyser Road Field in Saratoga Springs at 1 p.m.

"He is the best player I’ve had by far and he’s one of the top players I’ve seen in this area," said Maple Hill head coach Rico Frese. "(Schultz’s home run) was a big energy boost. He is a great offensive player, too. People latch on to his pitching, but he’s a tremendous, tremendous offensive player as well."

Schultz homered and tripled (the only extra base hits of the game) and scored four runs for the Wildcats in the rout.

The Wildcats are a good, solid team from top to bottom, but Schultz nearly shouldered the whole load by himself on Thursday afternoon with his bat and his arm.

Maple Hill's Matt Busdiecker (2) is congratulated by Jaime Schultz after scoring a run in the second inning of Thursday's game against Cambridge. Indians catcher Jordan Hastings is in the foreground.

Maple Hill (15-8) advances to face Section II Class C champion Fort Plain (24-3) in Saturday’s Class CC-C playoff game at Geyser Road Field in Saratoga Springs at 1 p.m.
The Hilltoppers have won four consecutive Section II Class C titles and won the New York State Class C championship in 2007.

"They are very well coached, very well disciplined and a great defensive team," Frese said. "They put the ball in play very well and they’re going to be tough. I have a lot of respect for that program."
Waterford's Larry Rondeau (kneeling, left) reacts after Fort Plain recorded the final out in a 6-1 victory over the Fordians Thursday afternoon at Joe Bruno Stadium. The Hilltoppers won their fourth consecutive Section II Class C championship, their fifth such title in the past six years.

Waterford pitchers allowed 12 hits - 11 singles - as Fort Plain knickled and dimed its way to six runs through the first four innings. Zach Gardner hit a home run over the right field fence for Waterford, but that was all the offense the Fordians could muster against Fort Plain's Dan Wiecek, who struck out 10 in a complete game four-hitter.

"They just came out and took it to us and we had no answer for it," said Waterford head coach Bob Jesmain. "The Wiecek kid was just lights out and with that curveball, he had us off balance. We scored one run and that was the least amount of runs we scored all season."

Waterford players scratch their heads during Thursday's game. Fort Plain used solid contact hitting and defense to capture its fourth straight Section II title.

The play of the game belonged to Waterford’s Wade Daus, who ranged down the third base line in the fifth inning to make an over-the-shoulder basket catch in foul territory for the second out. He trotted back to the bag but never threw the ball back to pitcher Zac Lennon, tagging Fort Plain’s Tyler Barhydt for the final out of the inning as soon as Barhydt took his lead.

"Wade is just one of those tricky kids," Jesmain laughed. "That’s Wade. He’s been doing that his whole life."

Updated Section II 2009 sectionals high school baseball brackets

Updated Section II 2009 sectionals high school softball brackets

Plenty to look out for tomorrow as Section II hosts four championship softball games and the Class CC/C playoff at Clifton Common at 5 p.m. A pregame awards ceremony for the top players in the area will take place prior to the games.

Three more baseball games will be played at Joe Bruno Stadium, beginning with the Class B game between Spa Catholic and Fonda-Fultonville at 2 p.m.
A Schenectady County showdown between Mohonasen and Schalmont will follow at around 4:30 p.m. and the Class A game and Columbia and CBA tee off for the Class AA title around 7 p.m.

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