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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: June 2007

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Pitching changes after delay

Saratoga's Joe Zongol (RPI) returned to the mound and struck out Danny Cantu and Steve Cochran to get out of the inning.
Watertown sent Micah Metzger (Creighton) out to start the sixth, replacing Luis Castillo (Jefferson CC). Castillo would leave with a 5-2 lead. Both runs were unearned, giving up three hits. He walked two and struck out one.
Saratoga reliever Brad Grove (Virginia) came on for Zongol.
The lefty starter lasted six innings, giving up five runs, two of them earned on five hits. He walked five and struck out seven.

Stan Hudy

Play Ball at 9:25 pm

After a 49 minute lightning delay and a rather entertaining dance by a new Phillie player sporting No. 24 the umpires finally released the field back in play.
No rain fell during the delay, but the wind certainly picked up.
Joe Zongol (RPI) returned to the pitcher's mound with two outs in the top of the sixth and struck out Steve Cochran (Kansas) with Brad Grove (Virginia) warming-up in the bullpen.

Stan Hudy

Lightning delay at 8:36 pm

The infield umpire spotted lightning off in the distance as a dark cloud passed behind East Side Rec.
Despite the passing movement of the cloud a 20-minute mandatory delay was issued. As the cloud moved away, more lightning flashed within the cloud.
So much for an early night.
Stan Hudy

Phils fall further, down 5-3

Watertown's Jonathan Lilly (Purdue) led off the fifth with a walk and stole second. He came around on a Chris Edmonson (LeMoyne) RBI double. He would move to third on a groundout and scored on Chris Hayes' (LeMoyne) sacrifice fly deep to right putting Watertown ahead, 5-2.
Saratoga was aggressive in the bottom of the fifth, but to no avail.
Eric Walker (Oklahoma State) hit a single but was forced at second on a Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State). Webb attempted to steal second, but slid with his right arm raised and was tagged out for the first time this year. He was 7-for-7 prior to the caught stealing. A groundout ended the inning.

Stan Hudy

Phils cut into lead, 3-2

Saratoga's Bryan Rose (Kentucky) led off with a walk and Aaron Fields reached on an error at short by Danny Cantu (St. Mary's TX). A groundout advanced both runners and Rose scored on a Ryan Powers (Mississippi St.)grounder, cutting the lead, 3-1.
Eric Walker (Oklahoma State) drilled a double to left to drive in Fields, cutting the deficit, 3-2.
Stan Hudy

Phils down quickly 3-0 in 2nd

Saratoga starter Joe Zongol (RPI) had a rough second inning, giving up three runs on one hit, an error and three free passes.
Zongol issued consecutive one-out walks to Ryan Holley (Oakton CC) and Danny Cantu (St. Mary's TX). After a strikeout, Ryan James (Binghamton) reached on third baseman Jake Willis's throwing error, high to first. Holley came around to score on the overthrow.
After walking Jonathan Lilly (Purdue) to load the bases, Henry Dunn (Binghamton) ripped a double that one-hopped against the left field fence. Cantu and James scored easily before Lilly was erased at home on a one-hop throw by centerfielder Bryan Rose (Kentucky).
Despite the greedy miscue, Watertown goes up 3-0.
Stan Hudy

Notes SS v Watertown 6/30

More Phils Notes
Tonight's starters - The Phillies (11-6) send out left-hander Joe Zongol (RPI) 1-0 against Watertown (7-13) Luis Castillo. Saratoga remains 3.5 games behind Glens Falls who have a doubleheader versus Bennington at 5 and 7 p.m.

Twin Bill - The Phillies will host Amsterdam for two contests Sunday at East Side Rec. The first pitch is scheduled at 5 p.m.

Opps - The Little Falls broadcast staff announced a double header at Saratoga July 5, but didn't confirm it with co-owner Keith Rogers. Thursday's game will be a 7 p.m. start for the single contest. No date has been announced yet.

Numbers game - Phillies announcer Andy Santillo and I sat down and finally were able to piece together the second game of the year at Bennington. The game was suspended due to darkness and resumed at East Side Rec prior to the June 20 game.
After both games were completed and Andy started to enter the rest of the game, he realized the game was started five batters later than it ended. Since it was more than a week later, no infraction could even be considered.
After several hundred key strokes and several computerized substitutions, the game was finished and the stats should take effect in 24 hours.
It was worth it for Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) went 5-for-7 in the contest. With the game included, Webb went from a .273 batting average to .315.

A Saint arrives - Saratoga Central Catholic grad Matt O'Rourke was in a Phillies uniform sporting No. 8. He remained at Spartanburg Methodist through June 24 for classes.

J. D. Returns - Rutgers senior and Shenendehowa High graduate Jason Downey is expected to make his first pitching appearence Sunday versus Amsterdam. A sore shoulder was diagnosed after an MRI earlier this month. The Scarlet Knights went deep into the post-season and Downey was a key factor.
Stan Hudy

Phils face Watertown Saturday 7 p.m.

Phils Pre-Game Notes

HOT HITTERS – Siena's Jake Willis saw his hitting streak last week, but two other Phillies have stepped up with four-game streaks. Jon Nicolla (Duke) has a four-game streak in tact, going 7-for-21 with two runs scored and two RBI, batting a .333 clip. Brian Harris (Vanderbilt) is hitting a smart .400 during his four-game stretch with 6-for-15 hitting. He has two runs scored along with two RBI.

NO E's HERE – Saratoga currently has three position players who can claim a perfect mark on defense, catcher Eric Walker (Oklahoma State), first baseman Bryan Cook (Nova Southeastern) and outfielder Bryan Rose (Kentucky). The Phillies have had 29 miscues in 16 official contests (one remains unofficial due to scorebook difficulty).

HOME COOKING – Tonight the Phillies begin a nine-game home stand over the next nine days, including two doubleheaders and the NYCBL All-Star Game July 6 at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam. Saratoga hosts twin-bills Sunday versus Amsterdam and Thursday versus Little Falls to make-up for earlier rain outs.

ALL-STAR SECRETS – There is no word on who will be selected to the NYCBL All-Star game as of yet, under a week away. The NYCBL managers submit two position players and a pitcher to the league office. Saratoga's Garret Baron is expected to be the East Division manager as the defending division champion. How many players he can then add to the roster is still a mystery to him.

This could all become clear if….the league commissioner David Chamberlain, league president and publicity coordinator Brian Spagnola returned my phone calls. Of note – the number listed for Chamberlain on the league website is no longer in service and Spagnola has not returned calls placed to him prior to the season getting underway.

Stan Lehman, in charge of the web and advertising has been a gem, getting me logos for the newspaper ASAP. How can you go wrong with a guy named Stan anyway?

I know everyone is busy, with other jobs, responsibilities, etc, but I'm just trying to provide free publicity for our local players, inform the public and help out the league. I'm a nice guy, very patient, not a loud-mouth (I think), I'm just passionate about giving these kids some kudos for a job well done. Let's hope we find out before Friday so we can get in print in 40,000 local newspapers.

SPEAKING OF THANKS – Just a shout to each and everyone one of the sports information departments across the nation that have assisted myself and my wife, Dr. Reda, with the preview section and additional information as the season progresses. These staffs went out of their way to provide us with pre-season photos and coaches quotes. Many have helped since the season has begun and all of their efforts are greatly appreciated. We sent two copies of the preview section to each one last week, we hope you like the end product.



Friday, June 29, 2007

Fireworks at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

It was standing room only at Albany-Saratoga Speedway for the special modidfied Race of Champions 75-lap event along with another eye-popping fireworks display by race director Bruce Richards.
Despite a career full of victories even Brett Hearn could have a first. The professional driver took over from pole sitter Jack Johnson on lap 57 to take his first-ever Race of Champions event.
In the budget sportsman feature, Clifton Park's Al Williams was a bridesmaid again, stalling on the final lap, giving Paul Dunham Jr. his second win of the year.
Ballston Spa's Pete Broderson held a low line throughout the 25-lap pro street stock feature, holding off Bernie Companion and a hard-charging Lori Cary for his first career victory at Albany-Saratoga.
Clifton Park's Jeff Monroe had a five-year old motor and even more years of experience, taking his first limited checkers since April of last year.
Brette Osgood and Phil DeFiglio proved they were as fast on their feet as they are on two wheels after the mini stock feature, winning and then running to prevent a brawl.

Modified Race of Champions
Albany-Saratoga's all-time winningest driver, Jack Johnson led the field for 57 laps of the ROC feature and it was only a lap car that prevented him from going wire-to-wire.
Hearn brought the Four-Star No. 4 around Johnson heading into turn one for the lead and his first ROC win.

Budget Sportsman feature
Paul Dunham Jr. took advantage of a better line into turn two and a dying battery in Al Williams' BOCES Project No. 301 to take his second feature of the year.
Williams led the race for 19 1/2 laps and jumped out on a last lap restart only to have his battery die through turn two.
Willams had earlier held off threats from Alex Bell and Fred Proctor but both drivers spun around on separate occassions in turn two.
Dunham took his No. 76 Kullman Contracting through the trouble spot with a high line without incident.

Pro Street Stock feature
Pete Bronderson started low and never looked any higher, racing to his first-ever feature win at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
He kept his Denoyer Chevrolet No. 53B hugging the barriers, holding off Bernie Companion and Lori Cary who spun out on lap 10. The track's leading lady went from the back of the pack to reel in the top two cars, nipping Companion for second at the wire.

Limited feature
Jeff Monore was happy to not take any money from a sponsor this season, but they may be beating down the doors after he raced past DJ Brundige for the lead on lap 10.
With his daughter, Kellie, as his crew chief, he took the No. 08 took victory lane. He wasn't sure if he would race a full year, but said from victory lane "Everyone else had better watch out."

Mini Stock feature
Osgood brought his No. 20 Gary's Auto Body to the finish line for his seventh straight 4-cylinder win and DeFiglio brought his Riverside Auto Parts No. 28 6-cylinder to checkers for the 10 consecutive time this year.
After, both raced over to the Jim Daniels pit to protect friend Travis Tromans who raced over to give him a piece of his mind. Daniels abused Tromans throughout the contest, banging his No. 61 around the oval.

Stan Hudy

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Phils get past Miners for 10th time, 5-1

I'm working at home, so had the Phillies game on the computer while working on a project, so here's a re-cap of the contest.

Great broadcast, but still not as good as my main man Andy Santillo ;-)

The Saratoga Phillies made it 10-straight wins over the Little Falls Miners Thursday with a 5-1 win on the road at Veterans Memorial Park.

William and Mary left-hander Pete Vernon earned his first win with the Saratoga Phillies, allowing only one run over six innings of work. He allowed eight hits, walked one batter and struck out four. He would turn the ball over to relievers Brad Grove (Virginia) for two innings and Mark Lamm (Vanderbilt) for the ninth and held the Miners scoreless.

The win ends a two-game slide by the Phillies (11-6), but still didn’t manage to gain any ground on East Division Leader, Glens Falls (14-3), who won 5-4 at Amsterdam.

The Phillies got on the board in the second when Hunt reached on a one-out walk and came around to score on an RBI double by Brian Harris (Vanderbilt).

Saratoga tacked on four more runs in fourth on back-to-back doubles by Jon Nicolla (Duke) and Bryan Rose (Kentucky). Aaron Fields (Wright State) drove in Rose with his RBI single up the middle. Corey Hunt (Virginia) would drive out Little Falls starter Mike Kellar (Niagara) with a long RBI single scoring Fields. Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) followed with the Phillies third double of the inning driving in Hunt for a 5-0 lead.

The Phillies return for a nine-game home stand beginning Saturday when Saratoga hosts Watertown at 7 p.m. and readies for a double-header versus Amsterdam Sunday afternoon at East Side Rec beginning at 4 p.m.

Phils Notes
Got their number –
Thursday was the 10th straight win by the Phillies over the Miners. The last win by Little Falls over Saratoga was July 9, 2006.
Let’s Play Two – The rainout from June 21 against Little Falls has been re-scheduled for July 5 at East Side Rec with a scheduled game time of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

K-Man – Jake Willis (Siena) was selected by the home team as their K-Man for the night. He made 275 friends, striking out in the fifth inning creating a rush at the concession stand. At Veterans Memorial Park if the visiting K-Man strikes out, all food items are $1 for the remainder of that inning. The Siena senior would re-start his hitting streak which was snapped Wednesday versus Bennington, topping at 15 straight games.

Free Pass – Saratoga reliever, Mark Lamm, gave up his first base on balls of the season Thursday night when he sent Tom Edwards to first base on a free pass. He now has one walk and 12 strikeouts on the year for the Phillies.

Saratoga (11-6) 001 400 000 – 5 11 1
Little Falls (8-8) 000 000 000 – 1 9 0 0
Saratoga – Vernon (W 1-1), Grove (7) Lamm (9) and Scruggs. Little Falls – Kellar (L 0-2), Mastin (4), O’Brien (8), Hightower (9) and Etkin.
HBP – Webb by Mastin, Edwards by Vernon, Leskiw by Vernon.
LOB – Saratoga 7, Little Falls 9. DP – Saratoga 2, Little Falls. 2B – (SS) Harris, Nicolla, Rose, Webb. SAC – (SS) Harris, Willis. (LF) Gonzalez.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Phils lose 3-2, die trying

The Phillies started their half of the ninth with a leadoff walk by Brian Harris (Vanderbilt) who was sacrificed by a bunt by Jake Willis and Jon Nicolla. Bryan Rose then ended the game with a shot to the cenerfielder to end the contest.
Saratoga put up two unearned runs on four hits but what stings is the 12 runners left on base.
Saratoga falls to 10-5 and Bennington earns its first win versus the Phillies this year.

Stan Hudy

No breaks for Phils in 8th

Mike Fiers gave up a lead off single to Ken Jacobi and was lifted for Mark Lamm (Vanderbilt).
Fiers would finish with seven innings pitched, giving up three unearned runs on six hits. He walked on, hit a batter and struck out five.
Lamm came on with confidence and sent down the next three batters with two strikeouts and a ground out to third.

The Phillies came to life again against Bennington's reliever Bosley.
Eric Walker (Oaklahoma State) hit a one-out single that droped into left center and then hit Mark Riffee. After walking Corey Hunt to load the bases, the Bomber's coach had seen enough.
Bosley was lifted for newly aquired Franklin Pierce right-hander John Handy.
Donnie Web hit a dribbler to third and Sean Donovan (UAlbany) flipped to catcher Paul Panik (Canisius) to force Walker at home for the second out.
With bases loaded, two outs and coach Garret Baron lookimg to make something happen, he sent Riffee from third on Handy's wind-up.
Panik caught the 2-1 pitch and then dove towards a diving Riffee at home. After the dust cleared, umpire Dave Sherman called the Phillie out to end the threat.
Despite a plea from Riffee and a conversation with Baron, Saratoga took the field down, 3-2.

Stan Hudy

Phils hit by reliever, down 3-2

Bomber's starter Tommy Meija (Dominican) was lifted after six innings for Dan Bosley who had a precarious relief appearance.
He hit Eric Walker (Oklahoma State), walked Mark Riffee (Virginia) and then hit Corey Hunt (Virginia) to load the bases.
His bad luck was contagious as Donnie Webb's roller up the first base line squirted through the legs of Ethan Paquette (UVM) ala Bill Buckner allowing Walker and Riffee to score, cutting the lead, 3-2.
He showed some control, getting Brian Harris to fly out and Jake Willis to strike out but he then hit Jon Nicolla to load the bases. Bryan Rose almost put Saratoga ahead with a laser directly at the left fielder to end the inning.

Bosley would give up two unearned runs without giving up a hit. He hit three batters, walked one and struck out one.

Meija's line is 6 innings, 0 runs, three hits, four walks and two strikeouts.
Stan Hudy

Phils threaten, but no runs

The Phillies threatened in their half of the sixth after Jon Nicolla (Duke) reached on a two-out infield single and was followed by Bryan Rose (Kentucky) with a walk.
Bennington's Tommy Mejia didn't look comfortable on the mound and earned a conversation by his manger and again by his catcher, Paul Panik (Canisius).
The righty buckled down and sent down Ryan Powers (Mississippi State) on strikes to end the threat.
The Phillies righty, Mike Fiers returned for the top of the seventh and finished quickly with a stellar defense behind him.
Jon Nicolla dug out a throw from Brian Harris and the shortstop grabbed a high hopper, fired to first for the third out.

Stan Hudy

Bombers up on error in 6th, 3-0

Bennington's Joe Inzone (Southwest CC) hit a one-out single to right field and came around to score when Adam Donato (Canisius) stroked a single to left and Saratoga left fielder Mark Riffee (Virginia) misplayed the hit and saw the ball roll to the fence. He ran up to the ball, but his attempted backhand failed.
Things got worse when Mike Fiers (U of Cumberlands) hit Ethan Paquette (UVM).
Zachary Halloran then sent a two-out rip to right field scoring Donato. Paul Panik (Canisius) drilled a single to left sending Paquette around to score for a 3-0 Bombers lead.
Bennington scored its three runs on four hits, a hit batter and an error. All three runs will be recorded as unearned against Fiers.
Stan Hudy

No score through four innings

Just wanted to update the guys at the office and my wife, Reda, at home who hopefully is enjoying our recently repaired air conditioning.
No score through four innings.
Mike Fiers has allowed only one hit (in the first) and walked a batter in the same inning. He has struck out four.
Tommy Mejia has given up two hits, walked two and survived two Bennington errors.
The Phillies meanwhile, have stranded four.

Stan Hudy

Phils on vs. Bennington

Thunder rolled through the Spa City along with some raindrops, but the Saratoga Phillies versus the Bennington Bombers is on.

The threat of a thunderstom seriously diminished the crowd, despite the drop in temperature and humidity.

Saratoga sends 6-foot-3 righthander Mike Fiers (U of Cumberlands) to the mound with a 2-0 record and a no-hitter last Friday at Amsterdam.
Bennington will rely on righthander Tommy Mejia (Dominican).

The Phillies will try to gain ground on Glens Falls who hold a 3-game lead atop the East Division. The Golden Eagles have won nine straight games and 3-of-4 against Saratoga.

Cory Kuzmik (NJIT) returned to the Phillies on Wednesday. He was diagnosed with a calcium deposit on his non-throwing shoulder and was thought to be out for the year. The deposit didn't bother the left-hander and was cleared to return.

Saratoga coach Garret Baron put Eric Walker (Oaklahoma State) behind the dish tonight to catch Fiers. Tyler Scruggs (West Virginia) had success with Fiers, including calling the no-hitter on Friday.
Speculation is that Baron wants a left-hander (Walker) in the line-up against Mejia.

Baron also changed the look in the coach's boxes. Assistant coach Andy Cuthbertson was in Baron's usual spot at third while Steve Checksfield was at first.
No speculation on my part, just an observation.
Baron returned to his usual spot in the bottom of the third. Go figure.

The NYCBL All-Star game is set for Friday, July 6 at Amsterdam. Each team is able to submit two position players and a pitcher.
As the East Division champs Baron is expected to be the manager and should be allowed to add a few names to his roster. We'll keep you posted.
Stan Hudy

Soccer Classic will be CLASSIC!!

ARE YOU READY!!????!!!


We are already past the planning stages and into the commencing stages of unprecedented of the annual Rose and Kiernan/Clifton Park International Soccer Classic...if I survive the next 10 days..

Both of our publications, The Saratogian and Community News will provide a full array of photos, names, faces, features, schedules, scores and of course...blogs.

For the first time in it's 31 years, all the scores will be provided live on my blog during the entire weekend of competition along with tidbits, kicks, misses and yellow cards.

It should be fun, it will be a lot of work, but if it wasn't I wouldn't be tackling it!

Stay tuned soccer fan!


Culnan tapped as new AD at Shen

At a special board meeting held Tuesday morning, Christopher Culnan was selected from more than 20 applicants and named director of athletics and physical education at Shenendehowa, effective Aug. 1, replacing outgoing athletic director, Matt Jones.

Jones resigned as athletic director on April 17, and was then appointed as a tenured physical education teacher during the same meeting.

“Culnan is a seasoned administrator and a main part of the athletic director role is to provide leadership for that department,” Shenendehowa Superintendent Dr. L. Oliver Robinson said. “We want to ensure that athletic and academics remain connected at all times. We believe in the student athlete and I believe Chris’s years of experience as an administrator and coach were key.”

Culnan has held the position of class assistant principal at Shenendehowa since September 2005. Before that he was an assistant principal at Rensselaer City Schools and Christian Brothers Academy; a history department chairperson at CBA; and also a history teacher at CBA and Guilderland Central School District.

He coached varsity basketball at Rensselear High School and junior varsity basketball, freshmen basketball, varsity golf and varsity tennis at CBA.
Culnan has a bachelor's degree in history from the State University of New York at Cortland, a master's degree in curriculum development and instructional technology from the University of Albany and a certificate of advanced studies in educational administration and policy from the University of Albany.

Robinson said he believes that his administrators should not be coaches.
“With the demands of being an effective administrator, our goal is that they are in a situation in which they can be successful,” Robinson said. “If someone is trying to do both, something is going to give.”
“There is a movement within the school district for this change,” Robinson said. “The new athletic director is an outgrowth of that.”

Jones, whose has been a coach with the Shenendehowa cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams since he came to the district in the spring of 1997, said he doesn’t agree with the administration’s position.

“Someone got it in their head that the AD job is too big and they shouldn’t coach,” Jones said. “Why was it good for nine or 10 years without a negative evaluation? Why is it no longer any good? I don’t fully understand it.”

Both Jones and Robinson said Jones was not forced to give up the AD position and that the decision to resign was Jones.

“I played what was my best option, to be teaching and coaching, rather than continue on,” Jones said. “Even though it was a rigorous schedule, I had done it for nine or 10 years and I was looking to do it for three or four more.”

Currently, the only administrator at Shenendehowa who remains a coach is the head of the math department, Dan D’Amboise. He is the golf coach in the fall and the softball coach in the spring. D’Amboise is approaching retirement age and it is believed he will remain in his two position for the next two years.

“As we look to hire people administrators we make it clear to them that they are fully focused on their tasks as administrators,” Robinson said. “We want to provide support for our current people as they transition out, we want to be fair to people first.”

Jones said he will miss his job as the face of the Shenendehowa athletic department.
“The reason I went into the job was that I wanted to do whatever I could for kids, coaches and teachers,” Jones said. “I wanted to help them do their job.”

Jones will now transition into a role that he has helped cultivate at Shenendehowa, educators who are also coaches.
“Principals want people in their building more,” Jones said. “We always look for people who are teachers first, as well as coaches. That is the right model. People from the outside don’t have the educational background and they often aren’t credentialed to deal with students and student athletes.”

Culnan will oversee a program with more than 100 coaches and 79 athletic teams along with an ever-shrinking list of available facilities.

“I think a focus will be on facility improvement and facility advancement,” Robinson said. “We are adding more sports and different types of sports and we need to address that. We need the appropriate facilities for that.”
“We need to look at, as a district, expanding our modified programs and give options for younger kids,” Robinson said. “We have so many kids trying out for a sport and we have a limited pool to place them in. We need to try to create more intramural options.”

Mangum becomes a Phillie big leagues

2004 Saratoga Phillies All-Star catcher Caleb Mangum was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 24th round of the MLB Entry Draft earlier this month. He signed with the big league club on June 12 and was assigned the short-season A-level Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League.

In 2004 with the Saratoga Phillies, Mangum hit .331 with 16 RBI in 31 games and was voted as a post-season all-star. Last summer, Mangum played for the Outerbanks Daredevils where he batted 185 with 14 RBI and a .261 slugging percentage in 34 games started.

Mangum, a 5-foot-11 right-hander, attended NC State where he was the Wolfpack starting catcher for the past two years.

This year he hit .285 in 56 games started, scoring 36 runs on 63 hits with 13 doubles and triples and eight home runs. He knocked in 48 runs and had a .428 slugging percentage and a .384 on-base percentage.

In 2006 the catcher hit .354 in 63 games started where he scored 31 runs on 64 hits. He had eight doubles, a triple and four home runs and knocked in 34 RBI. He had a .475 slugging percentage with a .41- on-base percentage.

Mangum is the second Saratoga Phillie drafted this year, joining University of Southern Indiana sophomore Darin Mastroianni, who was drafted in the 16th round by the Toronto Blue Jays. Mastroianni was also assigned to the NY-Penn League affiliate, Auburn Doubledays who will travel to the Capital District July 24-26 to face the Tri-City Valleycats.

Mangum will take on the Valleycats in Williamsport July 7,8 and 9 and his Northern trip will only bring him as close as Oneonta on Aug. 10, 11 and 12 when the Phillies visit the Tigers.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Subs are coming to Albany-Saratoga Speedway

Albany-Saratoga Speedway will see some familiar cars with new faces behind the wheel for the July 6 racing card at The Great Race Place.

Professional driver and modified points leader Brett Hearn has already announced that he will utilize a replacement driver for the date so that he can race in the Super DIRT Series Race that night at Ransomville Speedway in Western New York.

Hearn has asked Bobby Varin to take over the reigns of the Four-Star Transmission No. 4 for the night and had him racing last week at Albany-Saratoga in his back-up car, sporting the No. 4 V on the side. Varin finished in seventh place at the 4/10-of-a-mile dirt oval, behind Hearn.

According to the CVRA rule book under Handicap and Scoring rules Section 5: A driver may use a substitute driver a maximum of two times per season and still receive points for the event. The driver must make the request to the race director a minimum of three days before the event (unless precluded by family emergency). The substitute driver must be approved by the race director.

Pro Street Stock driver Lori Cary utilized the rule last year after being involved in a serious accident that prevented her from racing. She stayed out of the car for two weeks, returned still in pain after the two race maximum, to finish out the season and captured the points title.

Latham driver Matt Sheppard, who captured last week’s modified feature race, is facing the same scenario. The young driver is currently atop the Super DIRT Series point standings with 265 points with Tim Fuller right behind him at 261. Hearn is in eighth-place in the standings at 211.

At Albany-Saratoga Sheppard is in sixth place with 373 points, trailing point-leader Hearn by 59 points. A bye week by Sheppard could mathematically eliminate him from the points race, to date, he has not yet announced a substitute driver.

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Delaney to take ARCA test this week

Albany-Saratoga Sportsman driver Dustin Delaney has earned a chance of a lifetime this week, getting an opportunity to move up from a dirt surface to asphalt.
The young driver was out in Thompson, Conn. driving one of the late model cars utilized for the track’s driving school anticipating a chance to drive in the June 14 Busch East race.

“We just wanted to get on the asphalt,” Delaney said. “We ran 60 laps but we got rained out. We wanted to do more but the rain came, so we hopped in the plane and came home.”

His week gets even better, traveling to the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta to test an ARCA car for Carter Motorsports.

“The guy that ran the car before got a full ride Bush ride, they asked us to come test for them,” Delaney said. “We didn’t want to go there, Kentucky, a mile-and-a-half track which you get pretty good speeds going at and never turn a wheel on asphalt.
“We figured it would be a good day to go down, turn some wheels, get a line, feel what it does,” Delaney said. “It went pretty good.”

Delaney’s racing career began seven years ago driving go karts before he moved up to sling shot racers in 2001. In 2004 he began competing in the sportsman division at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

“I grew up on it, I love the dirt,” Delaney said. “I think there is just more of a future in the asphalt, I have to go where that is.”

While the clay surface at Albany-Saratoga can become blackened and slick, it doesn’t compare to the speeds or challenges of an asphalt speedway.

“From my years in dirt, you get in the corner and you want to get on that throttle and start going again,” Delaney said. “You have to wait for the car to come around, if you get in the throttle in mid-corner it pushes right up to the wall.”

Delaney is anxious about the opportunity, but is realistic about his chances.

“I don’t want to jinx it and I don’t want to make it a bigger deal than it already is,” Delaney said. “I’m going to try to relax over it. When I get there I’m going to make the most of it and if it’s good enough, dig in. If not, we’ll come back, do some more dirt and do it again when I get a little older.”

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Long road ahead for Phillies

The Saratoga Phillies began a stretch of 14 contests in 12 days courtesy of three double-headers put in place due to rain outs earlier this year. Saratoga will be on the road for only three games at two locations, the remainder are at East Side Rec.

While coach Garret Baron’s squad may save on frequent rider miles on their Wade Tours Bus, it is a shortage of arms that has him worried.

“It’s a little bit of a burden (two doubleheaders) this week,” Baron said. “The extra innings takes its toll on your arms if you don’t have quality starts and you have to start to rely on your bullpen early.”

The Phillies are currently down to nine pitchers on their staff with Jon Spier (Nova Southeastern) returning home and Cory Kuzmik (NJIT) being diagnosed with a calcium deposit on his shoulder.

“I hope to get back to 12 (pitchers),” Baron said.

Rutgers right-hander and Shenendehowa graduate Jason Downey is expected to return to the Phillies for his third season of play. An MRI on his right shoulder showed no damage and was placed on an 8- to 12-day rest period before pitching again. He could be back after the All-Star break.

“JD (Downey) is a gamer, he wants to pitch,” Baron said. “I look forward to getting him back.”

The loss of players is nothing new to any coach in summer league baseball.

“It happens every year,” Baron said. “They play 56 games before they get here. Guys are big parts of their staffs, even those that are used to play in all the games. It can wear you down.
“We’ll take our chances,” Baron said. “We hope to stay healthy and bring some other guys in.”

Phillie co-owners Dan Scaring and Keith Rogers can add and replace players on their rosters though July 6. After the all-star break, players can only be replaced if deemed medically unable to perform by a physician.

Tues. June 26 at Watertown (resumed game) W 13-4
Tues. June 26 at Watertown L 13-5
Wed. June 27 vs. Bennington L 3-2
Thurs. June 28 at Little Falls
Sat. June 30 vs. Watertown
Sun. July 1 vs. Amsterdam (DH)
Mon. July 2 vs. Glens Falls
Wed. July 4 vs. Watertown
Thurs. July 5 vs. Little Falls (DH)
Fri. July 6 All-Star Game at Amsterdam
Sat. July 7 vs. Bennington
Sun. July 8 vs. Glens Falls

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Phils fall 3-1 to Glens Falls

Saratoga's Mark Lamm (Vanderbilt) did his job in relief, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out four batters. It was the Phillies bats that remained inadequate.

The Phils went hitless in the final two innings with three flyouts and two strikeouts. Their last batter to reach base was Tyler Zeronda (Lafayette) on a bunt in the seventh.

Glens Falls reliever Brian Moran (North Carolina) slammed the door in the ninth, earning a groundout and two strikeouts.

Stan Hudy

Glens Falls foul in seventh

The Phillies were unable to plate a run in the top of the seventh and coach Garett Baron asked for a pitching change...of the Golden Eagles.

Artie Clyde (High Point) gave up a one-out infield bunt to Tyler Zeronda (Lafayette) and got help when Mike Konstanty (Albany) robbed Saratoga's Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) of a single with a dving catch onto the foul line.

Phillie Brian Harris (Vanderbilt) battled Clyde but went down on strikes. Harris wasn't happy to be fooled and the Glens Falls pitcher gave the batter a fist pump along with an audible F-bomb.

Saratoga coach Andy Cuthbertson questioned the home plate umpire's decision to not eject or warn the Glens Falls pitcher. Baron also came down from the third base box to question the inaction.

The Phillies answered with their own flip from under the chin with reliever Mark Lamm who quietly struck out the Glens Falls side in the bottom of the seventh.

Saratoga starter Pete Vernon (William and Mary) is on the hook for the loss, giving up three runs on five hits over his six innings. He walked two and struck out three.

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Phils down 3-1 through 6 inns.

The Saratoga Phillies bats remained chilled in the freezer, still down 3-1 through six innings.

Glens Falls starter Mike Wanamaker (Penn State) worked six innings, leaving with a 3-1 lead. He gave up three hits and an earned run. He walked three and struck out seven.
Righthander Artie Clyde (High Point) started the seventh for Glens Falls.

Stan Hudy

Glens Falls ahead 3-1 through three

Glens Falls left fielder Mike Konstanty (Albany) led off with a single up the middle and advanced on Ryan Nemecek's. Groundout to first. Jake Owens (Northwestern) drove in the Golden Eagles tying run with a double to deep left center.
He didn't have time to rest as Kevin Mahoney (Canisius) drilled a double to right center giving Glens Falls a 2-1 lead He would come around on Rick Seltzer's single to left and the Golden Eagles would go up, 3-1 through three.
Glens Falls sent seven batters to the plate, scoring three runs on four hits of Saratoga lefty Matt Vernon (William and Mary).

Stan Hudy

Phils up 1-0 in 3rd. Leave bases loaded.

The Phillies loaded the bases in the top of the first on a single up the middle by Mark Riffee (Virginia), a walk by Tyler Zeronda (LaFayette) and a bunt single by Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State).

Jake Willis (Siena) extended his hitting streak to 12-games with a broken bat single up the middle in the first. In the third he tool a one-out walk to drive in Riffee for a 1-0 lead.

A pop-out to second and a groundout to the same spot ended the inning with the Phillies stranding three.

PHILS NOTES - The Phillies are sporting their gray pants with their navy blue shirts with the white "S" above their hearts and numbers on the lower right.

Stan Hudy

Phils ready vs Golden Eagles Saturday nite

It's a beautiful night at East Field in Glens Falls where the Saratoga Phillies (8-3) will take on NYCBL East Division leader Glens Falls Golden Eagles (10-2).

Saratoga will send out William and Mary left-hander Matt Vernon (0-1) versus Glens Falls right-hander Mike Wanamaker (Penn State), making his first start this season.

The Golden Eagles are on a five-game winning streak and the Phillies have won three-straight.

Siena's Jake Willis is the night's designated "K-Man" earning the fans in attendance $1 off a pizza at Brooklyn Pizza. The Phillie is currently batting an unofficial .317 and has an 11-game hitting streak on the line.

Stan Hudy

Mike Fiers fires a no-hitter and I'm not there!

It's as big a guarantee as death, taxes and Cal Ripken Jr. being in the starting line-up.

If you are not at an event, something incredible will happen. It's the curse of every newsroom across the nation.

Miss the school board meeting and a brawl breaks out about the proceeds from the marching band's bake sale. Miss a game between the 11-0 giant and the 0-12 bottom team in the league and you are guaranteed an upset for the ages.

It happened again Friday night.

In a perfect world I would have been in Columbus, Ohio to see Clifton Park ice hockey star Nick Petrecki get drafted by the San Jose Sharks and probably would have been on TSN sitting with his parents when the call came as the 28th selection overall.

I would have been (where I was) at Albany-Saratoga Speedway watching two different racers get their first career victories and get a scoop about a young racer that I'm holding as a professional courtesy from another TV reporter. Since I'm the only person who writes car racing and enjoys the sports and its competitors, I was happily obligated.

What I didn't plan on is Saratoga Phillie Mike Fiers to fire a 16-strikeout no-hitter on the road in Amsterdam and I wasn't there. My sports editor asked if I was going, but I am working on a large feature at the race track and had to be there for our weekly coverage....AARRRGGGHHHH!!

If their is anything worse, it was being so excited about Petrecki being drafted at 9:50 p.m., calling my wife, Reda, who was watching the draft for me and then calling the newspaper to make sure they had the news. I forgot about the Phillies until about 11:15 p.m. when I had a chance to breath and it was too late to call and check.

If there is any saving grace, now without a 10:45 p.m. deadline looming over my head while the no-no was occurring last night in Amsterdam, I can dedicate time and space to Fiers accomplishment.

Besides, knowing my luck, my fingers would have slipped while updating my blog about his performance last night and would have jinxed his ongoing performance.

Maybe it was better I wasn't there.

Anyway, congratulations to Mike Fiers, his defense behind him, the winning drivers at Albany-Saratoga Speedway and Nick Petrecki, the 28th selection overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Albany-Saratoga Speedway quik results

It was Rock 'N Race night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, could could be re-named first-time, long-time night after Friday's racing finished.

Modified feature
35 laps
Matt Sheppard committed to running at Albany-Saratoga at the beginning of the season and it paid off.
The Latham driver outdueled A.J. Romano in his Magee Transportation Services No. 44, taking over the lead on lap 24. He held off Romano for the remaining 11 laps for his first career victory at The Great Race Place.
He started in second place and took advantage of a caution-free 35-lap race, taking the win and an extra $500 courtesy of the Salisbury Chevrolet 'Beat Brett Hearn' $500 bonus.

Sportsman feature
25 laps
Whitey Slavin started on the pole and went wire-to-wire in capturing his first-ever victory at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in his John Ray & Son Fuel Oil No. 53.

Pro Stock feature
25 laps
Defending champion Lori Cary maintained her composure and her racing line Friday to bring her Garrity Asphalt Reclaiming No. 96 into victory lane for the second time this year and for her fifth win at a CVRA track.
Jimmy Eaton could only follow the pink crate engine powered No. 96 around for 24-laps and still couldn't make a run during the one-lap shootout courtesy of a caution on lap 24.

Limited feature
20 laps
"Crazy" Curtis Condon drove a smart race in a rare early evening start, taking the lead from D.J. Brundige with two laps to go for his first win since September of last year.
He admitted he had a weaker motor until Anthony Durie loaned him his powerplant that led him and the Quaker Bay Inc. No. 04 to victory lane.

Mini Stock feature
15 laps
There wasn't any drama until the 4- and 6-cylinder feature was complete.
Phil DeFiglio claimed his ninth-straight 6-cylinder win in his Riverside Auto Part's No. 28 and Brette Osgood claimed his sixth straight 4-cylinder win in his Gary's Auto Body No. 20.
The results are unofficial as both drivers had to turn in their car's computer module to the pit tower for testing.
In a closed-door meeting of the division, fingers were pointed regarding the performance ability of the two cars and the track will attempt to confirm the racer's computer compliance to the two winners.

Albany-Saratoga Speedway is back in action this Tuesday night with a special mid-week show featuring "Megasaurus" the cyborg-car eating machine along with a host of other action-packed vehicles from the Wild West Show.
A special admission price is in effect and the crowds will be entertained by a full slate of racing as well as CVRA's famous fireworks show at dusk.

On Friday, the Race of Champions Tour returns to The Great Race Place with another special admission price in effect and a full racing card on tap.

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Phillies add two doubleheaders to schedule

The Saratoga Phillies have suffered three rain postponements two weeks into the season and two contests have been rescheduled.

On Tuesday, June 26, the Phillies will play a doubleheader against the Watertown Wizards at 4 and 7 p.m. adding a game to replace the June 19 rain out on the road.

On Sunday, July 1, Saratoga will host Amsterdam for a twin-bill at 4 and 7 p.m. replacing the June 10 rain out at home. The contest will become part of an 8-game homestand for the Phillies beginning Saturday, June 30 through Sunday, July 8 with the NYCBL All-Star game in between on Friday, July 6 at Amsterdam.

Thursday night's rainout against Little Falls has not been rescheduled yet.

Both games of the doubleheaders will be full 9-inning contests.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Phils game cancelled due to rain

Well, it didn't take long to put the Phillies game versus Little Falls on the shelf.

A fast moving storm moved in as work was being done on the infield. It started with a dark cloud, followed by some sprinkles when the contest was called. Within seconds lightning flashed in the distance followed by a thunderclap and then the rain came.

Saratoga gets a day off, just 1/2 of a game back behind the Glens Falls Golden Eagles in the East Standings.

Stan Hudy

Phils game vs Little Falls in jeopardy

A cloud burst exploded over East Side Rec at 5:20 p.m. and drenched the field, leaving several puddles of free-standing water in the basepaths and covered the tarps at home plate and the mound.

The Saratoga Park and Recreation staff (one person) jumped on the dilemma and proceeded to take a leafblower to the task at hand...This isn't a misprint, a leafblower.

Once the freestanding water was blown from puddles to large wet circles.

Next up, the Toro four-wheeler was on hand, loaded with quik-dry and spread it around first base, only one of the effected areas. All while a dark cloud began to loom overhead.

His next step was to bring out the groomer and groom from the second base side to the bag.

I'll update as the situation improves or gets worse.
Stan Hudy

Clfiton Park's Petrecki present for NHL draft

Clifton Park ice hockey player Nick Petrecki is used to draft days, he was drafted twice in 2005 by teams in the USHL and the OHL. Today, the 17-year-old Petrecki is on hand at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

The 6-foot 3-inch defenseman who has played for ice hockey for Clifton Park, Troy, Albany and the CD Selects and most recently the Omaha Lancers in the USHL. He is expected to go in the first round overall.

“For the most part it’s pretty exciting,” Petrecki said from Columbus. “It’s a high stress situation from being at the NHL combine in Toronto with general managers and coaches watching you. Then you have physical and psychological testing, and then you’re here. It’s fun, but stressful.”

Petrecki is ranked as the 21st American skater by the NHL’s Central Scouting service, moving up from 31st at the mid-term ranking.

“My hopes are to go in the first round, it would be an honor,” Petrecki said. “Whatever pick it doesn’t matter to me. It’s a dream come true. I want to be picked by a team that wants me as a player and can help me at the next level.”

The 2007 NHL Entry Draft first round will be broadcast locally on Time Warner Cable Versus, channel 75 beginning a 7 p.m. Friday. The second through seventh rounds will be broadcast beginning 10 a.m. Saturday on


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Phils win 5-0 with four hit shutout from Bernardini and staff

It was the fastest game at home this year and the best played.

The Phillies staff allowed four hits, committed only one error late and had their prototypical contagious hits going.

Saratoga jumps up in the standings with a 7-3 record pressuring East Division leader Glens Falls.

Notes to follow.
Stan Hudy

Phils in control through 7 vs Bombers

Louie Bernardini (Wheaton College) got himself in a jam in the top of the seventh, but escaped unscathed.

After hitting lead-off batter Adam Donato (Canisius) he got the next two batters to fly out and strike out before giving up a single to Sean Donovan (UAlbany). He then hit Brad Currier (UVM) to load the bases. He got out of the bases loadd jam when Paul Panic (Canisius) grounded out to Phillies second baseman Corey Hunt (Virginia).

Bernardini would end his day after seven innings with a four-hit shutout. He walked one batter and struck out six.

Corey Kuzmik (NJIT) came on to start the eighth inning in relief for Saratoga.
Stan Hudy

Phils up 5-0 through six vs. Bennington

The Saratoga Phillies bats took a little time off between contests Wednesday night waiting until the third inning to push across two runs. Saratoga added three more in the fifth for a 5-0 lead.

Phillies starter, Louie Bernardini was in control, allowing only three hits through five innings of work.

In the third, Donnie Webb (Oaklahoma State) reached on an error by the second baseman and then promptly stole two bases. After Brian Harris (Vanderbilt) walked, Siena junior Jake Willis extended his hitting streak to 10 games, driving in Webb. Bryan Rose (Kentucky) drove in Harris with a single to left for the 2-0 lead.

In the fourth, Eric Walker (Oklahoma State) reached on a one-out single to right. Corey Hunt (Virginia) reached on a hit by pitch and Donnie Webb loaded the bases with a single to left.
Brian Harris knocked an RBI single to left to score Walker. Jake Willis drove in Hunt with a sacrifice fly to left field. Jon Nicolla (Duke) drove in Webb with his strike to left for a 5-0 Phillies lead.

Bennington starter Dan Bosley lasted four innings, giving up five runs, three of them earned. He gave up six hits, walked four and struck out one.
He was lifted for Josh Willmott (UAlbany).
Stan Hudy

Phils win 15-2 first game

Sorry for the delay, trying to keep with both contests.
Phils win the resumed game, 15-2, pounding out hits while Oklahoma State sophomore Matt Willis kept the Bombers at bay.
Willis pitched the fifth inning at Bennington on June 8 and then pitched the final three innings today. During his outing in two states, he allowed one run on three hits. He walked one and struck out six.
Quick note: Phils up 5-0 through four in the regularly scheduled contest.
Stan Hudy

Kevin Collins appointed AD at Mechanicville High School

Kevin Collins has roamed the halls of Mechanicville High as a gym teacher and the sidelines as its football coach. Now he can add athletic director to his list of duties.

Collins was informed that he was appointed Tuesday night at a Mechanicville Board Meeting.

"The biggest challenge will be trying to be 1,000 places at once and do the best I can," Collins said. "Gary (Lyons) did a great job and I'll have to follow that."


Phils bat around, up 14-2 in 8th

The hits continued to come for the Phillies in the top of the eighth inning, scoring four more runs on five hits, taking a 14-2 lead.
Bryan Cook reached on an infield hit, Aaron Fields, Mark Riffee, Bryan Rose and Donnie Webb all singled as Saratoga batted around, adding to its lead.
Stan Hudy

Phils score 4 in top of 6th of suspended game. Up 10-1.

Th Saratoga Phillies picked up where they left off in their June 8 contest at the Bennington Bombers that was suspended due to darkness.
After winning their road opener June, 6-1, the Phillies held a 6-1 lead before play was suspended.
The contest resumed today at 5 p.m. and Saratoga promptly tacked on four more runs for a 10-1 lead through 6 1/2 innings.
Brian Harris (Vanderbilt)led off with a single and stole second. He moved over on Donnie Webb's infield single. Ryan Powers (Mississippi State) drove in Harris with a single to center for a 7-1 lead. Jake Willis (Siena) extended his hitting streak to nine games with an RBI single, driving in Webb. Bryan Cook (Nova Southeastern) drove in Powers with a hot shot to short for a 9-1 lead. Willis advanced on a single and groundout before scoring on an error by the shortstop for a 10-1 lead.
Stan Hudy

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Phils scheduled for 1 and 1/2 Wednesday. Game time 5 p.m.

Ernie Banks was quoted as say ing “Let’s Play Two.” For today, the Saratoga Phillies will have to settle for playing one and a half.

The Phillies will host the Bennington Bombers this afternoon with an earlier 5 p.m. start to complete a suspended contest from June 8 on the road in Vermont. Saratoga led the second contest of its opening day double-header, 6-1, through five innings when the game was suspended due to darkness.

The Phillies claimed the first contest, 6-1, at the Bennington Bombers Stadium which is an unlit field.

Once the suspended contest is completed, the Phillies will become the host team once
again for its regularly scheduled 7 p.m. starting time with 6-foot 4-inch right-hander Louie Bernardini scheduled to make his third start of the season.

The Saratoga Phillies traveled 200-miles to Watertown Tuesday night and stayed only 90 minutes before turning back for another four-hour bus ride.

Siena junior Jake Willis hit a two-run home run in the top of the first inning against the Wizards, but a wind delay was followed shortly after by a driving
rain that ended the contest.

No date has been confirmed for the make-up contest, but could easily fit into the Phillies scheduled day off on June 25 that is sandwiched between two away dates at Watertown, June 24 and 26.

HOT BAT — If the Watertown contest was able to completed, it would have left Willis with a nine-game hitting streak. He currently has an 8-game streak in tact and it could be 10 before the night is over. His at-bats from June 8 are not official until the suspended game concludes and a hit in the 7 p.m. contest would jettison him into a double-digit streak.

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50/70 Clifton Park All-Stars announced

Cal Ripken Baseball announced the formation of a new division for
the 12-year-old level last year, but the Clifton Park Baseball League was already a step ahead.

Beginning this year, organizations had the option of utilizing a larger field with the pitching rubber 50-feet away from the plate with 70-foot basepaths.

Clifton Park began to play on the new dimensions two years ago and will host the Cal Ripken Baseball Mid-Atlantic Regional beginning July 26. The host team, the Clifton Park Cyclones, receive an automatic entry into the regional tournament as the host team.

“We had a tryout in the beginning of the season for our travel teams and Cooperstown-bound teams,” Cyclones head coach Tim Purcell said. “We identified the 14 kids that would be playing on this team and the remaining 14 would play as part of the 46/60 team called the Cobras.”

The team has spent the past two years competing together on the new dimensions in
Clifton Park.
“Our strength is our hitting and pitching,” Purcell said. “We’ll compete well, be strong defensively and we have some kids who can really pop the ball. Three of our pitchers that can throw 55 mph.
“We’ve been working with these kids and we’re starting to see the maturation process,” Purcell said. “They’ve come along very well.”

The squad had a 10-3 record in the ENYTBL this spring and will travel to compete in the Cooperstown Field of Dreams Tournament July 7 to 12 before returning to compete in the Cal Ripken state tournament beginning July 13 in Ballston Spa.

“Our goal is to win states and come in battle-proven and perform well in the regional,” Purcell said. “Our kids have been playing 50/70 for two years. We’re not sure what we’re up against but we’ve been up against this format, on this field.”

The winner of the Mid-Atlantic Regional qualifies for the 50/70 Cal Ripken World Series Aug. 11 to 18 in Aberdeen, Md.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Phils lose 4-2 vs GF at home Sunday

It was a night off for myself and Reda, but late phone call confirmed that the Phillies fell to rival Glens Falls, 4-2.
The loss drops the Phils out of first place in the Eastern Division.

I caught Andy Santillo's web broadcast early on as Saratoga gave up two runs in the second inning.

We decided to take in a double feature at the Malta Drive-In, Fantastic Four and Ocean's 13.

So far Fantastic Four was good, but only 90 minutes long, so double feature pricing was the way to go.

The Phils are off the diamond, but still on the field. Saratoga's players will help rehab the athletic fields at Schuylerville's Hardy Field from noon to 3 p.m.

On Tuesday they travel to Watertown and return home Wednesday to finish a suspended contest versus Bennington from Opening Day followed by the regularly scheduled contest.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Whew! Phils win 11-9 over Amsterdam

Notes to follow


Phils rally in 8th, up 11-8 vs. Amsterdam

The Phillies started to hit and the Mohawks started changing pitchers in the top of the eighth.

Eric Walker (Oklahoma State) led off with a double to right and after Mark Riffee (Virginia) was hit by a pitch, he was lifted.

Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) drove in Walker with an RBI single to right center and reached second on a fielding error. That sent Matt Weber to the showers for Amsterdam.

Alex DeAngelis came on to face Brian Harris and promptly plunked Brian Harris to load the bases. Jake Willis (Siena) extended his season-opening winning streak to seven games with a two-run double hit just inside the third base line, scoring Riffee and Webb for a 9-8 lead.

After Jon Nicolla singled up the middle, scoring Harris and Willis, that was it for DeAngelis.

Andrew Clausson came on as the sixth Amsterdam pitcher Saturday night and managed two fly outs to get out of the inning.

The Phils plated five on four hits and an error, re-taking the lead, 11-8.


Mohawks touch them all, up 8-6

After Michael Seaborn hit the first Mohawk homerun of the 2007 to put Amsterdam ahead in the sixth inning, teammate Keith Glasser (Marist) joined him in a booth at the dinger diner.

Glasser launched a Brad Grove fastball over the 365-foot mark in left centerfield giving the Mohawk's a 8-6 lead.


Mohawks ahead on dinger, 7-6

Amsterdam's Michael Seaborn put the Mohawks ahead, 7-6, with one swing of his bat.

The Kentucky freshman sent a Brad Grove offering over the McDonald's sign in left field near the 289-foot sign.

Grove gave up two more singles, but got out of the inning without further damage.


Phils blow 6-run lead, tied at 6

Phillies starter, Pete Vernon's first start in the NYCBL will be memorable, but not a fond memory.

The William and Mary left-hander allowed six runs in five innings of work, unable to earn a decision, spoiling the early offensive efforts of his Saratoga teammates. He gave up four runs in the fifth, all earned on five hits.

Amsterdam's Michael Seaborn led off with a stand-up double to left followed by a single to right by Chris McGhee. Both runners scored on Richard Curylo's single to left, cutting into the Phillies lead, 6-4.

After Kevin Nieto stroked a single to left, Curylo would score on a passed ball. Nieto was driven in by Nate Lape's double that hit the base of the centerfield wall tying the contest at six apiece.

Phillies left-handed reliever Brad Grove came on in relief, walking one batter but stemmed the Mohawks rally.

Vernon's line would read 4IP, 6R, 6ER, 8H, 1BB and 1K.


Mowhawks cut lead, 6-2

Amsterdam's Ryan Gauck (Shenendehowa HS/Marist) made his second hit of the season count. After drilling a single to center and advancing on a fielder's choice, the big first baseman and Blake Slagle would score on Brock Wright's two-out double to right.

The Mowhawks would cut into the Phillies lead, 6-2.


Phils up 6-0 off Amsterdam Mohawk reliever

Amsterdam reliever Cory Boylan gave up a run on only one hit in the second, courtesy of a Mowhawk error and two wild pitches by the left-hander.

Brian Harris (Vanderbilt) led off with a walk and moved to second on Jake Willis's bunt that was mishandled by the third baseman. Both players moved up a wild pitch by Boylan. Harris scoed when Jon Nicolla (Duke) sent a sacrifice fly deep to center. Saratoga up 6-0.


Phils walk to 5-0 lead in 1st at Amsterdam

Amsterdam Mowhawk right-hander Cory Bannister had a rough start Saturday night versus the Saratoga Phillies at Shuttleworth Park.

Bannister never made it out of the first inning.

He walked the first three batters he faced before striking out Jon Nicolla (Duke). Lead off batter Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) scored on a Bannister wild pitch for a 1-0 lead. Brian Harris (Vanderbilt) was pushed across when Bryan Cook (Nova Southeastern) walked with the bases loaded. Jake Willis (Siena) was also forced across for a 3-0 lead when Eric Walker (Oklahoma State) took a pitch into the back.

That ended the night for Bannister after facing only seven batters.

The bleeding didn't stop after left-hander Matt Boylan came on in relief.
With the bases loaded Ryan Powers (Mississippi St.) popped out, but Mark Riffee (Virginia) made the most of his first official at-bat, lining a two-run single to the opposite field, driving in Rose and Cook for a 5-0 lead.

Bannister allowed five earned runs without giving up a hit in his short stint. He walked five, hit one batter and threw a wild pitch, handing the Phillies a 5-0 lead.


Phils Notes: on the road vs. Mohawks

The 4-2 Saratoga Phillies travel to face the 2-3 Amstardam Mohawks.

First look at Vernon
College of William and Mary junior left-hander Pete Vernon is the starting pitcher tonight for the Saratoga Phillies. He went 8-5 for the Tribe this spring with a 5.42 ERA. He threw 84.2 innings, giving up 94 hits leading to 54 runs, 51 earned. His opponents batted .291 and he walked 35 while striking out 49.

Champions arrive
The New York State High School champion Fort Plain High School baseball team was honored prior to the start of Saturday's Phillies contest at Amsterdam versus the Mohawks.
The players were introduced on the field and were each given a season's pass to the Mowhawk's games.

Helllooo Ladies
It was ladies night at Shuttleworth Park and each young lady entering the park received a complimentary carnation.

Under construction
Shuttleworth Park is undergoing renovations to its bleacher seating area as well as adding on restrooms and a new concession area. That may explain the $2 bottle of water, $2.50 ice cream cone and $4 bag of popcorn and cotton candy. Don't expect the project to come in under budget.


New Blue Jay Mastroianni assigned to Auburn NY-Penn League

2006 Saratoga Phillie infielder Darin Mastroianni has been assigned to the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn short-season 'A' level minor-league baseball level.

He will make his return to the Capital Region July 24, 25 and 26 when Auburn travels to take on the Tri-City Valley Cats at Joe Bruno Stadium.

Mastroianni was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 16th round as the 505th selection overall in last week’s Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. He signed with the big league club on Tuesday and was assigned later in the week.

Last year he led the Phillies in batting with a .348 average, starting 44 of 45 games. He had a .497 slugging percentage with 54 hits, seven doubles and eight triples. He walked 22 times, striking out 32 times. On the bases, he was second on the team in steals, successful 17 out of 20 attempts.

The University of Southern Indiana was the fourth player drafted from the school and is the sixth Saratoga Phillie player drafted since the team was incorporated in 2004.

The Phillies have had five other players drafted over the years, all from the 2004 squad. Dan Griffin and Jeff Stallings by the San Francisco Giants, Casper Wells by the Detroit Tigers, Jed Stephen by the Baltimore Orioles and Cody Merrill by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Albany-Saratoga quick results June 15

Modified feature
Brett Hearn battled through the field and then lap traffic to take his second feature win in a row Friday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
Once in front, the Delaney Construction No. 4 made the field appear in slow motion.

Sportsman feature
Just one week after breaking the rear axle on his Ken Busta Auto Sales No. 41 during heats and driving Brett Hearn's back-up car in the feature, Clifton Park's Chris Busta returned to victory lane.
The 25-year-old driver said he used more of his head than his foot this week, moving up from his ninth starting spot and took the lead on lap six.
He held off "Rollin" Mike Tholin and young gun Dustin Delaney for the win.

Budget sportsman feature
Clifton Park driver Al Williams was two laps away from returning to victory lane, but got loose in turn two and was tapped on the left side by Bryan Davis of Voorheesville.
Williams then caught the Jersey barrier and turned his BOCES Project No. 301 around. He move was costly, placing him in the rear of the field for the final two laps.
Davis would see the white flag twice before taking his first checkers ever in the open-wheel category in his Greg's Towing & Repair, Inc. No. 172.

Pro Street feature
It seemed only fitting that Cale Kneer would capture the pro stock 31-lap memorial race dedicated in the memory of the late Ed Frank, Jr.
He was a good friend of the Colonie police officer who wore badge number 301 and the special race was named after him.
Kneer was quick early on, but Jimmy Eaton had more muscle, tapping Kneer with authority late in the race.
As Kneer said in victory lane, "Ed was looking over me tonight and this was the race to win."

Limited feature
On a night dedicated to a late racer, Ed Frank, Stillwater racer Mike Minick drove into victory lane in his No. 65 dedicated to his sister, Michelle Simoncavage who passed away 10 years ago from breast cancer. The number is in honor of her birth year, 1965.

Mini Stock feature
The only excitement came from Travis Tromans chasing Phil DeFiglio and Brett Osborne around the dirt oval.
It was the eighth straight win of the year for DeFiglio's Schodack Auto No 28 and the fifth straight for Osborne's Gary's Auto Body No. 20. It was Osborne's sixth checkers this season.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Phils Notes: Saratoga falls 6-3 to Amsterdam

The Saratoga Phillies committed four errors Thursday night in a 6-3 loss to the Amsterdam Mohawks. It brings the total of miscues to 13 in the last four games.

Wardrobe change
The Phillies went back to their white home jersey Thursday night after losing, 8-7 to Glens Falls in their gold tops.

Arriving at Gate 6
Phillies co-owner Keith Rogers picked up Wright State freshman Aaron Fields at Albany International Airport last night.
The speedy infielder donned last year's No. 15 to start the contest to play left field. He had the new jersey on by the bottom of the second and just missed running out a high infield chopper that bounced over the pitcher's head and snagged by the shortstop.
He went 0-for-4 in his first night with Saratoga, including a throwing error from left field.

When one door closes...
With the signing of Darin Mastroianni (University of Southern Indiana) by the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, it opened up a roster spot for the Phillies. Co-managers Keith Rogers and Dan Scaring simply had to pluck a player from their list of waiting list talent.

Enter College of William and Mary pitching ace Peter Vernon.
The 6-foot 1-inch, 190-pound left-handed junior went 8-5 this spring with a 5.42 ERA and two complete games. In 84 2/3 innings pitched he allowed 94 hits, 54 runs, 51 of them earned. He walked 35 batters while striking out 49.

Another good deed
The Saratoga Phillies will help out with the St. Clement's Field Day games Friday morning until noon. On Monday, the squad will take part in the Rebuilding Together Saratoga County project. The team will help upgrade some of the athletic facilities at Fort Hardy Park in Schuylerville from noon to 3 p.m.

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Aggressive Mohawks up 6-3

Amsterdam added a run in the top of the ninth for a 6-3 lead.
Kevin Nieto walked and stole second. He would score on Nate Lape's two-out single to center field for the 6-3 lead and putting the Phillies back on their heels for the ninth.

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Mental error squashes Phils comeback in the 8th

The Phillies were able to chase Mohawk reliever Alex DeAgelis after facing only three batter, but the rule book may get the save for Amsterdam.

Matt Willis extended his hitting streak to five games with an infield single and advanced on a wild pitch. Ryan Powers walked before Bryan Cook skied a pop-up in front of the mound.

With the infield fly rule in effect, Cook would be called out automatically, leaving the runners at their own peril. Willis and Powers were on the move, easily tagged for the third out, ending the Phillies rally.

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E's cost Phils, down 5-3

Saratoga's Louie Bernardini (Wheaton College) closed out his night with seven innings of work, giving up three runs, only one earned. He walked on batter, hit three and struck out nine.

Matt Willis (Oklahoma State) came on in relief in the eighth, giving up a long double to Nate Lape to lead off the inning. Brock Wright hit a one-out grounder to shortstop Ryan Powers who attempted to throw out Lape who was running to third. His throw skipped away on Saratoga third baseman Jake Willis, allowing Lape to score the go-ahead run.

Wright moved to second on the error and advanced on a ground out to third. He would come around to score when Brian Moon's come backer was tipped away by Willis, bounding over towards short, negating any chance of throwing him out giving Amsterdam a 5-3 lead.

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Amstedam ties it 3-3 on Philly E's

Strikeouts via wild pitch allowed the Saratoga to go ahead in the bottom of the fifth, but cost the Phillies in the top of the sixth.

Amsterdam's Nate Lape swung at a third strike, but Saratoga catcher Eric Walker couldn't hold the prize, allowing Laoe to scamper to first.

Things went from bad to worse after Brock Wright roped a single to left field allowing Lape to run to third. The cut-off throw was snared by Phillies shortstop Ryan Powers who sent a snap throw to second base low, bouncing off the foot of Corey Hunt. With the ball bounding into centerfield, Lape ran home to tie the contest at three apiece.

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Donnie goes ding-dong Phils up 3-2

Oklahoma State junior Donnie Webb deposited a Zac Goyer offering over the right field fence, just left of the 307 mark to give the Phillies
a 3-2 lead.

Corey Hunt lead off the inning with a strikeout,
but beat out a dropped third-strike throw by the Amsterdam catcher. He
advanced to second on aGoyer wild pitch before Webb's dinger.

It was the first home run of the year for Saratoga

After two long fly outs, Goyer was lifted for right-hander Andrew Clauson.
Goyer went 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out four.

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Mohawks go ahead 2-1

Nate Lape led off the Amsterdam fourth getting hit by a pitch and promptly stole second. Keith Glasser sent the ball deep to left field and saw new edition, Aaron Fields send an errant throw towards home, allowing Lape to score knotting the score at one apiece.

Glasser moved to third on a Bernardini wild pitch and scored the go-ahead run on Brock Wright's groundout to second.

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Phils up 1-0 in 1st Thursday

Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) lead off with a walk, stole second then third on a double steal with Bryan Rose as the trailer who was tagged out at second.
Webb scored on a Jake Willis (Siena) groundout to short, 1-0.

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Phils pitching change

Saratoga skipper juggled the line-up on Thursday deciding to start right-hander Louie Bernardini (Wheaton College) over Mike Fiers (U of Cumberlands).

Bernardini only lasted two innings on Saturday, being ejected after the top of the second inning for arguing a strike call after the inning ended.
Head coach Garett Baron also didn't want Bernardini to face Little Falls (Friday's opponent on the road), two starts in a row.

In his two innings Saturday, he allowed one earned run on three hits. He walked two and struck out three.

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Phillies Notes - June 14 pre-game

The Phillies suffered their first loss of the season last night, an 8-7 come-from-behind loss to the Glens Falls Golden Eagles, placing the two squads in a tie atop the Eastern League Division with 3-1 records.

Tonight's contest
Saratoga takes on the Amsterdam Mohawks (1-3) at 7 p.m. at East Side Rec.

Phillies right-hander Aaron Fields (1-0) will take the mound for the second time this season. He opened Saratoga's season with a 6-1 victory on the road at the Bennington Bombers.

Fiers went seven innings, allowed only one earned run, walked one batter and struck out nine. Josh Simmons came on to close out the contest in a non-save situation. He scattered two hits, walked two and struck out five.

Hitting streaks
Jake Willis - The Siena junior continues to be strong, hitting in four straight games, including a 2-for-5 performance at the plate last night, knocking in three runs. During the stretch, Willis is 6-for-17 with 3 runs and 6 RBI.
Eric Walker - The Oklahoma State freshman is on a three game tear, 3-for-12 over the stretch with 3 runs and 3 RBI. He went 1-for-4 last night with a run scored and an RBI.
Brian Harris - The Vanderbilt red-shirt freshman is also on a three-game streak, going 3-for-10 during the streak with a run scored and an RBI. He went 1-for-3 last night.
Brian Rose - The Kentucky freshman busted out on Tuesday against Glens Falls, going 3-for-4 with 2 RBI. He extended his streak Wednesday going 1-for-4 with 2 runs scored. He's 5-for-11 over the past three games with 4 runs scored and 4 runs driven in.

2-game streaks
Oklahoma State's Donnie Webb and West Virginia's Tyler Scruggs each have two-game hitting streaks in process.
Sad endingsDuke's Jon Nicolla saw his three-game streak snap last night, going 0-for-4 with an RBI and Virginia's Cory Hunt's streak stopped at a single game.

Starting over
Mississippi State's Ryan Powers and Bryan Cook each stroked a single Wednesday night to start another hitting streak.

No Stealing
Ryan Powers was the only Saratoga runner to steal a base Wednesday night. The squad was hampered by the strong pitching of Golden Eagles starter Scott Denault, Saratoga didn't have a base runner until the bottom of the third and didn't get its first hit until the fifth inning.
Currently Powers and Webb lead the Phillies in stolen bases, two on the season.

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Mastroianni signs with Blue Jays

2006 Saratoga Phillie Darin Mastroianni who was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 16th round of Major League Baseball's First Year Player Draft signed a professional contract on June 12.

The University of Southern Indiana sophomore has not yet been assigned by the major league club, but could be assiged to the New York-Penn Auburn Doubledays. That could return Mastroianni to the Capital District July 24-26 when the team travels to take on the Tri-City Valley Cats.

Last year he led the Phillies in batting with a .348 average, starting 44 of 45 games. He had a .497 slugging percentage with 54 hits, seven doubles and eight triples. He walked 22 times, striking out 32 times. On the bases, he was second on the team in steals, successful 17 out of 20 attempts.

The University of Southern Indiana was the fourth player drafted from the school and is the sixth Saratoga Phillie player drafted since the team was incorporated in 2004.

Mastroianni batted .409 in his junior season for the Screaming Eagles, starting all 66 games and brought a .549 sluggging percentage with him to the draft table. He hit two home runs, seven triples, 13 doubles for 130 total bases and batted in 43 runners. While on base he was a terror, stealing 64 of 67 bases.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Phillies rally, bottom nine, come up short, 8-7

Saratoga's Donnie Webb laid down a bunt on the third base line, beating out the throw safely to ignite the Phillies ninth. Bryan Rose hit a single down the right field, putting runners on the corners. Jacob Willis continued his hot hitting, driving in Webb with a rope to left field, cutting the lead, 8-6.

Jon Nicolla's fielder's choice allowed Rose to score from third, cutting the lead to a slim, 8-7 score.
With two outs, Glens Falls reliever JB Skees walked Bryan Cook....

With Eric Walker at the plate..full count..a routine grounder to Golden Eagles shortstop Dan DeGeorges loads the bases..
A routine grounder to third ends the threat by the Phils, falling 8-7 to Glens Falls for the first time this season.

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Phils bat around, cut lead 8-5

For those fans who left with the Phillies down, 8-0, on a chilly June night, they may wake up Thursday morning sorry.

Saratoga's Ryan Powers (Mississippi State) broke up Scott Denault's no-hit bid with a lead-off single to left. After stealing second on a close call, he came around to score on Eric Walker's single to left.

Brian Harris reached on a fielder's choice and would come all the way around on Donnie Webb's double down the left field line, cutting the lead, 8-2.

With two outs, Glens Falls starter Scott Denault walked Bryan Rose to load the bases.

Siena senior Jacob Willis delivered a crushing blow the the Golden Eagles lead, roping a single to center, scoring Hunt and Webb.

That chased Denault for the night as Glens Falls brought in right-hander Arthur Clyde to stop the slide.

Clyde walked Nicolla to load the bases and then put a pitch into the dirt in front of the plate. The wild pitch allowed Rose to score from third and cut the lead, 8-5.

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Glens Falls adds two, up 8-0

Last night the defense almost betrayed the Saratoga Phillies, tonight it was their pitching.
Putting a season-opening three-game lead in doubt, Glens Falls tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth.

Dan DeGeorges led off with a walk and stole second. He was plated on Jake Shaffer's down the left field line, putting the Golden Eagles ahead, 7-0.
Shaffer advanced on a sacrifice fly to right and ran home on Kevin Mahoney's double to center for the 8-0 lead.

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Saratoga down 6-0 on 1 hit

A lead off walk to Jake Shaffer (Northern Kentucky) was followed by Mark Kelly (Southern Illinois) reaching on an error when Saratoga shortstop Brian Harris's throw to first pulled Jon Nicolla off the bag. Spiers then walked the bases loaded with a free pass to Kevin Mahoney.

The Nova Southeasten right-hander, Spier, cost himself a run, walking in Casey Larson, giving Glens Falls a 3-0 lead.

A passed ball by Saratoga catcher Eric Walker allowed Kelly to score for a 4-0 Golden Eagles lead.

Things got worse for the Phillies when Luis Feliz sent a Spier offering down the left field line, scoring Mahoney and giving the visitors a 5-0 lead.

Spier was lifted for RPI left-hander Joe Zongol with runners at the corners.

Ken Gregory sent a Zongol offering deep into right to score a tagging up Larson for a 6-0 lead.

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Glens Falls up 2-0 top 2nd

Luis Feliz (Rutgers) reached on a one-out walk, stole second. Ken Gregory (St. Petersburg) followed with a walk. Dan DeGeorge then laced a two-out stand-up double down the left field line putting Glens Falls ahead, 2-0.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Phils win 7-4 vs. GF. Game Notes

Phils Notes: Saratoga 7, Glens Falls 4

And then there was one...
The Saratoga Phillies remain the only undefeated team in the NYCBL with its 7-4 win over Glens Falls Tuesday night. The Golden Eagles headed into last night's contest with a 2-0 record.
In the West, Niagara Power upended the Hornell Dodgers, 8-7, ending their three-game win streak.

Winning streak
The Saratoga Phillies have won all three games to open their 2007 season matching the same mark of last year's team in late June from June 29 to July 1. The Phils dropped Watertown, Glens Falls and Bolivar during that streak.

During the regular season the Phils had a five-game winning streak before its late seeason run.
In early June, the Phillies dropped Little Falls, Glens Falls, Geneva, Amsterdam and Rochester. The streak ended in the second-game of the Rochester doubleheader.

Saratoga went on a roll to close out the season, winning six of its last seven games.
The Phillies dropped Little Falls three times, Glens Falls twice and Geneva as it headed into the post-season.

The most important streak came in the post-season when the Phillies swept three, best of three post-season contests versus Amsterdam, Little Falls and Allegany County to claim the NYCBL titles.

Hit Streaks
Five different Phillies continued hit streaks Tuesday night, one eneded and two more were started at East Field.
Jacob Willis The Siena junior went doubled in the eighth to extend his streak to three games. He's 4-for-12 with three runs and three RBIs.
Jon Nicolla The Duke junior extended his thre-game mark in the seventh, also with a double.
Bryan Rose The Kentucky freshman made the most of his start Tuesday, adding to his one-game streak, going 3-for-4 with two RBI versus Glens Falls. Currently he's 4-for-7 with two runs scored and four RBI.
Brian Harris The Vanderbilt freshman didn't waste anytime Tuesday extending his mark to two games. His two RBI single in the top of the second put the Phillies on the board first.
Tyler Scruggs The West Virginia freshman was entered again in the lineup behind the dish, going 1-for-2 with two runs scored and hitting safely in two straight games started.

New streaks started
Donnie Webb The Oklahoma junior went 1-for-2 with a run scored Tuesday night, putting himself back on the hit streak list.
Corey Hunt The Virginia freshman was inserted mid-at bat for Mark Riffee who took a ball off his own bat onto his chin. His chin was split open and he was sent to Glens Falls Hospital for stitches. Cold off the bench, Hunt went 1-for-4 with two runs, an RBI and a hit by pitch during Rifee's one-strike at bat.

Saratoga Phillies clean-up batter Bryan Cook (Nova Southeastern) was the designated K-Man for the Golden Eagles home contest. If Cook struck out during the game, each fan's ticket was worth $1 off a large cheese pizza at sponsor Brooklyn Pizza in Queensbury.
He lined out to second in the first and grounded back to the pitcher to start a 1-6-3 doubleplay in the third. He helped out the hometown crowd in the fifth, striking out looking.

Stealing the show
Donnie Webb The Oklahoma State junior was the second Phillie to steal a base this season, swiping second base twice in Tuesday's contest. Last season Webb stole eight bases for Saratoga on 13 attempts.
Bryan Rose (Kentucky) also stole second in the seventh inning for the Phillies.

Tonight's arms Spier (0-0) versus Denault (0-0)
Jon Spier a 5-foot, 11-inch righthander from Nova Southeastern gets the nod tonight for the Phillies at East Side Rec versus 6-3 righthander Scott Denault from San Diego.

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Phillies pad lead, up 7-4 in 8th

Donnie Webb led off with a single through the middle to start the eighth. He was sacrificed to second by Tyler Zeronda (Lafayette) and came around to score on an RBI double by Jake Willis (Siena) giving the Phillies a 7-4 lead.

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Saratoga pulls ahead, 6-4

Saratoga's offense didn't disappoint in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs runs on three hits and a passed ball.

Jake Willis (Siena) led off with a walk and moved to third when Jon Nicolla (Duke) drilled a double off the left field wall, just below the bleacher railing. Corey Hunt (Virginia) made the most of his insertion into the Phillies line-up, driving in Willis, tying the score at four apiece.

Bryan Rose (Kentcky) sent a looping drive to left field that just escaped the diving clutches of Glens Falls fielder Daniel Cooke (Gardner-Webb), plating Nicolla for the 5-4 lead.

Hunt moved to third on the shot and scampered in across the plate on a passed ball by Golden Eagles catcher Mark Kelly (Southern Illinois), putting Saratoga up, 6-4.

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Glens Falls goes ahead 4-3 on E's again in sixth.

The Golden Eagles went ahead 4-3on the arm of Saratoga reliever Cory Kuzmik (NJIT).
Kuzmik walked lead off batter Luis Feliz (Rutgers) and allowed him to advance on a wild pitch.

Dan DeGeorge (Princeton) raced his way to first on a bunt infield single without a throw from charging Phillies third baseman Jake Willis (Siena). Kuzmik would allow Feliz to score on an errant pick-off attempt to first, allowing DeGeorge to scamper to third.

The lefty settled down, striking out the next two batters and saved by a long throw out by Willis from third on a grounder.

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Saratoga ties it 3-3 in 6th

Saratoga didn't let its doldrums in the field effect its offense after giving up the lead on three errors in the Glens Falls half of the fifth.

With two outs in the top of the sixth, Bryan Rose (Kentucky) drove in Tyler Scruggs (West Virginia) with a double to left, knotting the contest at three apiece.

The Phillies couldn't do any more damage against Golden Eagles reliever Adam Veres (St. Petersburg), leaving the bases loaded.

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GF goes ahead 3-2 on errors

Errors cost the Phillies the lead in the fifth Tuesday night.

Three errors by the Saratoga defense allowed two runs to score and take the lead in the Glens Falls half of the fifth.

Golden Eagle Dan DeGeorge (Princeton) reached on a fielding error by Phillies second baseman Ryan Powers (Mississippi State) and would come around to score when Jake Shaffer (Northern Kentucky) grounded into a double play, tying the score at two apiece.

Saratoga let the Golden Eagles take the lead after Daniel Cooke (Gardner-Webb) reached on a throwing error by Phillie third baseman Jake Willis (Siena). It didn't long for Glens Falls to make them pay when Kevin Mahoney (Canisius) singled to right to go ahead, 3-2.

Phillies starter Bret Harvel (Northwest Missouri State) was lifted for left-hander Cory Kuzmik (NJIT).

Saratoga still had issues trying to get out of the inning when Phillie shortstop Brian Harris (Vanderbilt) missed second on an attempted force out and then threw wild to first trying to throw out Mark Kelly (Southern Illinois).

After issuing a walk to Mark Kelly (Southern Illinois), Kuzmik got out of a bases loaded jam with a ground out to second. .

Glens Falls starting left-hander Alex Pepe (Florida Atlantic) went four innings allowing both Saratoga runs on only two hits. He walked five batters and struck out five.

He turned the ball over to right-hander Adam Veres (St. Petersburg) who got the Phillies out 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth.

Stan Hudy


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GF cuts lead, 2-1 vs. Phillies

Glens Falls got on the board in its half of the second when Kevin Mahoney (Canisius) hit Brett Harvel's (NW Missouri State) first pitch over the left field wall, cutting the lead, 2-1. It was the first home run of the Golden Eagles season.

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Phillies up 2-0 in 2nd vs. GF

A rough second inning turned positive for the Phillies.

Saratoga's Mark Riffee (Virginia) took a foul ball off his chin from his own check swing in the top of the second. He was replaced by Corey Hunt (Virginia)during the at bat and was promptly hit by Glens Falls starter Alex Pepe.

Pepe struggled with control, walking Tyler Scrugss (West Virginia) to load the bases without retiring a batter. Pepe got Bryan Rose (Kentucky) to hit a dribbler back to the mound and started a 1-2-3 double play.

With two out and Hunt and Scruggs in scoring position, Brian Harris (Vanderbilt) hit a bloop single to right field, driving in two.

Harris notched his second hit in as many games. He moved to third on the throw home and third base after the ball caromed out of play. He would be left stranded at third.

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NYCBL: Saratoga at Glens Falls is on

Despite a passing thunderstorm, tonight's NYCBL contest between the Eastern Division's two unbeaten teams, the Saratoga Phillies (2-0) and the Glens Falls Golden Eagles (2-0) is on for 7 pm.

Saratoga will send 6-foot 3-inch right-hander Bret Harvel (NW Missouri State) against Glens Falls lefty, Alex Pepe (Florida Atlantic) for their first starts of the season.

Tonight is the first of eight meetings between the two squads.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Shannon Craig at US Rowing Selection Camp

Saratoga Springs junior Shannon Craig’s rowing skills has taken her places, now she’ll have a chance to row her way to Beijing, China with the US National Team.

Craig, a 17-year-old rower with the Saratoga Rowing Association is one of 53 girls invited to the US Rowing Junior Women’s National Team Selection Camp in New London, Conn. She is training and rowing for one of 15 spots available for the 2007 Junior National Team that will race in the 2007 FISA World Junior Championships Aug. 8 to 11 in Beijing, China.

“By June 24 I’ll know if I’ll be eligible for the Junior A team or if I have to go home,” Craig said.

The junior national team will consist of an eight, a four and a pair, 14 rowers total with one alternate.

If Craig isn’t selected for the national squad, she may still have room for a stamp in her passport.
“Some of the girls may be placed on the high-performance team,” Craig said. “They are going to Berlin, Germany and scrimmage the German national team. They are taking an eight and a spare. They are more people my age.”

As a 17-year-old Craig is eligible for either team, not pinning her hopes on the junior national team.
“We know they are going to make the eight full of 1989s (birth-years),” Craig said. “A lot of rowers in my age (1990), we don’t want to get our hopes up high. In a way, we hope to make the high performance. It’s still competitive, but we’re young and still learning things.”

Craig proved to be a top performer last year after she was selected to the US Rowing “Junior B” Development Camp and where she earned a gold medal in the Junior B double and placed third in the women’s eight, rowing behind the two US National Team boats at the US Rowing Club National Championships.
She was surprised to find her name added to the prestigious rowing camp.
“I was injured all winter and didn’t have a good erg (rowing machine) test,” Craig said. “At the ID camp in Boston I couldn’t do a 2k (2,000-meter row on an erg) because of my stress fracture and I could only row on the water.”

Craig suffered a fracture of her right fibula, possibly from extensive running on a treadmill this winter indoors.
“My feet and body are not used to that,” Craig said. “I thought I stepped on it funny and then I waited two weeks, before I got it checked out.”

Despite her off-season set backs, Craig received an invite.
“I was happy,” Craig said. “In the e-mail the coach wrote that he knows I’m not where he wants me to be, but he said I can get where I need to be through technique and power.”

The only thing standing in the Saratoga junior’s way is time, hampered by a school schedule in the Northeast.
“I think I’m at a disadvantage, I’ll miss a few days of practice to take regents exams,” Craig said. “I could have taken them in August, but didn’t get them re-scheduled.”

Craig said the next two weeks of rowing are intense with three practices a day, beginning at 5 a.m. followed by another at 10:30. The rowers and their bodies get a break before a 3 p.m. afternoon practice.
When not on the water, the rowers have time to reflect on their performances before the June 24 deadline.
“You can schedule meetings with the coaches in between to give you progress report so you are not in the dark,” Craig said. “Then the next Saturday, they tell who teams and who has to go home.”

For Craig, she’ll have her regents exams completed and her passport at the ready for an overseas rowing adventure.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Phillies rained out Sunday, Monday exhibition cancelled

The Saratoga Phillies contest versus the Amsterdam Mohawks was postponed due to rain in the area.

No date has yet been announced for the make-up date.

The rain also wiped out the Phillies plans to travel to Cooperstown on Monday to face Geneva in an exhibition game and then take in the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The Phillies will travel to Glens Falls Tuesday June 12 to face the Golden Eagles for a home and home series. Saratoga will host Glens Falls the next night, Wednesday June 13 at East Side Rec.

The Phillies host Amsterdam Thursday, June 14 before traveling to Little Falls on Friday and Amsterdam on Saturday.

Saratoga closes out the week with a Sunday night contest versus Glens Falls.

According to Saratoga co-owner Keith Rogers Mondays are reserved for rainout make-up dates, but not contest was scheduled for June 11th. If the Amsterdam contest is re-scheduled for June 18, the Phillies would be scheduled to play 14 contests in a row.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Phils Notes: 9-6 win over Little Falls

Saratoga Phillies Notes - Saturday, June 9

Streaks alive: Three Saratoga Phillies kept hitting streaks alive through two official games.

Jon Nicolla (Duke) 3-for-7 with 2 runs and 3 RBI in two games

Jacob Willis (Siena) 3-for-9 with 2 runs and 1 RBI in two games

Eric Walker 2-for-8 with 2 runs and 1 RBI in two games

Tyler Scruggs 1-for-4 with 1 RBI in game one, no start on Saturday

How do you spell relief? S-I-M-M-O-N-S
The right handed reliever made his second official relief appearance for the Phillies.
Versus Bennington he pitched 2 innings, gave up 2 hits, no runs, walked 2 and struck out 5.
On Saturday versus Little Falls he pitched one inning, allowed two runners to score (charged to Matt Willis) and struck out two.

Exit strategy: Saturday was the first ejection for head coach Garret Baron during his NYCBL career. His last early exit was in the Costa Plains League when a player was ejected. The league rule mandated that the manager was automatically ousted for any player ejection.

To be continued...The Phillies second game versus the Bennington Bombers was suspended due to darkness. The stats from that game will become effective after the contest is completed at East Side Rec June 20.

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