So many things went Giuseppe Carberg’s way in Schenectady’s Big 10 baseball game with Bishop Maginn Friday, but his ride to the Babe Ruth field on Golf Road beforehand was anything but smooth.
“On the way here, my car went sideways. I got out to look, and the whole wheel was sideways. Something with the axle,” the senior said. “I had a game to play. I had to let it go.”
That’s one piece of advice Carberg has been imparting on his young teammates. The Patriots’ roster includes three sophomores, eight juniors and four 12th-graders.
“I just try to tell the guys the way it’s supposed to be done. You can’t get down on yourself or your teammates,” said Carberg, a three-year varsity player and classroom standout. “Things happen in this game. Next at-bat, get a hit. Next ball hit to you, make a play.”
“He’s a lot more vocal this year. Last year, it was difficult to be vocal because we had the nine seniors,” said Schenectady coach John Isabella. “He was waiting for his time. Now it’s his time.”
Carberg has emerged as a leader off the field, and on it, playing a solid third base while providing plenty of pop from the No. 3 spot in the order.
“His confidence has gone way up since he was in 10th grade. Even from 11th grade to this year,” said Isabella. “He’s so much calmer. He goes about his job. He takes care of business.”
Carberg belted his first home run of the season Friday among his three hits, scored three times and knocked in a career-high six runs in an 18-0 victory that clinched a Section II Class AA playoff berth for the Patriots (8-3, 8-4).
“Being a senior, part of my job is to show them the ropes. Set an example by playing hard, but I don’t have to do too much with these guys,” said Carberg. “They get after it. They’ve surprised me. They’ve done everything above my expectations, and we’ve been able to beat some teams that are well put together.”
Carberg was referring to wins over Troy, Christian Brothers Academy and LaSalle, last year’s Big 10 champ.
“I’m pleasantly surprised,” said Isabella. “The younger players have performed well, and we’ve gotten great leadership from Giuseppe, Zach [Schellenger] and Jordan [Bernacet]. That’s made a difference.”
Isabella said Carberg stepped up to the plate before the Patriots played their first game.
“In the beginning of the year, people looked at him a little cross-eyed because he was telling them what they did wrong. He was doing it to improve their performance, not demean. He wanted to help,” Isabella said. “You need that. I can’t be there every second. He’s been like another coach for us.”
The Oswego-bound Carberg gave Schenectady a quick lead against Bishop Maginn with a two-run double in the first inning. Carberg launched a three-run homer in the second, and added an RBI single in the third.
“I started off decent, got into a little slump, and now I’m swinging more fluid,” said Carberg. “I made some tweaks in my swing the last couple of days.”
“He was popping up, not getting his hips through,” said Isabella. “He did a lot of extra work to get it back. He’s the type of kid you don’t have to worry about as far as working.”
Bernacet had a triple, double, two singles and three RBI Friday, Bill Cammilletti had a double, two singles and three RBI, Brandon Gwinner collected a double and three singles, and Chris Landis gave up one hit and struck out eight over the first four innings to pick up the victory.
“We’ve got eight league wins, but we’re not done now. We’re not settling with this,” said Carberg. “We’ve got five more games, and we’re going to try to win out.”
Steve Mann doubled for Bishop Maginn, and the Golden Griffins turned three double plays.
Bishop Maginn 000 000 0 — 0 2 4
Schenectady 464 031 x — 18 21 1
Higgins, Mann (6) and Williams; Landis, Gannon (5) and Schellenger, Datt (4).