The Schalmont baseball team is looking to make a run through the state tournament that would make a veteran team proud.
But the Sabres will have only two seniors on the field when they play Section VII champion Beekmantown in a Class B regional baseball semifinal today at SUNY-Plattsburgh.
“I don’t think a lot of people realize how young we are,” said coach Bob Anderson, whose 19-4 Sabres will go with senior pitcher Jimmy Hamilton. First baseman Andrew Cote is the only other senior starter, with pitcher/outfielder Chris Amorosi suffering a season-ending injury for the second straight year. “Hopefully, this won’t be the only time the majority of this group gets to experience this.”
The Sabres are one of six Section II championship teams in action today. Class A champion Queensbury and Class C winner Voorheesville are also still in line for a shot at a state baseball title Saturday.
Troy, Chatham and Greenwich are playing in regional softball games today. Voorheesville and Greenwich get to play in Section II, while the other four teams travel.
Hamilton and 11th-grader Greg Musk were outstanding as the Sabres allowed only four runs in three postseason games to date.
Hamilton threw a two-hitter in a 2-1 quarterfinal win over Catskill. Musk followed with a no-hitter against Chatham in a 6-0 semifinal victory, and Hamilton had a 10-run first-inning cushion in beating Johnstown, 14-3, in the final.
“They’ve been fantastic,” said Anderson of his starting pitchers. “We would have three very good starters, but Chris is shut down for the year.
“We do have two or three other capable pitchers, but Jimmy and Greg have been so good.”
Hamilton, 8-0, helped pick up the slack when Musk and Amorosi were out with injuries.
“Jimmy stepped up huge for us,” said Anderson. “He was our No. 3 starter going into the season, but he really came through for us with Chris and Greg went down.”
In nine starts, Hamilton threw eight complete games, including a no-hitter, a one-hitter and a two-hitter. The three runs he gave up late against Johnstown nudged his ERA over 1.00.
Musk was outstanding in his second start since coming back from a sore shoulder.
“He got a couple of relief appearances, then he started our last game against Cobleskill-Richmondville,” said Anderson. “Then he comes out of the chute with a no-hitter in sectionals.”
Musk is also dealing with the death of his older brother, Shane, who passed away prior to the season.
“The kid is tough,” said Anderson. “He’s been through a lot this year.”
While the righty-lefty pitching combo has been spectacular, the Schalmont offense has picked it up enough in the postseason to back up the pitching.
Anderson cited Cote, outfielder John Pascarella and second baseman Dom Toma as examples.
“We knew we’d have good pitching and defense this year,” Anderson said. “We weren’t sure how we were going to manage to score runs.”
Queensbury gets Section X winner Massena at 4:30 at SUNY-Plattsburgh, while Voorheesville meets Section X’s Norwood-Norfolk at 4 at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam. With wins, the Spartans and Blackbirds would also play in Section II on Tuesday, needing one win to get to Saturday’s state semis.
Reigning state Class C softball champ Greenwich meets up with Ticonderoga of Section VII today at 4 at Moreau Rec in South Glens Falls. The Witches captured their third straight Section II title Friday, scoring all of their runs in the first inning of an 8-0 win over Mechanicville.
Troy, a sectional champ for the first time since 1987, plays Section III representative Jamesville-DeWitt at Gillette Field in Syracuse in a Class A regional semi. Eighth-grader Hunter Levesque, the Big 10 MVP, will look to remain unbeaten in the circle in postseason play.
Chatham, the 2012 state Class B champ, goes to SUNY-Potsdam for a 4:30 contest with Section X’s Canton.
The winners advance to Wednesday’s regional finals, all on the road. Class A champ Guilderland plays Section III winner Cicero-North Syracuse on Tuesday in Syracuse.