Kyle Ruth has been to the Section 2 Class AA baseball playoffs once in his career. That was when he was a freshman with the Colonie Garnet Raiders.
“We lost in the first round that year,” said Ruth.
Now a senior, Ruth is hoping to help the Garnet Raiders get back to Sectionals — something that used to be taken for granted at Colonie.
“I’m the only one on the team who has played in a Sectional game, so I want to help the others experience Sectionals,” said Ruth.
First, Colonie has to navigate its way through the highly competitive Suburban Council South Division, which includes Sectional powers Columbia and Guilderland, as well as defending Class A champion Averill Park.
“It’s always good competition,” said Colonie coach Kevin Halburian.
The Garnet Raiders have an edge over many of their divisional rivals in that they return the bulk of their starters from last year’s team, which finished with a 6-10 league record. Three of Colonie’s top pitchers from last year are back — seniors CJ Leisenfielder, Tim Smith and Jared Przekurat.
“We have strong starting pitching led by the three seniors,” said Halburian.
Colonie’s defense is also set with Ruth at second base, John Baluch at first base, catcher Antonio Archina behind the plate and Kris Scarano at shortstop. Smith, T.J. Szesnat and Zach Gallagher return to the outfield.
Several newcomers are expected to make an impact, including sophomore pitcher Ryan Lambert.
Colonie is scheduled to start its season Monday, April 6, against Albany. Its first Suburban Council game is slated for April 7 against Averill Park.
Associate editor/sports editor