Saturday, July 4, 2009

Dodgers eliminated from Connie Mack qualifier

A few closing notes on the Connie Mack World Series qualifier in Troy this past week.

The one thing that struck me most about the teams from the New York area and the Florida Legends was that they were fearless on the basepaths. Those teams stole every base they could and coaches never held a runner up at third. Their runners were fast, smart and aggressive and forced opposing defenses to make a play.
The local coaches, however, tended to be more conservative at third base, holding runners up in hope that the next batter up could drive them in.
At this level of play, where most players are bound for Division I college ball, if not a spot on a minor league lineup someday, I have to agree with the aggressive style of play. The odds that a fielder can come up with the ball, make a clean and accurate throw and that the catcher can apply the tag are really slim to none. The runners that flew around third base almost always scored because they dared the defense to make a tough play. Sure, you run the risk of killing a rally with outs on the basepaths, but in a wooden bat tournament, every run counts and the conservative approach of some of the third base coaches cost more runs than it saved.

The Dodgers will get another shot at the World Series in Farmington, New Mexico later this month when they host the North Atlantic Regional beginning July 22.

Dodgers pitcher Kyle Charron fields and throws to first in last Sunday's game against the Bayside Yankees. South Troy won that game 6-4 but lost 9-0 to the Florida Legends in the afternoon, eliminating them from the Connie Mack World Series qualifier at Geer Field. The Legends won the qualifier for the third consecutive season, clinching a berth in the World Series in Farmington, New Mexico this August. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record)

Dodgers third baseman Chris Sand fields a ball during Sunday's victory over the Bayside Yankees. A first baseman and designated hitter at Christian Brothers Academy during the high school season, Sand has made a nice transition to the hot corner this summer.

South Troy shortstop Branden Cogswell makes a play at second base during Sunday's game against the Bayside Yankees. The 16-year-old from Shenendehowa was a definite bright spot for the Dodgers at the top of the lineup during the qualifier tournament.

Below are some pictures from Saturday's action.

Dodgers center fielder Patrick Puentes, a Holy Cross-bound Columbia High School graduate, makes a running catch during Saturday's game against the New York Nine. New York won, 6-4. (Photos by Tom Killips - The Record).

Second baseman Jose Ramirez lays down a sacrifice bunt during the second inning of Saturday's game against the New York Nine. He advanced Chris Sand to second base, but Sand was stranded as the Dodgers could not push the run across against New York's Sal Lisanti.

Dodgers pitcher Dave Roseboom throws against the New York Nine. He took the loss in this game but pitched well against Florida's star-packed lineup a day later, even though the Dodgers lost 9-0. Roseboom, pitching against three Major League Baseball draft picks in the Legends' lineup, retired nine in a row in one stretch, keeping the Dodgers in the game.

Chris Sand connects on a monster home run during Saturday's game against the New York Nine. He added a double two innings later and provides the Dodgers with a big power bat, even in a wood bat tournament.

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