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Niskayuna meets Clifton Park in Cal Ripken state finals

The Niskayuna Cal Ripken All-Stars closed in on another state title.

With Monday's semifinal victory over the Spring (Troy) Renegades, the Warriors advanced to Wednesday's final against the Clifton Park Bulldogs at the 12-year-old state championship at Niskayuna's Jeff Blatnick Park.

For this group of Niskayuna players, it's another chance to go to the Mid-Atlantic regionals.

They played in last year's Mid-Atlantic regional, which gave us some valuable experience, said Niskayuna manager Tom Spataro.

The Warriors advanced to the championship bracket by going 2-1 in pool play last weekend. They opened with an 8-6 victory over New Paltz Friday, but then stumbled in a 7-5 loss to the Clifton Park Bombers Saturday.

Niskayuna responded to the loss in an impressive fashion Sunday, as it shut out Rome 10-0 behind pitcher Tommy Favata's one-hitter.

"I was disappointed we lost [Saturday] night, but we got it done today," said Spataro.

The winner of Wednesday's state final between Niskayuna and Clifton Park will travel to Bridge-water, N.J., this weekend for the Mid-Atlantic regional. The winner of that regional goes to Aberdeen, Md., for the Cal Ripken World Series.""

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