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Division titles up for grabs in Suburban Council

This year's theme for the Suburban Council's 12 baseball teams is reloading.

Nearly every team has to replace multiple starters including defending Section II Class AA champion Columbia and Class A champion Mohonasen.

We have some solid pitching depth and we've filled in quite well [with the position players], said Columbia coach Chris Dedrick. "The kids are working really hard."

Dedrick and the other Suburban Council South Division coaches ceded that Colonie is the odds-on favorite to finish first, though Garnet Raiders' skipper Kevin Halburian isn't so certain.

"Columbia is always strong at the JV level, so they always replenish themselves well," said Halburian.

In the North Division, Shenendehowa is aiming for more than just another first-place finish. The Plainsmen are also hoping to break a 14-year Sectional title drought.

"I've got as good of an offense and a defense as I've ever had in the last 10 to 15 years," said Shen coach James Carrese. "The question is if I can get some pitchers who can throw to contact [opposing bats] and let our defense do the work."

Here is a closer look at the 2010 Suburban Council field.

South Division

Averill Park Warriors

Coach: Mike Conroy

Key players: Nick Cioffi (junior P/IF), Tyler Listing (junior P/IF), Andrew Fasoldt (junior IF), Josh Sprague (senior UT), Scott Sharpley (senior P/OF), Brian Handy (junior C/IF), Dylan Sprague (sophomore UT), Greg Hotaling (freshman P/UT)

Outlook: The Warriors have a good mix of veterans and young talent. The question is, can they play seven solid innings a game?

"If we play good, fundamental baseball, I'm not worried about who we play," said Conroy. "I think we can play with anybody. We have some pitchers who can throw strikes, and we have some speed [on the basepaths]. If we can get on base and move the runners around, we'll score some runs."

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