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Section II baseball tournament set

Section II baseball tournament set

Niskayuna, Ballston Spa, Coxsackie-Athens, Chatham, Whitehall top seeds
Section II baseball tournament set
Fort Plain won the Section II Class D title last season and made a run to the state final
Photographer: ERICA MILLER

Seeds, pairings and the schedule for the Section II baseball tournament were released Wednesday.

The tournament's top seeds are Niskayuna in Class AA, Ballston Spa in Class A, Coxsackie-Athens in Class B, Chatham in Class C and Whitehall in Class D.

Competition begins Thursday with 18 opening-round games, including seven in Class B and eight in Class C. Among the others is a Class A Route 50 matchup between Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Scotia-Glenville.

Here are few more things to know.

MORE PITCHES

Pitchers will be allowed to throw as many as 125 pitches in postseason games, based on the pitching rules that were instituted by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association prior to the 2017 season. In regular season games, pitchers are allowed to throw as many as 105 pitches in a game. A pitcher who reaches the postseason maximum must have four nights rest before taking the mound again for further action.

The 10-run rule, which was approved by the NYSPHSAA before the 2018 season, or mercy rule as it is known, applies to all sectional, regional and state final four games. In the regular season, Section II leagues have the option to use it.

2018 FINALS RECAP

Danny Watson pitched a three-hitter, and Willie Terrell snapped a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning with an RBI single as Columbia beat Ballston Spa 3-1 for its first Section II Class AA title since 2012.

Noah Edwards pitched shutout ball over the final five innings, and Mike Siano and Jack Sylvia both had two RBIs to lead Queensbury past Amsterdam 5-2 in the Class A title game. The Spartans earned the their third Section II championship in four years, and went on to capture the school's first state title.

Albany Academy used a four-run fourth to beat Ichabod Crane 8-4 and secure its second straight Class B title. Cadets' ace Ben Seiler scattered seven hits and capped the four-run inning with an RBI groundout that made it 5-1.

Lake George scored seven runs in its final two at-bats to rally for a 9-6 win over Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons in the Class CC final. Jack Kelleher hit a two-run double and added an RBI groundout in the late comeback that erased a 5-2 deficit.

Maple Hill beat Canajoharie 12-2 in a six-inning, mercy-rule shortened Class C final when Tyler Hanarahan went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, his second coming on a sacrifice fly that ended the game. Alec Yager spun a four-hitter afterward, when Maple Hill beat Lake George 4-0 in the Class C-CC playoff.

Without a senior on its roster, Fort Plain beat Whitehall 10-6 for the Class D title. John Cortese and Zack Reid hit two-run doubles before Fort Plain used small-ball tactics to score four runs in the eight inning and clinch the program's 11th Section II championship under veteran coach Craig Phillips.

ON A ROLL

Fort Plain improved to 15-0 with Tuesday's 7-1 win over Schoharie, and will bring a No. 1 state sportswriters association Class C rank into the sectionals, but a No. 2 seed behind Chatham. The Hilltoppers finished one game shy of the state Class D championship last year.

Amsterdam (17-1) will enter the Class A tournament on a 17-game win streak, which includes eight games with 10 runs or more, and three other one-run victories. The Rams opened their season with a 17-7 loss to Ballston Spa, and wrapped up a 13-0 Foothills Council run Monday by beating Johnstown 11-0.

Guilderland (13-7) won its last four games — including a 7-4 victory over Shenendehowa — to nab the Class AA No. 4 seed

CADETS EYE THREE-PEAT

Albany Academy, which has moved to Class A, will be going after its third consecutive Section II championship. That was last accomplished by Hoosic Valley, when it won Class C titles in 2014 and 2015 and then a Class B crown in 2016. Saratoga Central Catholic claimed three straight Class B championships from 2009-11, and Fort Plain strung four straight Class C titles from 2006-09.

MAKING STRIDES

Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons will be making its fourth straight postseason appearance following last year's historic run to the Class CC title game. In coach Kacy Daus' first season in 2013, the Golden Knights did not win a game. The next season, they posted  two wins In 2015, they prevailed seven times. The Golden Knights (14-5, No. 6 Class C seed) have won 10 games or more every year since then.

NO-HITTER WATCH

Five no-hitters were recorded in the last three Section II tournaments, including a gem by Ryan Pepicelli of Schalmont last year in a 7-0 Class B first-round win against Fonda-Fultonville, and another by Jesse Heroth of Fort Plain in 2016 when the Hilltoppers beat Mekeel 11-0 in a Class D quarterfinal. The last championship-game no-hitter was authored by Mike Gipson of Lake George in a 1-0 Class C win over Salem in 2001.

SECTION II TOURNAMENT

CLASS AA

First round

Thursday

9-Columbia at 8-Bethlehem, 4.

Quarterfinals

Saturday

Columbia/Bethlehem at 1-Niskayuna, 1; 7-La Salle at 2-Shenendehowa, 1; 6-CBA at 3-Saratoga Springs, 1; 5-Colonie at 4-Guilderland, noon.

Semifinals

May 30

At Bruno Stadium, 4 & 7.

Championship

June 3

At Bruno Stadium, 7.

CLASS A

First round

Thursday

9-Burnt Hills at 8-Scotia, 4; 10-Troy at 7-Albany Academy, 4.

Quarterfinals

Saturday

Burnt Hills/Scotia at 1-Ballston Spa, 1; Troy/Albany Academy at 2-Amsterdam, 4; 6-Averill Park at 3-Mohonasen, 1; 5-South Glens Falls at 4-Queensbury, 1.

Semifinals

May 29

At Plumeri Complex, 4 & 7.

Championship

June 1

At Bruno Stadium, 7.

CLASS B

First round

Thursday

1-Coxsackie, bye; 15-Tamarac at 2-Saratoga Central Catholic, 4; 14-Voorheesville at 3-Mechanicville, 4; 13-Cobleskill at 4-Schuylerville, 4; 12-Catskill at 5-Broadalbin, 4; 11-Ichabod Crane at 6-Schalmont, 4; 10-Fonda at 7-Ravena, 4; 9-Hudson at 8-Taconic Hills, 4.

Quarterfinals

Saturday

At higher seed, 1.

Semifinals

Tuesday

At Shuttleworth Park, 4 & 7.

Championship

May 31

At Bruno Stadium, 7.

CLASS C

First round

Thursday

16-Duanesburg at 1-Chatham, 4; 15-Rensselaer at 2-Fort Plain, 4; 14-Warrensburg at 3-Maple Hill, 4; 13-Hoosick Falls at 4-Granville, 4; 12-Canajoharie at 5-Holy Trinity, 4; 11-Greenwich at 6-Bishop Gibbons, 4; 10-Waterford at 7-Hoosic Valley, 4; 9-Schoharie at 8-Lake George, 4.

Quarterfinals

Saturday

At higher seed, 1.

Semifinals

May 29

At Shuttleworth Park, 4 & 7.

Championship

June 1

At Bruno Stadium, 4.

CLASS D

Quarterfinals

Saturday

6-Hartford at 3-OESJ, 1; 5-Salem at 4-Fort Ann, 1.

Semifinals

Tuesday

At Veterans’ Memorial Park

Salem/Fort Ann vs. 1-Whitehall, 7; Hartford/OESJ vs. Germantown, 4.

Championship

May 31

At Bruno Stadium, 4.

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

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