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Three and you're out Monday night

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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Three and you're out Monday night

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.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Three and you're out Monday night

It was a tough night for the local boys of summer Monday night throughout the Capital Region as the Saratoga National Little League Williamsport-bound division, the Saratoga American Little League 10-year-old all-stars and even the bigger boys, the Saratoga Phillies all saw their seasons come to a close.

The Saratoga Nationals were two wins away from a trip to Bistol, Conn. (the home of ESPN) for the East Regional, but fell to South Shore, 3-2, at Indian Meadow Park in Glenville. It would have been great to see this team advance, I know they would have found a way to have some "home cooking" from The Saratogian on the trip and I could drop off my resume to the Mother Ship in person this time. (Just kidding, Barb.)

The Saratoga Nationals were not the biggest squad by any means, sometimes appearing to be towered over by some of their New York State competitors in size, but these guys can play some serious baseball. Game after game they were just flawless and whoever was on the hill knew he didn't have to strike out the side every inning, his defense was there every step of the way.

The Saratoga Americans lost to Pine Bush (Guilderland) last night, 6-3, and The Saratogian was there, thanks to the efforts of now dutifully employed news director at WAMC Ian Pickus came off the bench and back to the small diamond after his heroic efforts during this year's Mayor's Cup.
As a note: Thanks again to Chris Pennamacoor who has been my compadre throughout this youth all-star season.

You have to feel for the Saratoga Americans who had to drop their counterparts, the Saratoga Nationals twice to advance into the Section III tournament, but I really like the positive e-mails sent by their coach, Pete D'Aloia along the way, across the aisle, to the Saratoga Americans during their Road to Williamsport.

As for the Saratoga Phillies, a season that at one time appeared lost, was saved, advanced into the playoffs and gave East Division perennial powerhouse Glens Falls a scare.

My season with the Saratoga Phillies was one of my shorter ones, just eight games out of 44 covered, rain took out a few and then the all-star season took over with a vengeance. We had a group of staffers at as many home contests as possible, but it is sad to see these collegiate stars leave in early August.

Credit Saratoga Phillies coach Greg Zackrison from Massasoit Community College for pulling this squad from the outhouse almost to the penthouse after the all-star break.

The Phillies program continues to shine in the Spa City and is a great example for young ballplayers to come and watch, for free. Saratoga didn't have many extra inning contests and few ran longer than 2 to 2 1/2 hours, courtesy of some outstanding defensive work behind these great pitchers.

Ending a season is tough, especially for Saratoga Phillies first lady, GM Colleen Carlson, who was crying as she hugged the players after last night's final games. She has been the conduit for the players, their college coaches, their families for more than 44 games. She has been involved in everything from transportation, to housing to doctor's visits to her role as No. 1 fan.

In this harsh economy it is hard to keep these joys of summer alive, an example is this year's Empire State Games, cancelled for 2009 and still a question for 2010.

Can the Phillies ownership partners, Dan Scaring and Keith Rogers, continue to put in time and money into the summer program? Decisions are best left after some time and lets hope the organization has the support, spiritually and financially, to return for another summer in Saratoga.

If not, we'll still have the Mayor's Cup, Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth state tournaments and the Little League Baseball Road to Williamsport to fill our schedules in July and beyond.

For me, another week of Cal Ripken baseball, some phone follow-ups on teams looking to advance to a World Series, some office time and then a week of vacation with the bride.

Of course, then varsity football practices start Aug. 17 and the other varsity sports follow a week later, but they'll be there when I get back.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

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