Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ziti delivers as Troy High tops a shorthanded LSI squad, 4-1

Troy High senior Iziah McCowan throws a pitch during Wednesday's game against La Salle Institute. McCowan went the distance, allowing one earned run on five hits and two walks, striking out two in the 4-1 victory for the Flying Horses. (All photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Troy High senior Iziah 'Ziti' McCowan asked Troy High head coach Curtis Nobles for the ball. After all, that home game against La Salle Institute was only going to come around one more time for McCowan, a senior.

Seven innings of five-hit, one-run baseball later, Nobles was glad he let McCowan take the mound as Troy posted a 4-1 victory over the Cadets.

"My first choice was to go with (Mike) DeCarlo, but he (McCowan) said, ‘Coach, I’m a senior, it’s La Salle at home. I want the ball.’ It’s hard for me to turn that down, especially when he took the incentive to come over and ask me to pitch," Nobles said.

McCowan, who battled shoulder trouble (supraspinatus strain) in March, didn't really start throwing off a mound until earlier this month.

As a sophomore, McCowan allowed the Cadets a walk-off victory when he was on the hill, which spurred on his desire to lead his team to victory as a senior.

"That really left a bad taste in my mouth," McCowan said of the walk-off loss two years ago. "There were a lot of hard feelings. I wanted to finish my season off at home here strong against them and try to steer our pitching staff in the right direction."

For more on McCowan and this game, check out Thursday's edition of The Record.

Troy's Anthony Ragosta is tagged out after a successful sacrifice bunt by La Salle first baseman Nick Bernardo during Monday's Big 10 Conference game at Troy High.

It was a day of fundamental baseball for the Flying Horses (5-2, 5-3). Troy High players laid down three successful sacrifice bunts and drew four walks against La Salle starter Dave Roseboom. Roseboom set down 10 Troy batters in order over a stretch between the third and sixth innings, but Troy struck on one big hit in the second inning off the bat of Chad Sandercox.

Troy High's sophmore right fielder Chad Sandercox is congratulated at home plate by Justin Schnellbaecher (right) and Iziah McCowan (left) after Sandercox hit a three-run home run in the second inning of Wednesday's 4-1 Big 10 victory over La Salle Institute.

Sandercox earned a starting role in Troy's outfield after playing on the JV as a freshman. It's easy to see why. He's just another example of the mantra Curtis Nobles says over and over to his players: Troy Tough.

"Not too many people pay attention to him," Nobles laughed, talking about Sandercox. "He’s a smaller kid because he hasn’t filled out yet. But I’ll tell you what, he’s from South Troy and he’s tough. He’s just a gritty, hard-nosed kid. He’ll run through a wall for you."

Sandercox was quick to thank the two senior outfielders who have made his transition to varsity very smooth.

"I try my hardest every day in practice, because that’s where it counts," Sandercox said. "My teammates really helped me. The seniors, Steve Ziter and (Anibal) Maldonado, they’ve helped me out a lot. We’re all friends and we’ve played together our whole lives, but this feels great, especially my first La Salle game on varsity. I did what I could."

Troy High senior shortstop Matt Krogh camps out under a high fly ball during Wednesday's game against La Salle. Krogh walked and scored on Sandercox's home run in the second inning.

Click on the box score to see a full-size image.


The big story off the field Wednesday was the La Salle Institute bench, which featured just 10 players. Seven players were suspended for an incident at a hotel over the weekend while the Cadets competed in the Northeast Elite Tournament at Clarkstown High School South in West Nyack.

Here is a story I wrote for Thursday's paper that includes La Salle head coach Jesse Braverman's opinion on the incident:

Seven Cadets out
La Salle suspends seven baseball players after violating team rules on recent road trip

William Montgomery
The Record

TROY - La Salle Institute’s dugout at Troy High School was a lonely place to be Wednesday afternoon as the Cadets dressed just 10 players following the suspension of seven others for violating unspecified team rules on a road trip last weekend.

La Salle competed in the Northeast Elite Tournament at Clarkstown High School South in West Nyack over the weekend and seven players were caught violating school rules at the team’s hotel. Those players competed Monday against Amsterdam since there was no school. Head coach Jesse Braverman conferred with school officials on Tuesday to discuss a ruling.

Four players were suspended for three games and three were suspended for two games apiece.
"I made a recommendation and the school basically followed it," Braverman said after Wednesday’s 4-1 loss at Troy. "It was basically the coaches’ decision, but the school made a couple of minor adjustments.

"Team rules were broken over the weekend and that’s as much as I’m going to say about it. I don’t think it’s necessary to go into detail about 16-year-old kids."

The Cadets certainly missed some of those suspended, as two junior varsity players were called up to start Wednesday’s game. Another JV player was called up to back up catcher Ryan Clarke just in case.

La Salle hosts Queensbury today in a non-league game and will face Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons Friday, also at Geer Field. Monday, Catholic Central travels to South Troy for what will be La Salle’s final game without the suspended players.

"You know what? I didn’t care when it was in the schedule," said Braverman. "I don’t care if we were playing the New York Yankees.

"You know, really, the whole idea is helping the kids grow up to be responsible, committed people who exercise good judgment," Braverman continued. "That means more than winning a baseball game and that has to take precedence. And that’s the right thing to do. Sometimes it’s difficult, but if you don’t do it, you’re not doing the right thing. You have to do the right thing. When you’re the coach of high school players, you have to do the right thing. It’s not just about trying to win a game."

La Salle came in to the 2010 season with legitimate hopes of winning a Big 10 Conference regular season title and competing for the Section II Class AA crown. Now, the Cadets are hoping they can rebalance their team chemistry next week when the suspended players return.

"Really, the challenge here for us now is, ‘Can our team stay together?" Braverman asked. "This can obviously be a divisive incident. It’s very, very disappointing to see it happen, but this won’t be the last time young people make poor judgments sometimes and we have to try to recover from this, both as individuals and as a group."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

they trashed the hotel rooms by flooding water into them costing the school thousands of dollars they should be out for the season

April 29, 2010 at 12:55 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole LaSalle suspension thing is blown way out of proportion.

On this issue, I fully understand the importance of teaching the boys discipline, the consequences for making poor choices and for teaching them to take responsibility for their actions. Coach Braverman is arguably a great coach and Lasalle a fine school.

That said, by LaSalle taking the action they did, and by doing the "politically correct" thing of not announcing the root cause of the problem the players are being disciplined for, in many ways the school is just exploiting these players for publicity and to appear like it's administration is upholding some higher honor code.

Let's get real here folks. The "crime" was a prank with a door jam and a bucket of water dumping on someone when the door is openned. A trick that we all laughed at as kids when the Three Stooges did it or we saw it in some Hanna Barbara or Disney cartoon. Maybe it got out of hand and some very minor water damage occurred at the motel, but honestly, two and three game suspensions for something this innocent? Give me a break! What would LaSalle do to the Yankee players who threw pies in one another's faces after big wins last year; charge them with assault?

By not stating the root cause of the punishment, people are left to imagine what horrible crime that might have been committed. In a country, state and a county where our financial and government leaders and sports heros commit serious crimes they are never fully prosecuted for, this punishment and the unfortunate exploitation of the boys in the media, is unfair and completely out of proportion with the act.

Well boys, hopefully, if this punishment seems as unfair to you as it does me, maybe you can still remember the great things about LaSalle and your terrific baseball team and not this overblown disciplinary action. If not, there's always CBA, I understand they have an excellent baseball team as well and have enrollment for the fall later this summer! The real stooge here might be LaSalle itself, where is a good whipped cream pie when you need one?

Signed, the Brothers - Larry, Moe, Curly, and sometimes Shep!

April 30, 2010 at 7:46 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does it say about Coach Braverman and LaSalle Institute's "honor code" when they aggressively punish and publically embarrass adolescent boys and their families for a silly immature act, but they have no problem playing their biggest game of the year "under the lights" at a stadium named for an indicted criminal? Guess the honorable LaSalle Administration sees no hypocracy or irony in that fact, huh?

Apparently they are willing to exploit any opportunity they can to draw attention to LaSalle, whether it be publically embarrassing their players with disproportionate punishment or playing at the Joe Bruno Stadium.

Hey the only "white-haired" light at the end of this tunnel; and maybe another fine opportunity for LaSalle to get some well-earned media attention; would be if they can ask a fine example for the boys like Joe Bruno if he can throw out the first ball at the big game?

The LaSalle Administration needs to hurry though, the game needs to happen before Joe goes off to serve some well deserved time in jail.

A fine example of equitable justice and media coverage for all!

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