Courtesy MICHAEL CIGNOLI firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter.com/MCSaratogian
Burnt Hills pitcher Danny Nuzzi throws against Saratoga Tuesday in Burnt Hills. Ed Burke
BURNT HILLS — The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Spartans entered the 2012 baseball postseason as a No. 9 seed, which left players with mixed emotions. Though happy their season was not over, they lamented that they might have gotten a better first-round match-up if they had won more regular-season games.
With a playoff spot already locked up this year, the Spartans are not taking their feet off the accelerator. They raced out to a commanding 6-0 lead in the second inning on Tuesday afternoon and weathered a late rally to defeat the Saratoga Blue Streaks 8-5, a result that heavily influences the playoff fortunes of both Suburban Council schools.
“Coach is always talking about getting ahead and putting a team away early,” said first baseman Dan Maynard, one of three Spartans with two-RBI performances at the plate. “We got their starting pitcher out … that inning. He was throwing pretty good. It was really key that we got him out early and put a lot of runs on the board.”
One of the main reasons for that is because Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, a Class A school, qualifies for the Section II playoffs based on a point system.
They amassed enough points to clinch a postseason berth last week, but earned two additional points for beating Saratoga, a AA school. They now have 12, and more points means a better seed.
“If we want to be talked about as one of the better teams in the Suburban Council, we have to continue to play well and win,” Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake coach Rob Duell said.