The graduation of nearly all of Schalmont's starters from last year's team hasn't slowed the Sabres down.
Schalmont (4-0 league, 5-1 overall) remained tied with Lansingburgh for first place in the Colonial Council baseball standings following Monday's 5-3 victory over Voorheesville.
Schalmont coach Bob Anderson said he didn't think his team would get off to a fast start after graduating seven starters from last year's team that reached the Section II Class A finals.
We knew we took a big hit, said Anderson. "We had some good players coming back, but we thought it would take longer for them to gel than it has."
Joe Amorosi has been the primary reason why the Sabres are in the hunt for the Colonial Council title. As a pitcher, Amorosi has won all three of his starts, and as a hitter he's batting .600 with several clutch hits, including a game-winning home run in Monday's game.
"He's been lights out so far," Anderson said of Amorosi, who was Schalmont's ace last season. "He's had three fantastic starts. He nearly threw a no-hitter in his first start, and then he struck out 15 in his next start."
Amorosi hasn't been Schalmont's only standout pitcher. Kevin Drislane tossed six innings of shutout ball in the Sabres 6-1 victory over Cohoes last Friday, and Amorosi's younger brother, Chris, pitched five strong innings for Schalmont in last Wednesday's 5-4 victory over Albany Academy in a game that took 10 innings to decide.
"We preach pitching and defense," said Anderson. "Joey's been outstanding on the mound, but we've got some other kids who have stepped up."
The one problem area for Schalmont has been producing runs. Joe Amorosi and Joe Paskevich have been the Sabres' two most consistent hitters, but after that the production has been spotty, said Anderson.
"We're scraping to score runs," he said. "We're managing to get key hits when we need them."
The Sabres will need to find a way to scrape up some runs Wednesday when they visit Lansingburgh (4-0, 4-3) in an early-season showdown.
"They've got a solid club," said Anderson. "They hit well, they've got solid pitching and they're well coached. We expected that they would be the team to beat in the league."
Schalmont travels to Cobleskill Friday.""