Shaker sophomore pitcher Tyler Hoffman delivers to the plate during last Friday’s scrimmage against Scotia-Glenville in Latham. Hoffman is following in the footsteps of his brother Jeff, who graduated after leading the Blue Bison to the 2011 state Class AA finals.
Photo by Rob Jonas.
The Suburban Council had a baseball season unlike any other in 2011.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake won the state Class A title, and Shaker came within one run of winning the Class AA crown.
Things have changed for BH-BL, Shaker and much of the league this year, though. Graduations took away several key players from last year including Shaker’s Jeff Hoffman, BH-BL’s Keaton Flint and Shenendehowa’s Branden Cogswell.
What remains is a league where several teams have a shot to win division titles, depending on how well their newcomers adjust to their starting roles.
Here is a look at the Suburban Council field.
Ballston Spa Scotties
Head coach: Kevin Sheremeta
Returning players: Kris Baldani, Ryan McVaigh, Franklin Miller, Ryan Schuette, Dylan Prehoda, Dan Bernier, Andrew Stawniczy
Top newcomers: Jesse Bush, Luke Bush, Derek Kohlberg, Jon Mueller
Outlook: Sheremeta said the Scotties are flush with young talent from the sophomore class, but they will need to stay mentally tough while playing in the Suburban Council.
“We need to believe in ourselves and in our ability,” said Sheremeta. “This is a young group with some pretty good talent. We need to be mentally tough in order to be competitive in the Suburban Council.”
Head coach: Paul Deluca
Top returning players: Jeff Heck (senior INF), Rob Knightes (junior INF), Rory Little (senior P), Jayson Sullivan (senior OF/P), Dan Nuzzi (junior P/OF)
Top newcomers: Danny Maynard (freshman C), Cody Mooney (sophomore P/INF)
Outlook: The Spartans might be down several key players from last year’s state championship team, but that hasn’t dimmed their expectations for 2012. Sullivan, Heck and Knightes will lead the offense, while Little, Nuzzi and Mooney will anchor the pitching staff.
Niskayuna Silver Warriors
Head coach: John Furey
Returning players: Austin Clock (P/1B), Josh Callahan (SS/P), Alex Helenek (P/1B/DH), Mitchell Brown (OF/DH), Tom Carrigan (3B/P), Aidan McGonigle (CF), Reed Williams (P), David Hoffmann (C), Zach Zebrowski (2B/SS), Anthony Spataro (2B)