RICKY ST. CLAIR
AMSTERDAM — Twenty-one outs separate the Ticonderoga baseball team from a trip to Broome Community College and an opportunity to play in the NYSPHSAA Class C semifinals.
To do so, however, it will have to get by Section II Voorheesville. The No. 11-ranked Blackbirds (18-7), the No. 10 seed in the 16-team Section II field, were a 6-1 winner over Section X Norwood-Norfolk Monday.
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“We played them last year in the regional game,” Sentinels (11-7) coach Dan Dorsett said. “They were under-seeded last year as well. They play in a league where they don’t play solely in their classification. They play (Class B) Albany Academy and some other bigger schools. Their losses are against better teams in other classes.”
Voorheesville is led by Nico Church and Mike Young at the plate. The duo combined for 90 hits, 70 RBI and 73 runs scored en route to the team’s second consecutive Section II Class C championship.
Church, who was recently named the Colonial Council’s co-Most Valuable Player, accumulated 52 hits and 35 RBI for a .584 batting average during the course of the regular season.
Young nabbed first-team honors at shortstop, hitting .521 with 18 doubles and 39 RBI.
“We know going in that we want to keep Church and Young off the base paths,” Dorsett said. “We’ll probably face Young on the mound, too. He pitched in the Section II Class C championship, but didn’t pitch Monday.
“We don’t know a lot about the rest of them. They didn’t return a lot of kids from last year’s team, but the kids they called up at the end of season last year have been exposed to this environment. I definitely consider us the underdog.”
Dorsett has elected to throw Ryan Trudeau this afternoon. Trudeau tossed a no-hitter against AuSable Valley in the final game of the regular season. He also had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning against Northern Adirondack in the Section VII Class C championship.
Miles Austin and Jordan Woods pace Ticonderoga at the plate. Austin, a four-year starter for Dorsett, is currently batting .400, while Woods has belted two doubles, four triples and three home runs.
“We need Miles Austin and Jordan Woods to make a number of plate appearances,” Dorsett said. “Miles has been involved in some big games during his career and Jordan is our power threat. Those are two seniors, and they’ve got to put the bat on the ball.”
The Sentinels and Blackbirds play at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam for 4 p.m.
“We played there in 2007 and lost to the eventual state champions,” Dorsett said. “With our sectional success, we’ve played in a lot of regional games. We’ve had some success. We understand how hard it’s going to be. It’s going to take some good pitching, defense and timely hitting. I think the kids understand the importance of the game. They’ve worked hard and are excited.”
For updates on today's Class C regional baseball final between Ticonderoga and Voorheesville follow @sportsCourt on Twitter.