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Suburban Council baseball preview

The more things change in the Suburban Council baseball world, the tougher the league gets.

Changes in enrollment at four league schools have shuffled the make-up of the three divisions. Defending Section II, Class AA champion Colonie changes divisions with preseason favorite Guilderland, while Ballston Spa and Niskayuna swap divisions after the Saratoga County school grew larger than Schenectady County's largest suburban district.

Did all of that movement hurt either the Blue, White or Gold divisions? Hardly. Colonie joins a Blue Division that features two-time Sectional runner-up Shenendehowa and traditional powers Saratoga and Shaker, while Guilderland and Ballston Spa have to deal with Columbia and Bethlehem in the Gold Division. Niskayuna's presence in the White Division gives the league's three class A teams Averill Park, Mohonasen and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake a formidable foe.

There are other changes, too. Colonie and Shen graduated several key players that helped them reach last year's class AA final, and there are coaching changes at Burnt Hills and Shaker.

Here is a closer look at the Suburban Council.

Blue Division

Colonie Garnet Raiders

Head coach: Greg Lanni

Key veterans: Tim Morrison (pitcher), Tyler Agneta (pitcher), Nick Carnevale (pitcher), Joe Poleto (centerfielder), Chris Abreu (outfielder), Tyler Moffatt (third base), Andy Kelly (catcher)

Key newcomers: Adam Herman (pitcher), Andy Carucci (pitcher/infielder), Derek Zielinski (pitcher/outfielder), Kevin Smith (pitcher/catcher), Ron Notar (first base), Matt June (infielder)

Outlook: If the Garnet Raiders are going to repeat their run to the state finals this year, they will have to rely on a group of newcomers from a 12-2 junior varsity team. Four of those players " Carucci, Zielinski, Smith and Notar " also played on South Colonie Babe Ruth's state championship team last summer.

"I think this team has some potential," said Lanni. "It depends on how quickly they learn to play at this level."

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