Sunday, May 23, 2010

Baseball and softball bracket preview: Live chat!

To join the chat, click the play button in the window below when it opens at 4 p.m. To read my pre-bracket notes, scroll down beneath the chat window.

Sectional admission: Tickets to opening round and quarterfinal baseball and softball games is $3. For semifinal and championship games, admission is $6.

Class AA: La Salle, Shenendehowa and Christian Brothers Academy are likely to be seeded 1-2-3 in some order. Troy High and Catholic Central posted strong regular seasons in the Big 10 and Suburban Council stalwarts Saratoga Springs, Niskayuna, Colonie and Guilderland also cannot be counted out.
Team to watch: Shaker. The Blue Bison quietly posted 13 wins in the Suburban Council and have a deep pitching rotation.
Class A: Schalmont and Ichabod Crane have made cases for the No. 1 seed, but the teams from South Glens Falls and Glens Falls, as well as Suburban Council entries Averill Park and Burnt Hills, could all be dangerous in a wide-open field.
Team to watch: Lansingburgh. The Knights have had a number of injuries down the stretch, but are hoping to be healthy for the playoffs.
Class B: Spa Catholic and Granville will be two of the top teams in the Class B bracket. Albany Academy might be a year away from doing something special, but the Cadets are also in position to make a run.
Team to watch: Mechanicville. The Red Raiders have a solid mix of hitting and pitching, but does Mechanicville have the confidence under pressure to excel in the postseason?
Class CC: Chatham was one of the top teams in the Patroon Conference this season and could earn one of the top seeds. Voorheesville was competitive against much larger schools in the Colonial Council, so keep an eye on the Blackbirds.
Team to watch: Hoosick Falls. The Panthers were expected to finish in the middle of the pack in the Wasaren League, but wound up winning a share of the regular season title. Will the magical run continue?
Class C: Greenwich has the pitching and Fort Plain has the experience, and the teams might well meet in the Class C final.
Team to watch: Waterford-Halfmoon. The Fordians played in the Section II title game a season ago, but only one starter – Zac Lennon – returns.
Class D: Loudonville Christian and Germantown battled it out for the CHVL title (Germantown won) and both will be contenders here, although they’ll face stiff competition from some of the Adirondack League’s finest.

Class AA: Shenendehowa, undefeated at 20-0, will be the No. 1 seed in the Section II tournament and the team favored to win it all. Bethlehem is likely to be the No. 2 seed and will be a strong competitor. Big 10 champion Catholic Central and runner-up Troy High will also figure into the race, as will Columbia, Shaker and Saratoga Springs.
Team to watch: Columbia. The defending champion Blue Devils have had their share of struggles this season, but they’ve got one of the area’s top pitchers in Jena Servidone.
Class A: South Glens Falls, a perennial favorite in the Class A bracket, is the odds-on favorite to snag the No. 1 seed. Ichabod Crane was ranked No. 19 in the latest New York State poll.
Team to watch: Lansingburgh. The Lady Knights have a new pitcher in Sam Woitkoski, but they return most of the players in a powerful lineup that can score runs at will.
Class B: It’s a three-team race between Mechanicville, Cohoes and Taconic Hills, but Schuylerville could be a dark horse.
Team to watch: Cohoes. Will all of the Tigers’ non-league games and scrimmages against top-flight competition pay off yet again in the postseason?
Class CC: Hoosick Falls and Lake George will likely net the top two seeds and they are the favorites to meet in the championship game.
Team to watch: Chatham. The Panthers had a successful season in the Patroon Conference, but will that carry over to the playoffs?
Class C: Duanesburg and Loudonville Christian are set to take the top seeds after piling up the wins in the regular season.
Team to watch: Waterford-Halfmoon. The Lady Fordians have won plenty of games in the CHVL recently and played in the Class C title game a season ago.
Class D: Hartford, Fort Ann and Germantown were all ranked in the top 13 in the latest New York State poll.

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