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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: March 2010

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.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Girls lacrosse "Play Day" a success

It was a cold day, but worth it for all of the teams that competed in the 2010 girls lacrosse play day at RPI Sunday.

Ballston Spa, Sarataoga and Shenendehowa topped the local talent with other Suburban Council teams competing in 25 minute running time scrimmages along with other locals squads and out-of-towners Pearl River and Mt. Anthony.

Check out the video here: http://tiny.cc/v5dbs

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Saratoga Phillies alums enjoying MLB Success

Michael Fiers (Saratoga ’07-’08), making his Major League Baseball spring training debut for the Milwaukee Brewers, struck out the side in order on Monday afternoon (Mar. 15) in a game with the Cleveland Indians. Fiers began spring training in Milwaukee’s minor league camp however he was added to the Brewers spring training roster prior to the game with Cleveland.

The 2007 New York Collegiate Baseball League Pitcher of the Year entered the contest for Milwaukee in the top of the eighth inning, wearing number 97 with no name plate on the back of his jersey. Fiers retired three-straight Cleveland hitters on strikes. He was the only Milwaukee pitcher in the game to not allow a base runner.

The Pompano Beach, Fla., native was a 22nd round pick (676th overall) of the Brewers in the 2009 Major League Baseball draft after a standout senior year at Nova Southeastern University. He led NCAA Division II with an NSU school record 145 strikeouts and he was a third-team All-American.

Fiers began his professional career last June with Helena of the Pioneer League. By the beginning of September the former Saratoga Phillie was pitching for Class A-Advanced Brevard County of the Florida State League. Through three levels, Fiers went 2-0 with 11 saves and a 1.33 ERA. He struck out 59 and walked only five in 40.2 innings.

The current Brewer was a two-time all star in the New York Collegiate Baseball League with the Saratoga Phillies. Fiers twice led the 14-team summer circuit in strikeouts with 68 in 2007 and 76 in 2008. He combined to win seven games over two seasons and posted a 5-1 record with a 1.99 ERA in his Pitcher of the Year campaign.

One inning after Mike Fiers made his Brew Crew debut, Donnie Webb (Saratoga ’06-’07) rapped a pinch-hit single for Cleveland off of Milwaukee relief John Halama. Webb would eventually come around to score as the Tribe rallied for a pair of runs in the top of the ninth. Webb, a 10th round draft pick of the Indians in 2008, was assigned to the Major League team on Mar. 13 after starting the spring in the Tribe’s minor league camp. Webb debuted for the Indians that same day and pinch hit in a game with the Texas Rangers. The next afternoon, Webb collected a pinch-hit single against San Diego.

The Stillwater, Okla., began his professional career in 2008 with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the New York-Penn League. After spending most of the 2009 campaign with Class-A Lake County of the South Atlantic League, Webb was a called up to Triple-A Columbus. He hit .367 and drove in seven runs for the Clippers in just six games.

Like Fiers, Webb was a two-year member of the Saratoga Phillies. The former Oklahoma State outfielder was selected first team All-NYCBL in 2007 and he played in two NYCBL All-Star Games. Webb was a starting outfielder for the 2006 NYCBL champion Phillies, batting .278 with 19 RBI in 44 games. During his second season in Saratoga, Webb hit .329, drove in 22 runs and stole 15 bases.

Last year, Casper Wells (Saratoga ’05) become the first former member of the Saratoga Phillies to reach Major League Baseball when he was added to the 40-man roster of the Detroit Tigers. Wells is currently taking part in his second Major League Spring Training. Wells is at Detroit Tigers camp for the second year in a row. After a breakout 2008, injuries hindered Wells in 2009 though he put together solid numbers in the Arizona Fall League this past October. The Schenectady, N.Y., native spent all of last season with the Double-A Erie Seawolves after rising from Low Single-A to Double-A in 2008.

Darin Mastroianni (Saratoga ’06) was placed on Toronto’s roster for a Thursday afternoon date with Baltimore. Mastroianni replaced Vernon Wells in center field and was retired in his only plate appearance. The Blue Jays selected the Mount Kisco, N.Y., native in the 16th round of the 2007 draft out of the University of Southern Indiana. Mastroianni split the 2009 season between Hi-A Dunedin of the Florida State League and Double-A New Hampshire of the Eastern League. He totaled 70 stolen bases between two levels and drove in 51 runs to earn an invitation to the prestigious Arizona Fall League. Mastroianni was chosen first team All-NYCBL in 2006 after leading the Saratoga Phillies to the league championship. He batted a team-high .348, drove in 25 runs, stole 17 bases and led the team with eight triples.

-- Courtesy Keith Rogers, co-owner Oneonta Outlaws (Saratoga Phillies)

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Whooping cough warning from NYSPHSAA ice hockey championships March 12-14

A late e-mail arrived regarding a confirmed case of whooping cough (pertussis) at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association ice hockey championships at the Utica Memorial Auditorium last weekend.

No details have been released if the person was an attendee, official or employee of the facility, but the release does state two specific days, March 12-13 of the event.

Here is the link to the story and release from the New York State Department of Health here.

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Hockey champions night with the Phantoms April 2

The Adirondack Phantom will be honoring two local high school ice hockey teams that advanced to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association title games at 7:30 on April 2 when the Phantoms face the Syracuse Crunch.

The Saratoga Springs Blue Streaks (Division I) and Queensbury Spartans (Division 2) squads will be honored during the first intermission out on the ice in front of fans and friends.

For players on the squad, a "champions" discount will be available for $13 for adults and $11 for children, both include the $1 arena fee.

Contact Dawn Price at 480-3355 for tickets.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Saratoga Pop Warner cheer teams need a home

The Saratoga Pop Warner cheer teams need a home to practice their craft.

I received a request from the organization's president, Matthew Riker, asking for help.

He wrote that the squads are looking for an available facility that is well-lit with open space, similar to a warehouse or a large storage garage or facility. They could probably utilize a conference or banquet room with high ceilings.

Obviously as a 501c3 organization they are hoping someone might be able to donate the space for practices or rent it at an agreeable, inexpensive, "for the kids" type of rate.

If anyone has any ideas, feel free to e-mail me at shudy@saratogian.com and I will be happy to pass it along.

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Section II Football Hall of Fame created, looking for nominees

The Capital District Chapter of the National Football Foundation is going to start a Section II Football Hall of Fame this year.

In order to make sure the committee has a solid list to choose from, they would like your input on who you think should be in the Hall of Fame. As we all know there have been and still are many great coaches, players and officials that have come through the Section the past 90 or so years and it would be interesting to see what names come up from various positions and schools.

As you also know, not everyone can make it the first year but a solid list of former players would be very beneficial. The committee has set a policy that only players that have played before the 2000 season will be considered.

So, who do you think should go in and why?

The section will post a nomination form on its web-site shortly at http://www.section2football.com/

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eight Skidmore athletes earn LIberty League honors



With spring sports in full swing, eight Skidmore College student-athletes were recognized by the Liberty League for their efforts during the past week.

Softball opened up their season with a 5-5 record at the Rebel Spring games as Lauren Dinsdale (Harrington Park, N.J.) was named Performer of the Week, Sam Crose (Assonet, Mass.) picked up Pitcher of the Week and Julia Schwartz (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) took home Rookie of the Week. Dinsdale caught all 10 games for Skidmore while batting .438 (14-32) with a home run, four doubles, seven RBI and six runs scored. Crose tossed 42 1/3 innings, posting a 4-3 record with a 2.15 ERA while striking out 39 batters. Schwartz led the Thoroughbreds with four home runs while batting .333 with nine runs and nine RBI and also was the winning pitcher in relief against Rutgers-Newark.

Baseball’s Zack Rudman (Pittsford, N.Y.) was named Co-Performer of the Week and Trevor Brucato (Stamford, Conn.) earned Co-Pitcher of the week after a 3-1 week for the Thoroughbreds. Rudman went 6-7 with three RBI and three runs scored in a doubleheader sweep of Becker and finished the week with .562 (9-16) average with six runs scored, four RBI and two stolen bases. Brucato picked up a tough no-decision in a 3-1 13 inning loss to #2 Wooster, he tossed seven innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out one and walking one.

Women’s tennis freshman Brittany Trimble (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) received Rookie of the Week after her strong play in Skidmore’s 5-4 win at Rochester. Trimble earned a valuable two points, winning 6-2, 6-2 at number six singles and teamed up with Rachel Loeb to win 8-3 at number three doubles.

Golf’s Chris DeJohn (Rocky Hill, Conn.) picked up Performer of the Week honors after finishing first at the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational. DeJohn was three under for the tournament, shooting 67-74-72—213 and his first round 67 was the low round for the 27 team tournament which featured 13 of the top 20 Division III programs.

Women’s lacrosse freshman Mackenzie Staub (East Northport, N.Y.) received Co-Rookie of the Week honors after a five-point week. In a 19-3 win over Fort Lewis, Staub tallied two goals and two assists and would add another goal in the Thoroughbreds’ 14-13 loss to Colorado College.

-- Courtesy Skidmore College

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

In the B'Spa Bunker for March Madness

Dear Diary,

It's been a crazy, wild ride as the winter sports season has reached several climaxes and the hours have mounted up on me allowing  focing me to take four days off here at the end of the week. All work and all work and well, all work makes Stanley tired and cranky.

So a few days sequestered here in Ballston Spa isn't so bad, Jeff Scott will be on site for the Shenendehowa girls run to possibly another state title and I'm getting prepared for our Saratogian Sports Outreach meeting 7 p.m. Monday, March 22 at the Gideon Putnam. I hope to see a lot of familiar faces there to meet the rest of the staff and interact with my bosses as well as to touch base with some not-so-familiar faces to become a part of the daily and weekly life in the Saratogian sports department.

No bracket news, I didn't have time (or the money) to circle any teams, but I did have high hopes for Siena.

The Clifton Park Dynamo are in the 18U state tournament this weekend and I'll sneak by Sunday morning to see if they earn the right to defend their state title in the afternoon. I've got just enough time left for the week to get that in.

Plans are underway for our winter Dream Teams, Sam and Nicole will punch out the boys and girls basketball squads while I just decided by myself to put together the ice hockey selections for next weekend. I wish we would do all-stars for each and every sport, but it just seems to come down to bodies within the department. It isn't a lack of want, just creating the time to put these together with the winter season sometimes in full swing.

Well, the weather has broken and Shen boys lacrosse has several scrimmages set for this Sunday and the Plainsmen open on Thursday, 4 p.m for the girls and 5:30 for the boys. So does Saratoga Springs so this week will be full of lacrosse previews.

I've got 6 Shen students who signed ceremonial Letters of Intent with video coming up, I'm moving them to the April 2 edition so they will all be on the cover of the Community News. The Shen girls deserve the cover this week, winning Friday and in the state title game on Saturday. I don't want to split the athletes between the cover and the inside, all deserve to be on the front.

Well, more cleaning to do in the bunker, put winter notebooks away and get ready for Spring. I've got the waterproof paper set, my rain gear ready (more for crew than anything else) and one more day of rest before I get back into it for another long run.

Have a great weekend.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

NYSPHSAA ice hockey final: West Genny 3, Saratoga 0 final

It was a goal to get to this game and that is what the Saratoga Springs Blue Streaks hockey team has to take with it Sunday afternoon, falling to the No. 1 team in New York State and unbeaten West Genesee, 3-0.

Time for some interviews, some congratulations for a great season and a longer than usual ride home...thanks guys, it's been a fun ride.

West Genesee fans making friends across the arena, mocking the Blue Streak fans T-O-G-A chant. With 3:08 left, starting the "warm up the bus chant.",

8:00 clock 3rd period.
West Genesee makes it 2-0 on Ryan Michael's unassisted goal.
Things get worse as Erich Haney makes it 3-0 just 42 seconds later giving the Wildcats a 3-0 lead with 7:18 lead.

10:41 clock 3rd period.
OHHH so close...prior to a Saratoga power play, the puck sneaks through the crease and no one is there to put a blade on it. Blue Streaks on the power play, Dan Going attempts to stuff it in on the right side, no good, but puck ends up on left side and Mike Regan can't get a blade on it with an open side...sooo close..

End of 2nd period, West Genesee 1, Saratoga Springs 0
It's been a wild period as the Wildcats outshot the Blue Streaks 12-1 in the period, had an extended power play to start the session and couldn't convert on another opportunity later to put the game away.

SS goalie Graeme Bulmer tested on most trips down the ice, taking shots, but most importantly covering his rebounds, a key to keeping this close.

The Blue Streak offense can't seem to get in a flow, getting a man-advantage going the other way and West Genesee's forecheck is good, limiting opportunities.

Hard to tell how intermission conversation is going...Saratoga, happy to be only down a goal with one to go and West Genesee frustrated about not being able to finish in the offensive zone?? Expect the third to be hard hitting and both teams hungry to get a goal, one team to put it away and the other to make it game...

7:39 clock, 2nd period
The West Genesse fans know how to get into a game. A slew of yellow pom poms moving to the music between action and taunting the Saratoga players when they earn entry into the penalty box. Crowd comes alive as the hits start to have a little more something on them.

10:26 clock 2nd period
SS goalie Graeme Bulmer getting a workout, shots West Genny 13, Saratoga 4 and the Wildcats just drilled the right post with a shot. Still 1-0 WG.

End of 1st period: Shots West Genesee 9, Saratoga 4.
The Blue Streaks aren't helping themselves late in the first period as both Alex Luse and Jimmy Murray enter the penalty box with under 1:30 left, giving the Wildcats a 44 second 5-on-3 to close out the first period.

When the second period resumes, West Genny will have a 5-on-3 for 17 seconds and then a continuation of its 5-on-4 for 47 seconds. Blue Streak coach Mike Ricupero had a few questions for the officiating crew at center ice as he headed into the locker room. I believe he was asking for a "both ways" call because both penalties looked clear from the press box up her at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

1:37 to go. Saratoga is alive and well, pressuring West Genny. Several chances, 1 power play kill, 1 power play. This is far from over.

At a reader's request (so don't yell at me boss) the game does have an audio feed live on http://www.northcountrysports.net/. I hate to plug the competition and I am funnier, but I pass this on as a service to a reader.

14:36 on clock, West Genny scores on first trip down the ice. Saratoga got off a shot, Wildcats down, a slow pass didn't work, but the subsequent rebound set up from behind the net did.

The Blue Streaks haven't been booed this much since they played at Shenendehowa, but they got their vocal displeasure in when the Wildcats were introduced.
It's a battle between Blue and Yellow on the ice. (On a funny note, those two colors make Green - Shen pun..ha-ha. It's early on a Sunday. Sorry)

Well folks, it appears Twitter doesn't want to adjust to daylight savings time, so I'll do a live blog update from here instead.

I promise I won't be too wordy (usually limited on Twitter), but may be able to provide more flowing information for all of you.

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