South Colonie has tough schedule

"Nothing shakes this kid (Notar) up," said Suther-land. "Getting a baseball bat in his hand is when he's most comfortable. When he goes to college, he'll probably major in hitting. He's an unbelievable hitter. He's a very patient power hitter. Normally, you don't see patience with power hitters. Ron doesn't get a lot of strikeouts. He's not afraid to go 0-2 or 1-2 before he swings the bat."

South Colonie's pitchers will likely be facing teams full of hitters like Notar, Andy Carucci and Drew Rivera, but Sutherland has confidence in his staff.

"Chris Smith is definitely our No. 1, but I would have to say I have four No. 2s, which is a luxury," said Sutherland. "They pitch to get ahead of the batters, they've got all three pitches working " fastball, change up, curve ball. And just like in the major leagues, if you keep the ball low and you get ahead of the batter, the odds are in your favor, and our pitchers do a good job of that."

South Colonie opens pool play at 3 p.m. Friday against a Jefferson Parish team that won Babe Ruth World Series title as 13- and 14-year-olds. The All-Stars then face Youngstown " which pushed Jefferson Parish into extra innings last year before losing " at 4 p.m. Saturday at Clifton Common.

"If we could win one of these two games, we'd be thrilled," said Sutherland. "We know what we're up against, but we also know we're a quality baseball team. We may need to be perfect to win one of these games, but this team has the capability to be perfect at times."

South Colonie wraps up pool play with games against Portland, Maine Sunday and Kelso, Wash., next Tuesday. The top three teams in each of the two pools then advance to the single-elimination championship round, which begins next Wednesday.

"This is going to be the toughest tournament that we've ever been in," said Sutherland.""

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