Schenectady Little League’s postseason ended Tuesday night in a 14-8 loss to District 11 champion Saratoga National at Collins Park — a game moved from Northside following Monday night’s opener of the District 11/12 best-of-five bi-district series in Saratoga.
After a few parents on the Schenectady side were ejected from Monday’s game, the administrators of both districts decided the remaining games would be played at neutral sites.
“It came down to some unruly parents,” said District 12 administrator Charlie Fitzpatrick, who, along with his District 11 administrator Dan DeCelle, ruled late Monday night that neither team would have a home game for the remainder of the series.
“I was informed of what happened by the District 11 administrator, and we felt it would be better if the remaining games were played at a neutral site,” Fitzpatrick said. “The field in Scotia was available.”
Chris Dietz, Schenectady’s head coach, felt his players, for whatever reason, were slighted when their home game was one in name only, as Schenectady won the pre-game coin toss to determine which team would get last at-bat.
“We had four games there during the [District 12] tournament, and nobody was thrown out. Saratoga American came to our place and everything was fine,” said Dietz, who has coached in Schenectady LL for some 10 years.
“It was an awkward situation to put us in. We needed the revenue. We struggle to buy dirt every year. We probably could have made $1,000 tonight. It would have helped for setting up the place next year.”
David Karpsinki, the vice president of Saratoga National Little League, felt for the Schenectady players. He also quashed any notion that Saratoga National did not want to play in Schenectady.
“Regretably, what happened last [Monday] night was some parents got overzealous,” said Karpinski. “They don’t represent all of the Schenectady parents or the league, but a few made it about themselves and not about the kids, and had to be ejected.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for the Schenectady program. It’s not a reflection on the community. It’s just a few parents. It had nothing to do with us not wanting to play in Schenectady.”
That did little to take the sting away from Schenectady, according to Dietz.
“The thing that crushed me most, on the ride here, my son asked me, ‘Dad, do we live in a bad city?’ ” Dietz said. “I told him, ‘Absolutely not.’
“If the district administrators are going to allow this, it was unfair all the way around. They took it away from us. I don’t know why.”
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