Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Spring Youth Baseball dominating the diamonds in Troy

Lansingburgh High School rising sophomore Ryan McGrath digs for third base in a game during the 2009 season. McGrath led the 13-and-under Spring Renegades to a World Series championship last summer and he's helped the team earn a berth in the 14-and-under World Series this summer in Lynchburg, Va.

Renegades looking for second World Series title in as many years

TROY - The members of the Spring Renegades 14-and-under baseball team had a sleepover party at Ryan McGrath’s house one week before the National Amateur Baseball Federation regional World Series qualifier. Too much shenanigans, not enough sleep, whatever it was that happened at the party, it promptly led to the Renegades’ first defeat of the season.

"We’re not doing the sleepover thing ever again," laughed Renegades head coach Kevin McGrath.

The players, however, can keep those overnight bags packed. The Renegades won all four games they played in the qualifier, clinching a berth in the 2009 14-and-under NABF World Series in Lynchburg, Va., which begins July 23.

Winners of the 2008 American Amateur Baseball Congress 13-and-under World Series, the Renegades crushed their opposition in last weekend’s qualifier tournament played at Cahrenger Stadium in Lansingburgh.

Four pitchers – Greg Houghtaling, Ryan McGrath, Jason Gallacchi and Greg Scott – struck out 25 hitters and allowed a mere six runs in the four games. The Spring hitters combined for 10 home runs in the tournament, paced by Ian Bennett’s four round-trippers and five RBI and Joe Foran’s two homers and seven runs driven in.

Ryan McGrath, who starred in the outfield Lansingburgh High School varsity team as a freshman this season with a .494 batting average, 38 RBI and 35 hits for the Colonial Council champions, has excelled on the summer team. He hit two home runs and drove in nine runs in the qualifying tournament.

The experience he gained on the varsity level has given him a distinct leg up on the competition.
"The pitching isn’t really as good," he said. "It’s a little bit easier to hit the ball and to recognize the pitches being thrown. I’m a lot more relaxed in the box and it’s easier to hit."

Offseason workout programs with Bishop Maginn High school baseball coach Mike Grasso at the Competitive Edge gym in Colonie helped bring the team together and get them conditioned for a long season. Many of the Spring players competed on junior varsity high school teams in the spring.

Conditioning is an especially important part of the preparation for Kevin McGrath, who saw his team win nine games in five days to capture the World Series title last year. The Virginia heat has already concerned the coach, who expects to put his players through plenty of conditioning drills in the three weeks leading up to the World Series.

Money, too, is an issue for the Renegades. Transportation, lodging and food expenses all add up quickly on a week-long road trip. The Renegades players will find any number of ways to raise funds to help chip away at the costs.

"Last year, we had a week to raise $7,000 and now we have a few more weeks to raise about $1,000 less than that," said Kevin McGrath. "We’re going to be hustling for our sponsors, but we’re also putting the kids to work. The kids have to learn life lessons and that it isn’t just mommy and daddy handing them a nice little vacation. They have to help us earn the cost."

Spring’s 9-and-under team will be heading to a World Series event in Oklahoma in July, and the 10-and-under team will be angling for a berth when they compete in the Mid Atlantic regionals starting July 24.

But this group of 14-year-olds, which won the first World Series title for the Spring Youth Baseball in the history of the organization last summer, is still blazing a trail for a program that is quickly becoming one of the premier destinations in Capital District youth baseball.

"Two in a row would be great," Ryan McGrath said. "I don’t know if that has been done before and it would be so cool to win two in two years."

Spring's Red Front Restaurant Major Division squad (pictured above) captured the house league title in the Cal Ripken league.

Back row (left to right): Kent Fane, Joe Germinerio, Wade Hastings and Tim McDounough.
Middle row: Luke Fane, C.J. Hall, Haneef Britt.
Sitting: Francisco Rivera, Joey Germinerio, Nick Hastings, Connor McDonough.
Missing from picture: Thomas Dame, Rodney Vanness and Scott Domine.

The Spring Renegades 10-and-under team (pictured above) captured the PONY state championship in June and will be participating in the Mid Atlantic tournament in New Bedford, Mass. beginning July 24.

Front row (left to right): D.J. Morone, Chris Hughes, Nick Pastore, Alijah Rivers, Logan Simonian and Michael Hughes.
Middle row: John Germinerio, Shaun Seabury, Jimmy Griffin, Bob Waters and Robert Talham.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee why did mr germinerio turn his back on spring this year

March 28, 2010 at 7:25 PM 
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