Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Record's 2009 All-Area high school baseball team

Maple Hill senior Jaime Schultz was lights-out in the postseason, leading the Wildcats to their first-ever state championship in school history and earning 2009 high school baseball Player of the Year honors from The Record.

Player of the Year
p-ss-cf Jaime Schultz, Sr., Maple Hill 10 3 1.57 71 39 157 NA NA
91 55 51 8 4 10 46 .560 12
CASTLETON - In the fall, Jaime Schultz Schultz led the Maple Hill High School soccer team to a Section II title and a berth in the New York State regional round. In the winter, he was the point guard on the Wildcats’ state finalist basketball team.

And what did he do for an encore? Schultz absolutely did it all on the diamond in the spring.
In six playoff appearances, including three starts, Schultz earned five wins, allowed four hits and struck out 70 in 29.2 innings, bringing a New York State Class C baseball championship trophy home to Schodack, the first such title in Maple Hill history.

No slouch at the plate, Schultz’s .560 batting average, 55 runs scored and 10 home runs were all single-season school records. For his all-around efforts, he was named The Record’s 2009 High School Baseball Player of the Year.

"I can’t envision a kid having a much better year than that kid did," said Maple Hill head coach Rico Frese. "He was just phenomenal in sectionals. He has a tremendous curveball, but he relied on his fastball later on in the year. In sectional play he was going to the fastball about 90% of the time and he was throwing it for strikes. He was overpowering."

Schultz struck out 157 hitters this season – another school record - setting down opposing hitters at an average of 2.2 per inning. He tossed four no-hitters in his career, and tied Maple Hill all-time marks with 10 wins in 2009 and a single-game 20-strikeout performance.

He will attend High Point University of Division I Big South Conference, located in central North Carolina, on scholarship beginning this fall and is likely to get most of his playing time in center field.

Maple Hill finished the season with a 19-8 record, but endured its struggles during the regular season. The Wildcats lost six games in the second half of the Patroon Conference schedule, but got hot at the right time thanks to Schultz, their postseason ace.

"He’s really matured and evolved and we had a nice moment after winning the championship," Frese said, "but I’m really most proud of him as a person. He really evolved and in practice and was competing in drills and he proved himself as a winner in game situations. He’s a winner and he leads by example."

Frese said Schultz was one of the top three players he’s ever seen play in the Patroon Conference. Hudson’s Rashad Barksdale, who later played in the NFL, and Coxsackie-Athens’s Mark Carroll, who pitched in the Seattle Mariners minor league system, round out Frese’s trio.

Schultz’s baseball coach doesn’t expect the transition to the Divison I level to be challenging for him. After all, he won at least a Section II championship in every sport he played his senior year.

"Jaime would be Jaime wherever he played," Frese said. "His numbers might not be that gaudy if he played in the Suburban Council, but he is still one of the top three ballplayers I’ve ever seen in the Patroon Conference."

First Team
C Justin Harris, Sr., Albany 71 20 27 5 0 3 24 .380 1
1b Ian Gaule, Sr., Columbia 102 29 36 8 1 10 36 .429 14
2b Frank Castiglione, Jr., Lansingburgh 76 32 39 12 0 2 20 .513 NA
3b Kyle Charron, Sr., La Salle 88 32 41 9 2 0 18 .466 12
ss Kyle McKelvey, Sr., Schalmont 86 36 43 12 1 7 27 .500 15
of Anibal Maldonado, Jr., Troy 56 17 20 5 0 2 25 .357 5
of Nick Papas, Sr., Maple Hill 102 42 52 5 5 2 47 .509 12
of Patrick Puentes, Sr., Columbia 115 42 45 15 2 5 34 .450 10
dh Caleb Gleason, Sr., Watervliet 76 NA 35 15 2 2 28 .461 NA
ut Jordan Zareski, Sr., Lansingburgh 74 32 38 12 5 3 41 .478 NA
P Brian Cary, Sr., Shaker 7 1 1.17 47.2 25 43 2 0
P Nolan Gaige, Sr., Columbia 7 2 1.78 59 32 84 NA NA
P Michael Hughes, Sr., Albany 5 3 1.90 48 21 67 5 NA
P T.J. McLaughlin, Jr., Lansingburgh 6 0 0.78 36 8 72 0 1

School: Albany Class: Senior Position: Catcher
Notable: The Falcons had a top-tier pitching rotation with Michael Hughes and Pat Landers, but Harris earned the Falcons’ team MVP award in 2009. A four-year varsity starter, Harris won the team’s Most Improved award as a freshman and led Albany to Section II postseason appearances in 2008 and 2009. He’ll attend Hagerstown Community College in Maryland and study radiology.

School: Columbia Class: Senior Position: First Base-Pitcher-DH
Notable: Gaule added plenty of pop behind Nolan Gaige in Columbia’s lineup, adding 10 homers and 36 runs batted in for the Blue Devils. He also stole 14 bases. Strong on the mound, Gaule won six games and fanned 24 in 42 innings. He’ll follow in the footsteps of Columbia head coach Chris Dedrick and play baseball at Ithaca College.

School: Lansingburgh Class: Junior Position: Second Base
Notable: The Knights’ leadoff man was third overall in the Colonial Council with a .513 batting average and rapped out 12 doubles. He guided Lansingburgh to a 19-3 overall record and its first Colonial Council title since 2003.

School: La Salle Class: Senior Position: Third Base-Pitcher
Notable: Charron anchored the top of the Cadets’ lineup again in 2009, hitting .466 with 32 runs scored and 12 stolen bases. An elbow injury limited his time on the mound early in the season, but he pitched 24 innings, striking out 27 and posting a 1.17 ERA. He went toe-to-toe with Shaker’s Brian Cary in a Section II Class AA quarterfinal game, tossing 126 pitchers in a gritty 2-1, nine inning complete game defeat.

School: Schalmont Class: Senior Position: Shortstop
Notable: McKelvey wrapped up a fantastic four-year career at Schalmont with 144 hits and a .450 batting average, just two of the eight school records he holds. He hit .500 his senior season, driving in 27 runs and scoring 36, leading the Sabres to the Section II Class A championship game. He’ll be attending Western New England College.

School: Troy Class: Senior Position: Outfield-Pitcher
Notable: A jack of all trades for the Flying Horses, Maldonado is one of the best defensive center fielders in the area with his combination of speed and a strong and accurate arm. He drove in 25 runs in 56 at-bats, stole five bases and carried some of the pitching load, too. Injured, Maldonado missed three games in the middle of the season but returned to lead Troy to a title in the annual Uncle Sam Tournament.

School: Maple Hill Class: Senior Position: Outfield-pitcher
Notable: Papas earned the win in the New York State Class C championship game, but he made a name for himself with the bat in his varsity career at Maple Hill. He owns school records for hits in one season (52), most RBI in a season (47 in 2008 and 2009), and holds a state record with 13 RBI in one game, which he did in 2008. Papas will play soccer and baseball at Hudson Valley Community College.

School: Columbia Class: Senior Position: Outfield
Notable: Puentes scored a team-high 42 runs for the Blue Devils, adding a mix of power and speed to Columbia’s lineup. He had 22 extra base hits, drove in 34 runs and stole 10 bases and will play baseball at the College of the Holy Cross.

School: Watervliet Class: Senior Position: DH-Pitcher
Notable: Gleason’s strength on the diamond is his offense, as the Watervliet senior led the Colonial Council with 15 doubles and added 28 RBI and a .461 batting average. He was also the Cannoneers’ ace on the mound, tying for the league lead with 72 strikeouts. Gleason will play for the College of Saint Rose and plans on majoring in elementary education.

School: Lansingburgh Class: Senior Position: Pitcher-First Base
Notable: Zareski, the Colonial Council MVP, did it all for Lansingburgh, winning six games and striking out 68 on the mound. And at the plate, he led the Colonial Council with 41 RBI. His two-way efforts landed Lansingburgh the No. 1 seed in Section II Class A tournament. A three-sport athlete at Lansingburgh, Zareski will play collegiately for the College of Saint Rose and study Business Management.

School: Shaker Class: Senior Position: Pitcher
Notable: Cary won seven games for an upstart Blue Bison squad, but none was bigger than his complete game 121-pitch performance in a 2-1 nine inning Section II Class AA quarterfinal victory over defending champion La Salle. The senior captain surrendered only eight earned runs in 47.2 innings and held hitters to a .188 batting average against.

School: Columbia Class: Senior Position: Pitcher-DH
Notable: Gaige had a tremendous two-way season for the Blue Devils, who advanced to the New York State Class AA Final Four. His 50 RBI, 11 home runs and .558 batting average were team highs. He struck out 84 in 59 innings on the mound, posting a 7-2 record. The Suburban Council Most Valuable Player and Pitcher will compete at the University at Albany.

School: Albany Class: Senior Position: Pitcher
Notable: The Big 10 Conference MVP, Hughes won five games and struck out 67 in 48 innings of work. An extremely hard-throwing righthander, Hughes earned a scholarship to Coastal Carolina University, a member of the Division I Big South Conference.

School: Lansingburgh Class: Junior Position: Pitcher
Notable: It was a fantastic debut for the Lansingburgh righthander in his first season of organized baseball. A converted quarterback, McLaughlin tied for the Colonial Council lead with six wins and 72 strikeouts and posted a league-leading 0.78 ERA. He formed a devastating 1-2 pitching combination with Jordan Zareski, carrying the Knights to a 15-1 record in league play.

Second Team
C Lukas Bridenbeck, Sr., La Salle 72 20 26 6 0 0 23 .361 6
1b Will Remillard, Jr., La Salle 70 19 35 13 2 1 25 .500 3
2b Joe Amorosi, Jr., Schalmont 76 20 32 8 2 2 24 .421 4
3b Jevonte Osterhout, Jr., Albany 73 20 27 10 0 4 21 .370 0
ss Josh Lewykyj, Sr., CBA 78 21 32 7 4 2 36 .410 3
of Mike Fish, Sr., Bethlehem 88 29 36 6 1 3 32 .409 11
of Ryan McGrath, Fr., Lansingburgh 74 25 35 8 1 0 38 .494 NA
of Jared Teta, Sr., Lansingburgh 84 34 45 7 10 2 23 .536 NA
dh Matt Kasper, Jr., Columbia 109 38 30 5 1 3 14 .361 7
ut Stephen Ziter, Jr., Troy 73 22 31 4 1 1 16 .425 5
P John Dimura, Sr., CBA 4 0 2.24 40.2 19 44 2 1
P Neil Fryer, Jr., Greenwich 9 2 1.48 85 26 122 NA NA
P Dave Roseboom, Jr., La Salle 4 2 2.39 41 33 46 2 1
P Robert Tedesco, Sr., Mohonasen 4 1 1.79 38.2 19 72 2 NA

Third Team
C Bryan Marotta, Sr., Shenendehowa 78 23 36 13 2 5 39 .462 1
1b Chris Sand, Sr., CBA 83 22 30 7 0 7 40 .361 0
2b Wil Ryan, Sr., La Salle 61 18 21 3 1 0 16 .344 4
3b Ryan Clements, Sr., Troy 58 15 26 4 5 1 20 .448 4
ss J.P. Sportman, Jr., La Salle 78 28 36 9 4 3 23 .462 6
of Scott Buniak, Jr., Shenendehowa 91 24 35 9 0 2 17 .385 10
of Alex Sobiecki, Sr., Bethlehem 90 32 37 3 2 2 9 .411 5
of James Vooris, Sr., Columbia 117 33 26 7 1 4 14 .286 15
dh Derek Gardella, So., Shaker 76 11 23 4 0 1 18 .303 1
ut Ryan Chamberlain, Sr., Troy 72 16 21 3 0 4 24 .292 1
P Randy Bowers, Sr., Bethlehem 3 3 3.82 40 23 56 NA NA
P Eric Hilton, Sr., Columbia 4 0 2.95 22 13 33 NA NA
P Pat Landers, Sr., Albany 5 3 1.80 50.2 24 63 3 NA
P Tim Murdick, Sr., Averill Park 2 3 1.86 41.2 19 43 NA NA

C: Matt Clickner (Sr., Hoosic Valley), Mike Hipwell (Jr., Mechanicville), Josh Johnson (Sr., Tamarac), Jon Yetto (Sr., Lansingburgh)
1b: Jake Colliano (Jr., Hoosick Falls), Joe Dugan (Sr., Maple Hill), Zak Hunt (Sr., Cambridge), Kyle LaValley (Sr., Guilderland), Brad Ryan (Sr., Tamarac), Jim Sheeran (Sr., Hoosic Valley),
2b: Seth Foster (Jr., Hoosick Falls), Matt Krogh (Jr., Troy), Brady Talbot (Jr., Tamarac)
3b: Sean Littlejohn (Sr., Cohoes), Matt Roth (Sr., Guilderland), Mark Tracey (So., Lansingburgh)
ss: Ray Carmel (Sr., Waterford), Chewy Dwyer (Sr., Troy), Scott Fane (Sr., Lansingburgh), Justin Rebhun (Sr., Columbia), Nick Marsolais (Sr., Shaker)
of: Nick Bernardo (Jr., La Salle), Joe Boomhower (Sr., Ravena), Tom Ebenhoch (Sr., Watervliet), Zach Gardner (Sr., Waterford), Alex Kugler (Sr., Hoosic Valley), Scott Morrissey (Sr., La Salle)
p: Sean Conroy (Sr., Shenendehowa), Sam DeCelle (Fr., Mechanicville), Mike Doughtie (Sr., Maple Hill) Zach Ferris (Jr., La Salle), Jim Emminger (Sr., La Salle) Chad Houle (Sr., Hoosic Valley), Zac Lennon (So., Waterford) Nick Pontari (Sr., Troy), Sean Quinlan (Sr., Bethlehem), Chris Ryan (Sr., Tamarac), Jesse Twiss (So., Troy)

Columbia High School alumnus Chris Dedrick guided the Blue Devils to the best record in Suburban Council play and to the New York State Class AA Final Four, earning Coach of the Year honors from The Record.

EAST GREENBUSH - The expectations were set very high for the Columbia High School baseball team prior to the 2009 season.

13 seniors returned from a team that fell one run short of the Section II Class AA championship in 2008 and with a college-bound pitching rotation of Nolan Gaige, Ian Gaule and Eric Hilton leading the way, the sky was the limit for the Blue Devils.

Led by second-year varsity head coach Chris Dedrick, a Columbia High alumnus, the Blue Devils finished the regular season with the best record in the Suburban Council, captured the Section II Class AA title and won a New York State regional championship.

For managing to keep all 13 seniors and everyone on the 20-man roster happy with playing time and to have escaped from a deep and talented Section II Class AA field, Dedrick was named The Record’s 2009 High School Baseball Coach of the Year.

Dedrick certainly had plenty of talent to work with. His top three hitters – Gaige, Gaule and Patrick Puentes – combined for 26 home runs in 326 at-bats and the aforementioned top three hurlers struck out 141 hitters in 123 innings. Making sure his deep bench saw enough playing time to keep team morale strong was not as much a struggle as one would think.

"It wasn’t a huge challenge," Dedrick said. "The kids were great and the kids got opportunities all through the year. The kids understood their roles and they were great kids. They were great teammates and they were OK with it. It wasn’t that challenging."

Columbia finished the season 22-5 after a 2-1 loss to Clarence in the New York State Class AA semifinals, but the Blue Devils played one of the toughest non-league schedules of any team in the area. Games against national powers Arundel High School in Md., and Millville, N.J. and a 13-4 victory over eventual New York State Class AA champion Mamaroneck has proved the Columbia program is dedicated to being one of the best teams in the state.

Columbia won its first Section II title in 1997, won again in 2000 and 2001 and captured the 2004 New York State Class AA championship. It’s been an outstanding stretch for a high school program, but a lot of it has to do with the popularity of youth baseball in the East Greenbush area.

"The success of the Columbia baseball program doesn’t start at Columbia High School," Dedrick said. "It starts in the local Little Leagues and with Sorensco and additional travel baseball teams the kids play on when they’re a bit older."

In the offseason, Dedrick spends time as a pitching instructor at local camps and clinics and his year-round dedication to the sport has been contagious to many of his high school players and surely on the many still to come. Baseball may be the most popular sport in the East Greenbush area because of all the opportunities offered to children in the area and it will only continue to grow if the high school team keeps advancing to the New York State Final Four.

"Anytime you can get that far, it’s just great," Dedrick said. "And even just getting out of the Section was a challenge."

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