Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dodgers top Devilcats: Connie Mack World Series Qualifier, day one scoreboard

Thursday evening, the South Troy Dodgers and the Devilcats baseball team of East Greenbush squared off in the first day of pool play in the Connie Mack World Series Qualifier at Geer Field in Troy.

Devilcats baserunner Paul Englert looks up at South Troy Dodgers shortstop Branden Cogswell after stealing second base in the second inning of Thursday's game. (All photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Josh Ingham wasn’t expecting to pitch Thursday night, and the Devilcats baseball team from East Greenbush apparently wasn’t ready to see him on the mound either.

South Troy Dodgers’ starting pitcher John Kellogg dug an early four-run deficit for his team, but Ingham replaced him in the second inning and did not allow a run over five and two thirds innings pitched the rest of the game.

The Dodgers’ offense came alive in the fourth inning as the first five batters to the plate all recorded hits – highlighted by Matt Zanotta’s two-run blast over the right-center field fence – as South Troy rallied for a 14-6 victory in Pool B action at the Connie Mack World Series Qualifier at Geer Field.

Devilcats starting pitcher Nick Keefe throws a pitch early in Thursday's game against the South Troy Dodgers.
Steve Anderson and Will Remillard contributed RBI singles for South Troy in the top of the first inning, but Bryan Egan, Kyle Van Vleet and Brendan Murphy drove in one run apiece for the Devilcats in the bottom of the frame.

Devilcats center fielder Joe Snyder drove in two runs on a single in the second inning, chasing Kellogg from the game after 58 pitches.

"We came out and put two runs up right away and I think maybe we fell asleep a little bit or coasted a little bit," Ingham said. "They scored three runs, scored three more and we were down 6-2. But big guy over here (nodded to Zanotta) hit the two-run home run and kind of sparked it a little bit and got us going with a little more energy in the dugout. His home run really kind of flipped the switch and everyone stated hitting from then on."

Joe Snyder (20) scores a run in front of South Troy Dodgers catcher Will Remillard during Thursday's game at Geer Field in Troy.

South Troy, which plays today against the Cincy Flames (9 a.m.) and the Hudson Valley Renegades (6 p.m.) and concludes pool play Saturday against Team N.Y. Nationals (9 a.m.) was planning to use Ingham for the Friday night game or in Saturday’s contest.

"We have to come out in the first inning tomorrow morning right at the crack of dawn and get ready for that game," Zanotta said of Friday's matchup against Cincy. "It’s a huge game. We have to win this pool."

Ingham, the Central Connecticut State University-bound infielder and pitcher from Ichabod Crane High School, allowed four hits and struck out five, throwing 76 pitches to earn the win.

"I definitely wasn’t ready to come in today," Ingham said. "I was kind of shocked when they sent me down to the bullpen in the first inning. I pitched three days ago, so I came back on three days rest. I knew I wasn’t going to have 100% of my stuff, but definitely the key today was spotting up really well and working my offspeed pitches, keeping them off balance."

Paul Englert steals second base in front of South Troy Dodgers second baseman Dan Priore during Thursday's game.

In the fourth, Remillard started South Troy’s rally with a hard-hit double to left field. Zanotta, who set a Section II record this spring with 18 home runs at Guilderland High, followed with a two-run shot to right that brought the Dodgers within two runs.

"I was definitely struggling at first in the season, but I just worked hard with my coaches and that helped me get my swing back to where it was," he said.

Devilcats second baseman Stephen Proper (he later moved to first) takes time to wind up for a throw during Thursday's game.

In the fourth, the Dodgers scored 10 runs, as every player in the lineup scored, drove in a run, or did both.

The Devilcats, comprised of players 17 years old (as well as two 16-year-olds) had defeated the Team New York Nationals, 6-4, in a noon game at Geer Field. Many of the players had formerly played with the North Colonie Padres organization, but the team was picked up by the Devilcats in East Greenbush before attempting to play the season as an independent.

Still, coach Billy Carroll was pleased at the way his team played against a group of players, many of whom had played in the Connie Mack World Series 11 months ago.

"These guys (the Dodgers) are good. Every year they’re considered one of the best teams in the country and it’s easy to see why," said Carroll. "When the ball comes off their bats, it makes a completely different sound. It’s like they use different bats than us, to be honest with you."

Josh Ingham (above) pitched five and two thirds innings scoreless relief and Matt Zanotta (below) drove in four runs for the Dodgers in a 10-run fourth inning.

Zanotta and Ingham are no strangers to the Dodgers program, but this is their first full year on the 18-and-under squad. One of the biggest adjustments for them from the high school game is switching to wood bats.

"The biggest change is going to wood," Ingham said. "Once you switch to wood, you have to really have a good swing. You have to get your hands up a lot higher if you can. And the pitching is ten times better than any other level here. I was talking to one of my friends and this is just as good, if not better, than some of the local college seasons, as far as pitching."


One saving grace for the Devilcats was relief pitcher Billy Carroll - son of the coach - who allowed just one earned run on three hits over the final three and one third innings. Carroll, who had pitched but four innings all season, saved the other two planned Devilcats starters in the tournament, keeping them fresh for later.

"They’re not that intimidated," coach Carroll said. "They’ve played against a lot of these guys in high school and even back when they were 12, some of them were on the same team. I think it’s a little easier for us because our guys have played with them and against them through the years. They don’t seem intimidated. They (the Dodgers) just had more talent."

(click on the box score for a full-sized image)

Connie Mack World Series Qualifier

Day One Scoreboard

Pool A
Florida Legends 3, Northeast Mudhens 1
World Yacht Clippers 6, South Troy Dodgers 17s 3
Northeast Mudhens 4, World Yacht Clippers 2
Kalamazoo Maroons 7, South Troy Dodgers 17s 3

Pool B
Cincy Flames 9, Hudson Valley Renegades 2
Devilcats Baseball (East Greenbush) 6, New York Nationals 4
New York Nationals 12, Hudson Valley Renegades 10
South Troy Dodgers 14, Devilcats Baseball (East Greenbush) 6

Pool C
Connecticut Bombers 2, Clifton Park Yankees 0
Richmond County Baseball Club 4, Upstate Vipers 3
Richmond County Baseball Club 8, Connecticut Bombers 0
Frozen Ropes Titans (Texas) 7, Upstate Vipers 1

Pool D
Jack Cust Diamondjacks 7, Long Island Tigers 6
New York Scout 10, College Select 2
College Select 5, Long Island Tigers 4
New York Scout 8, South Colonie Raiders 0

Friday's Connie Mack Qualifier Schedule
Pool A (At The College of St. Rose's Bob Bellizzi Field, Albany)
Florida Legends vs. Kalamzaoo Maroons, 9 a.m.
South Troy Dodgers 17s vs. Northeast Mudhens, Noon
World Yacht Clippers vs. Florida Legends, 3 p.m.
Kalamzaoo Maroons vs. Northeast Mudhens, 6 p.m.

Pool B (At Geer Field, Troy)
Cincy Flames vs. South Troy Dodgers, 9 a.m.
Devilcats Baseball vs. Hudson Valley Renegades, Noon
Team N.Y. Nationals vs. Cincy Flames, 3 p.m.
South Troy Dodgers vs. Hudson Valley Renegades, 6 p.m.

Pool C (At Clifton Common, Clifton Park)
Clifton Park Yankees vs. Frozen Ropes Titans, 9 a.m.
Upstate Vipers vs. Connecticut Bombers, Noon
Richmond County Baseball Club vs. Clifton Park Yankees, 3 p.m.
Frozen Ropes Titans vs. Connecticut Bombers, 6 p.m.

Pool D (At South Colonie High School)
Jack Cust Diamondjacks vs. South Colonie Raiders, 9 a.m.
Team N.Y. Scout vs. Long Island Tigers, Noon
College Select vs. Jack Cust Diamondjacks, 3 p.m.
South Colonie Raiders vs. Long Island Tigers, 6 p.m.

Here is the roundup from the Sandy Koufax Upper New York State Tournament played at Chapko-Lewis Stadium in Valley Falls.

South Troy Dodgers 6, Saratoga Stampede 1: Ryan Puentes hit a home run, a single and drove in three runs to lead the Dodgers into the winner’s bracket at Chapko Lewis Stadium in Valley Falls.
Evan Stewart doubled and drove in two runs for South Troy, which faces the New Hartford Spartans today at 12:30 p.m. in the winner’s bracket.
South Troy Dodgers 001 230 - 6 8 1
Saratoga Stampede 001 000 - 1 6 2
Herrington, Kelly (3) and Henchey Smith, Winners (6) and Bush

New Hartford Spartans 7, Bethlehem Braves 0: Connor Manderson went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two singles, while also driving in three runs for the Spartans.
Ben Phelps added two hits and two RBI and Steven Tomanio earned the victory on the mound.
South Colonie Raiders 8, Troy Renegades 4: Mike Nicastro and Nick Ciccone each went 2-for-3 for the Raiders in the victory.
Anthony Bassotti earned the victory on the mound and Ciccone picked up the save.

Clifton Park Yankees 17, Lansingburgh Royals 15: The Yankees were led by James Alessi, who went 4-for-4 with a triple and hung on in a high-scoring matchup.

Bethlehem Eagles 6, Hoosic Valley 2: Connor Morelli and Mike Graves each hit ground rule doubles to lead the Eagles into the winner’s bracket.
After jumping out to a 3-0 lead, the Eagles saw their lead cut to one before they scored the final three runs.

Friday's Sandy Koufax Schedule
Troy Renegades vs. Hoosic Valley, 10 a.m.
Saratoga Stampede vs. Bethlehem Braves, 10 a.m.
Clifton Park Yankees vs. Bethlehem Eagles, 12:30 p.m.
South Troy vs. New Hartford, 12:30
Lansingburgh Royals vs. TBD, 3:30
(if sunlight allows) loser's bracket game, 6 p.m.

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