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Matt Zanotta continues power surge

If the New York Yankees are looking for their next left-handed power hitter, they might want to consider Guilderland's Matt Zanotta.

The senior first baseman cranked his 13th home run of the season and added a single to lead the Dutchmen past Mohonasen 14-1 in last Friday's Suburban Council game in Rotterdam.

The 13th home run not only set a new Guilderland team record, but it also tied Zanotta with several other Section II players for the most four-baggers in a season and the Dutchmen still have four league games left in the regular season.

He's really worked hard this winter," said Guilderland coach Doug LaValley. "He's gotten a lot stronger, and he's been more patient at the plate."

Zanotta's blast didn't come until the fifth inning, but by that point the Dutchmen (6-6 league, 7-8 overall) had the game well in hand thanks to five-run rallies in the first and second innings. That was more than enough for starting pitcher Luke Stark, who tossed a complete-game two-hitter.

"The last two games, we've had good pitching, which is a trend that I hope will continue," said LaValley.

Tyler Hines and Jeremy Tobin joined in the hitting spree for Guilderland. Hines singled twice and tripled to raise his batting average to .400, while Tobin contributed three singles to the Dutchmen's 15-hit attack.

The Mohonasen vic-tory began a stretch of five consecutive games against Suburban Council South Division foes for Guilderland, which needs two more league wins to secure a Section II Class AA playoff berth. That stretch continued Tuesday when the Dutchmen met division-leading Colonie.

"We're in a lot better shape than we were last year, when we needed to win our last two games in order to make the playoffs," said LaValley. "We don't want to be in that position again, so we're hoping to take care of business this week."

One team that won't be making Sectionals is Bethlehem. The Eagles suffered a 4-2 loss to Averill Park last Friday to drop to 2-10 in the Suburban Council (3-11 overall).

Bethlehem scored twice in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game at 2 before Averill Park (6-6, 7-8) pushed across two runs in the bottom half of the frame to regain its lead.

Brian Hardy scored the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice for Averill Park. Brendan Behan and Tyler Kriss drove in Bethlehem's runs with singles.

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