Last year's eight one-run losses are far behind the Shenendehowa baseball team.
The Plainsmen improved their overall record to 8-2 following a doubleheader sweep against Rome Free Academy and Liverpool Saturday in Rome. That was preceded by a 6-0 shutout victory over Mohonasen last Thursday that gave Shen a 3-1 Suburban Council mark.
We had a rough start last year, but we learned a lot from that and grew from that, said pitcher Jeff Carter.
"This is a senior team," said Shen coach James Carrese. "They like each other, and they work extremely hard and very well together."
Carter had the top pitching performance for a Shen starter in the past week with a 2-hit, 10-strikeout effort against Mohonasen.
"I just wanted to go right at them," said Carter. "I wanted to see who I could take and who I couldn't take, and I wanted to go at them."
"This is by far his best performance as a Shen varsity pitcher," said Carrese. "He took the challenge of pitching against a much improved Mohonasen team, and he did great."
Carter had plenty of help from his offense, as Shen jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back.
"Pitching good is a help, and getting runs is also good," said Carter. "Getting six runs was a big help."
David Balsalmo and Brandon Cogswell each had a pair of singles and an RBI to help Shen move one league win closer to automatically qualifying for the Section II, Class AA playoffs. Bryan Hunter contributed an RBI single, and Chris Howard drove in another run with a sacrifice fly.
The Plainsmen's bats continued to generate runs in Saturday's doubleheader in Rome. In the first game, Shen pounded out 15 hits on its way to a 12-5 victory over Rome Free Academy. Then in the nightcap, the Plainsmen overcame a slow start by scoring three times in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to defeat Liverpool 9-4.
Balsalmo led Shen's offense against Rome Free Academy with a pair of doubles and a single. Hunter drove in two runs with a pair of singles, and Howard plated another with a double.
Sam Rosenzweig and Tim Jones came up big for the Plainsmen against Liverpool. Rosenzweig unloaded the bases with a three-run triple, and Jones added a two-run triple as part of Shen's late-inning rally.
The Plainsmen returned to Suburban Council action Wednesday when they traveled to East Greenbush to face Columbia. They visit Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Friday and Saratoga Springs Saturday.""