Despite losses, Mohonasen baseball optimistic

Mighy Warriors have new look
Mohonasen sophomore Drew Coelho unleashes a pitch against Albany Thursday.
Mohonasen sophomore Drew Coelho unleashes a pitch against Albany Thursday.

ROTTERDAM — Mohonasen first baseman Dylan Pusz has heard over and over what his baseball team lost and how good those players were.

He believes what the Mighty Warriors have back, along with their newcomers, are pretty good, too. Maybe good enough to make another deep playoff run.

“Those seniors were key for us,” Pusz said of the eight 12th-graders who graduated from the high school’s Section II Class A title team. “We don’t have the Suburban Council pitcher of the year any more and some other guys, but we’ve got guys who know how to get the job done.”

Drew Coelho did that Wednesday, pitching two-hit ball in his first varsity start, and Pusz clubbed his second homer this spring as part of a shortened 15-0 win over Albany.

Eight of Mohonasen’s nine starters had at least one base hit, and 10 players in all had hits after Luke Pusz and Brian Lineback delivered off the bench.

“Our offense is good,” said Coelho, a sophomore who matched Albany’s hit total with a pair of singles. “We’ve got some good bats.”

Head coach Kevin Sheremeta agreed with that, but was wondering if his young team of six seniors, four juniors and five sophomores can put it all together by season’s end. Guys like ace pitcher Ryan Lanaro, center fielder Brandon Kruzinski and shortstop Ryan Deguire are no longer there to lean on.

“We’re trying to find consistency,” Sheremeta said

Mohonasen is 2-2 so far after beating Saratoga Springs, and losing to reigning Section II Class AA champ Niskayuna and Ballston Spa before Thursday’s bounce-back win which featured a seven-run, third-inning outburst.

“It felt great to get that first game,” Dylan Pusz said of a 5-3 win against Saratoga. “It definitely lifted us up. It gave us the belief that we can hang in with anyone even though we’re a single A team.”

The objective is to stay above water in the league, learn and grow, and make a playoff run like a year ago, when Mohonasen finished 8-7 in the Suburban Council before beating South Glens Falls, Amsterdam and Scotia-Glenville to secure the program’s first Section II championship since 2009.

“We would like to win the section again,” said Dylan Pusz, who along with Lineback, A.J. Savoie, David Hunt, Matt Ryan and Dakota Payton form Mohonasen’s senior group. “We want to prove last year was no fluke. Playing in the Suburban Council prepares us very well.”

This will be Mohonasen’s last go-round in one of the state’s best baseball leagues. Mohonasen is leaving the Suburban Council for the Colonial Council next school year.

“You’re playing the best of the best,” Sheremeta said. “We go out and beat Saratoga out of the gate, lose to Niskayuna and Ballston Spa, beat Albany, and we’ve get Colonie next. There are no gimmies.”

There will be no backing down, either.

“The mentality we have is even though we are single A, we’re here to play,” Dylan Pusz said.

Dylan Pusz capped Thursday’s scoring with a two-run homer in the home fourth after earlier hitting an RBI triple and an RBI single. Savoie had a double, two singles and an RBI, Eric Starr had two singles, an RBI and three runs scored, and Tom Millett smacked a two-run double.

Coelho is Mohonasen’s returning starting catcher, and an addition to the restructured pitching staff that includes Lineback, Luke Pusz and Lorenzo Gannon. Coelho, a sophomore, struck out six Albany batters and walked one.

“Coelho was fantastic,” Sheremeta said.

Albany 000 000 – 0 2 3

Mohonasen 417 3x – 15 16 0

Casciotti, Lembo (4) and Gallagher; Coelho and Millett.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.


Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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