2019 Suburban Council baseball preview

The Suburban Council baseball season begins this week with a handful of games before kicking into full gear during the first week of April. Here is a look at the 15 Suburban Council teams in alphabetical order.

SC preview-6Albany Falcons
Head coach: Garett Baron

Returning players
Jackson Anderson – senior outfielder
Alex Casciotti – senior infielder/pitcher
Rah’sier Chandler – junior pitcher
Nick Dugan – junior infielder/pitcher
Chris Gallagher – junior catcher/pitcher
Max Kendall – senior catcher
Will Klose – senior first baseman
Jeff Lembo – senior infielder/pitcher
Key-Shawn Miller – senior infielder
David Palmer – senior outfielder
Ian Townsend – junior infielder
William Traynor – senior first baseman
Nick Wilson – senior infielder

Outlook: The Falcons bolstered their confidence with a strong performance at a preseason tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C. That effort, plus a nucleus of veteran talent, has Albany envisioning a postseason push in 2019.

“They’ve all played together for five years – through Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle [leagues],” said assistant coach Jack Grogan. “Now that they’re seniors, we’re hoping that it will all come together this year.”

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SC preview-5Averill Park Warriors
Head coach: John Durocher

Returning players
Anthony Carucci – senior
Anthony Childrose – junior
Wes Doscher – senior
Nicholas Maggio – senior
Morgan Mason – senior
Joe Milanese – junior
Jack Nichols – junior
Avery Pascucci – senior
Ethan Simard – junior
Nikolas Yash – senior

Outlook: Despite being stuck inside to practice throughout March, Durocher said he is hopeful his team can sprint out of the gate once the Warriors hit the field for their first game.

“All of our kids have been working hard,” said Durocher. “As a whole, we’ve been trying to maximize our repetitions inside so we can be ready when we go outside.”

SC preview-11Ballston Spa Scotties
Head coach: Curtis Nobles

Returning players
Jake Manderson – senior
Luke Gold – senior
Colman Hinman – junior
Anthony Devizzio – junior
Nick Reed – senior
Briar Murtlow – senior
Joe Bozzo – senior
Michael Poirier – senior
Louis Nichols – senior
Chris Kolodziejski – junior
Jayden Williamson – senior
Evan Fox – junior
Chance Checca – sophomore
Jacob Bickel – senior
Donovan Rhoden – senior

Outlook: With a veteran-laden roster and a move into Class A for Sectionals this year, the Scotties know others are expecting big things from them, but they’re not letting that determine their own expectations.

“We just want to go out and play hard each day – that’s our expectation,” said Nobles. “We’ll let others place expectations on us.”

Bethlehem Eagles
Head coach: Matthew Rehbit

2019 roster
Infield – Mike Mullen, Andrew Voelker, Brian Bolduc, Gio Ortega, Caleb Federman, Andrew Baker, Jerry Jennings, Dan Gilligan, Nick Zigrosser, Will Vagianelis

Outfield – Brett Berben, Mike Turoski, Chris Taranto, Josh Bein

Pitchers – Berben, Ortega, Federman, Chris Baker, Turoski, Robbie Quinlan, Gilligan, Jeff Hammond, Jacob Kantrowitz, Marko Gibbons

SC preview-8Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Spartans
Head coach: Rob Duell

Returning players
Jack Wyatt – senior pitcher/first baseman
Zack Bringhurst – senior outfielder/pitcher
Sam Gardy – junior outfielder
Will Kindl – junior pitcher/outfielder
Alex Morse – junior infielder
Derek Haughey – senior catcher
Hunter Valley – senior pitcher/infielder

Outlook: The Spartans are aiming to bounce back from a 2018 season in which they finished with a 10-11 record, including a 7-4 loss to eventual state champion Queensbury in the Section 2 Class A playoffs.

“The pitching staff should be the strength of this team, with its top two pitchers [Wyatt and Valley] returning,” said Duell. “A talented group of arms arrives from a 13-5 [junior varsity] squad. They will have to make the big adjustment to varsity baseball in the Suburban Council. The success of this team will be determined by their ability to throw strikes and make the routine plays on defense.”

SC preview-7CBA Brothers
Head coach: Casey O’Connor

Returning players
William Alderisio – senior outfielder
Peter O’Toole – senior infielder
Alex Harrison – senior infielder
Mike Murray – senior infielder
Drew Signor – senior infielder
Britt Carmer – senior pitcher
Andrew Trobridge – senior pitcher
Brendan Carroll – senior pitcher
Michael Hicks – senior pitcher
Jack O’Leary – senior catcher

Outlook: Armed with a veteran pitching staff and a senior-laden infield, O’Connor said he is hopeful his team will be competitive within the Suburban Council.

“The league is strong, like it always is,” said O’Connor, who enters his seventh season coaching the Brothers. “You’ve got to prepare yourself because any pitcher can win on any given day.”

SC preview-2Colonie Garnet Raiders
Head coach: Kevin Halburian

Returning players
Carter Bach – senior catcher
Matthew Canastra – senior outfielder
Ian Parker – senior infielder
James Davis – senior infielder
Ryan McKenna – senior pitcher
Paul Montesanti – senior infielder

Outlook: Despite graduating several key players from last year’s team, including much of his pitching staff, Halburian is optimistic about Colonie’s chances in 2019.

“We’re going to be alright. We’ve got some speed, we can hit the ball around the field and we can pitch,” said Halburian.

SC preview-9Columbia Blue Devils
Head coach: Chris Dedrick

Returning players
Carmen Erno – junior pitcher/ second baseman
Ryan Nista – senior pitcher
Kyle Fortin – senior pitcher/designated hitter
Evan Premo – senior catcher
Zachary Eldred – senior pitcher/second baseman/center fielder

Outlook: The Blue Devils graduated several key players from last year’s Section 2 Class AA championship squad, but they are reloading with a group of sophomores led by shortstop Dylan Tierney, utility player Brandon Biggane and pitchers Robert Erno and TJ Strevell.

“So far, both preseason and early practices have been excellent. This young team is beginning to gel and develop positive team chemistry,” said Dedrick. “Players have displayed great work ethic, pay attention to detail and understand accountability.”

SC preview-10Guilderland Dutchmen
Head coach: Doug LaValley

Returning players
Andrew Czekay – senior pitcher/outfielder/first base
Brendan Harris – junior infielder/outfielder
Henry Li – senior pitcher/infielder
Mason Steward – senior pitcher/first baseman
Adam Webber – senior catcher

Outlook: The Dutchmen must rely on their juniors to help them remain competitive within the Suburban Council in 2019.

“We can swing the bats and play some defense,” said LaValley. “[Pitching] is a work in progress. That being said, we have the pieces. We just have to put them together.”

SC preview-1Niskayuna Silver Warriors
Head coach: Chris Bianchi

Returning players
Tim Schaffer – senior pitcher/outfielder
Cole Hedden – senior pitcher/infielder
Jimmy Joyce – senior infielder/outfielder
James Murphy – junior infielder
Aaron Whitley – senior outfielder
Chris Erickson – junior first baseman
Jacob Hand – junior infielder
Sam Morra – junior pitcher

Outlook: After winning the 2017 Class AA title, the Silver Warriors took a step back with a loss in the Sectional quarterfinals. To get back to the finals, Niskayuna will need its veterans to lead the way.

“With numerous contributing position players and pitchers back, experience will be a key factor in [the team’s] success for 2019,” said Bianchi.

SC preview-4Saratoga Springs Blue Streaks
Head coach: Andy Cuthbertson

Returning players
Christian Arpey – senior catcher
Jack Trimmings – junior pitcher/third baseman
Sam Cirenza – senior outfielder
Alex Henderson – senior pitcher
Christian Kondo – junior shortstop
Quinn Jones – senior pitcher/second baseman
Nate Chudy – senior pitcher/outfielder
Jonathan Irons – senior outfielder

Outlook: With eight returning players and several newcomers, the Blue Streaks should be a factor within the Suburban Council again.

“I think we always have high expectations of ourselves,” said Cuthbertson, who is entering his fourth season in Saratoga. “We have a solid infield, and we have high expectations for our pitchers to compete every day.”

Schenectady logoSchenectady Patriots
Head coach: Dickie Hughto

Roster
Alexander Canfield
Jacob Lussier
Greg Farone
Shonta Hilts
James Lee
Preetish Arjune
Justin Hacker
Kenny Etwaru
Jeramiah Deitz
Tyler Patillo
Evan Barlow
Jacob Leach
David Bernard
Zach Kochan

SC preview-3Shaker Blue Bison
Head coach: Joe Rispole

Returning players
Julian Thompson – senior infielder
David Breakell – junior pitcher/first baseman
Jason Macutek – senior pitcher
Nolan Dils – senior catcher
Connor McHugh – senior pitcher/first baseman
Patrick Walters – junior pitcher/third baseman
Alex Moisidis – junior outfielder

Outlook: Rispole said Shaker’s veterans are ready to bounce back after a first-round exit in last year’s Section 2 Class AA playoffs.

“Dils, Thompson, Breakell and transfer Alanzo Barrett give Shaker a solid nucleus up the middle [of the defense],” said Rispole. “Walters and Moisidis will build on strong sophomore seasons, and the pitching staff has a strong mix of senior … and junior … talent.”

ET5eVrpW.jpgShenendehowa Plainsmen
Head coach: Greg Christodulu

Returning players
Brendan Disonell – senior pitcher/infielder/outfielder
Evan Jones – senior pitcher/infielder
Jack Flaherty – senior pitcher/first baseman
Jake Reinisch – junior infielder
Ben Lavery – senior first baseman/pitcher/outfielder
Kyle Gregor – senior pitcher

Outlook: With only six varsity letter winners returning this season, the Plainsmen will rely on their junior class to help them as they compete for another Suburban Council title and a high seed for the Section 2 Class AA playoffs.

SC preview-12Troy Flying Horses
Head coach: Chris Stack

Returning players
Danny Rogers – sophomore infielder
Christian Brown – sophomore infielder/pitcher
Bryan Francis – junior catcher/second baseman
Yeicob Laboy – junior infielder/outfielder/pitcher
Frank Myers – junior first baseman/pitcher/outfielder
Thomas Harkin – senior first baseman/outfielder/pitcher
Mervin Laboy – senior outfielder/pitcher
Joe O’Rourke – senior outfielder/second baseman
Qasim Sanders – senior outfielder/pitcher
Isaac Brown – senior pitcher

Outlook: The Flying Horses are primed for a successful 2019 season, led by a large group of returning players.

“We have a lot of experience, and we have a lot of depth, especially with the pitching staff,” said Stack.

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