Friday, December 18, 2009

Top 10 stories of 2009: No. 9 - 'Burgh baseball wins Colonial title


The La Salle Institute baseball team had been the best team in the Collar City for quite a few years, but both Lansingburgh and Troy High seriously challenged the Cadets for that honor in 2009.

The Knights won a Colonial Council title, posting a 15-1 league record, thanks to ace pitchers Jordan Zareski (pictured above) and first-year varsity hurler T.J. McLaughlin (pictured below - credit to J.S. Carras for both images).


Under first-year varsity head coach Joe Henkel, who of course, as long-time head of the Lansingburgh Royals was no stranger to organized baseball, the Knights were a fun bunch to watch. Frank Castiglione set the tone as the lead-off man and sluggers like Mark Tracey and Ryan McGrath drove in plenty of runs.

The Knights earned the No. 1 seed in the Section II Class A tournament and a home game against No. 8 Mohonasen, which earned a spot in the postseason really just to round out the field.

Mohonasen's senior Siena College-bound Robert Tedesco pitched the first of his two memorable performances of 2009 on the Lansingburgh High School Field. (More on Tedesco's sequel in a later post in this series).

Tedesco allowed nine hits – six were infield singles – and struck out 14 in his complete game gem, a 4-2 victory for the Mighty Warriors. Mohonasen, which entered postseason play with a 7-13 record, wound up winning the Section II Class A championship.

It was a great game to watch and was a bittersweet ending to the season for Lansingburgh.

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On the south side of town, La Salle finished one game out of the Big 10 Conference lead, trailing co-champions CBA and Albany High.

When the Cadets clashed with Shaker in the opening round of the Section II Class AA tournament, it wound up being perhaps the game of the year.

Shaker's Brian Cary threw 121 pitches in a nine inning duel with La Salle, and the Suburban Council No. 6 Blue Bison prevailed with a 2-1 triumph over Big 10 No. 3 La Salle at Geer Field.


La Salle senior starter Kyle Charron (pictured above) also went the distance, throwing 126 pitches, striking out seven and adding three hits at the plate.

Columbia wound up winning the Section II Class AA title and advanced to the New York State Final Four in Binghamton. More on the Blue Devils later when I get to their neighbors from the south - Maple Hill.

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Troy High's team had an up-and-down 2009 campaign, but boy, were the Flying Horses fun to watch.

They beat CBA and La Salle during the regular season and won the Uncle Sam Baseball tournament at Knickerbacker Park in Lansingburgh. The 'Troy Tough' Flying Horses rallied from a three-run deficit to beat Lansingburgh in the semis and then roughed up La Salle lefties Zach Ferris and Dave Roseboom for 12 runs on 13 hits in the championship game.

They also played an epic game against Catholic Central on May 20th and here was what made the local roundup the next day:

Troy 24, Catholic Central 23: The Flying Horses no-hit Catholic Central in their first meeting this season, but the Crusaders came out swinging in the rematch.

The teams combined for 47 runs, 33 hits and eight errors in a wacky Big 10 Conference victory for Troy High (9-6, 11-7).

Chewy Dwyer scored six runs, hit three singles and added a double and a triple for the Flying Horses. Anibal Maldonado added a grand slam and five RBI. Ryan Clements tripled, singled three times and drove in three runs.

Bradley Adams doubled twice and drove in four runs for Catholic Central (1-14, 2-18) and Rory Sweeney doubled, added two singles and drove in two runs.

Steve Ziter and Jesse Twiss celebrate a moment during the 2009 regular season.

2010 should be a fun year for Troy as well, as long as hard-throwing righty Jesse Twiss in on the hill.

The Flying Horses were a really fun and really well-coached group of guys (well, they might run through a sign every now and again).

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They were three teams with three abrupt endings to their seasons, but they provided baseball fans in the Collar City with plenty of entertainment in 2009.

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