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Saturday, May 5, 2018: Ichabod Crane baseball wins rematch with Albany Academy

   Leading off today: It looks as though I have a couple of days worth of stuff to catch up on before I get around to writing about the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee meeting later on Saturday or Sunday.

   The fact that I'm sleep-deprived at the moment doesn't make it any easier, but it's gotta be done.

   So, here we go ...

   Revenge in Section 2 rematch: The Ichabod Crane baseball team amassed five hits against Albany Academy in the first inning Friday, which is five more they had in their entire 4-0 loss to the Cadets on April 9.

   Chad Salazar belted out three hits, drove in two runs and pitched 6 2/3 innings in the rematch as the Riders defeated the Cadets 8-2 in a matchup of two of the area's best teams this spring. Ichabod Crane finished with 13 hits in the contest.

   Ichabod Crane is 10-1 and Albany Academy 13-2 this spring.

   "We're on a roll right now," outfielder Josh Hall said. "The whole lineup is contributing. We're getting into a groove."

   Strange but true: I can barely wrap my head around this one, but the Genesee Valley softball team improved to 8-0 on Wednesday despite being no-hit for the second time this season.

   The Jaguars edged Whitesville 5-4 despite being no-hit by Rachel Hoffer because they were able to make the most of five walks and six errors.

   Genesee Valley, which committed five errors of its own in the latest win, was previously no-hit by Fillmore in a 2-1 victory April 18.

   "I'll take the win -- a win's a win," coach Lisa Clark-Hapeman said. "But we've got to get rid of the errors and get our bats going."

   Central NY waiver: Section 3 will conduct open baseball and softball playoffs later this month, ditching the usual provision requiring teams to have won 40 percent of their contests (league, overall or within their class) in order to qualify for sectionals.

   It's the second year in a row the section has done that in the aftermath of horrendous early-season weather that's caused numerous postponements and cancellations.

   Seeding meetings for baseball and softball are scheduled for May 20.


   Coaching changes: Dan O'Hare was informed by school officials that he will not be brought back as girls basketball coach at Carmel despite logging more than 20 years in that role.

   The circumstances seem murky at the moment with O'Hare citing a clause in the district's contract with the union that gives teachers priority when a job is posted. Lisa Jackson, president of the Carmel Teachers' Association, told The Journal News that Carmel does not have such a clause.

   O'Hare, a retired Ursuline economics teacher, has never taught at Carmel.

    • In Western New York, Nichols will have a pair of new basketball coaches next winter.

   Former Bishop Timon-St. Jude coach and star athlete Joe Mihalics has been named boys coach at the school.

   meanwhile, assistant Courtney Tennant has been promoted to head coach of the girls program, taking over for longtime coach Bob Torgalski.

    • Kevin Devaney Jr. tweeted some Section 1 boys basket-


ball departures recently -- Mark Finegan after 20 seasons at Pelham, Mike Vecchione at Yonkers Gorton and Chris Welsh at Pleasantville.

   Finegan intends to serve as an assistant at Pelham to Mark Courtien. Welsh is leaving to become an assistant principal at Scarsdale.

   Balancing mercy and maulings: Jeff DiVeronica in Rochester wrote a thorough story on the merits of so-called mercy rules, reaching out to players and coaches in Section 5 to gather the pros and cons.

   A decision by the NYS- PHSAA Executive Committee gave the sections and their leagues the option to end baseball games this season with 10-run margins as part of a two-year experiment, similar to a long-standing rule that can end softball games with 15-run leads after five innings.

   Seven of Section 5's 10 baseball leagues adopted the rule this spring. In non-league games, the home team's league rules are followed.

   "I'm a little divided by it," said Josh Phillips, the parent of an Irondequoit baseball player. "Say you are the pitcher or the goalie, some kids can take it kind of rough, if they've been the focal point (of a lopsided game). There's life lessons inside of that, but that can be an extreme.

   "To a point, I don't know how much more it makes sense to carry on past a certain inning, especially with pitch-count limits. It's changed a lot of dynamics of the game, as far as how the game could have got to that point in the first place."

   Said Section 5 baseball coordinator and Greece Athena coach Jason Bunting: "We have 20 games, each seven innings. That's 140 innings. You want to take away innings, at bats and innings from the kids? I don't. I want to play all 140 innings."

   There are numerous other interesting viewpoints in the story, which can be found here.

   More reading: I made mention above of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's Executive Committee meeting in Troy, which I attended Friday.

   My weekly column for summarizes a few of the day's developments, but I put my emphasis on the presentation of a recommendation by the organization's safety committee that all high schools have a full-time athletic trainer at their disposal.

   Obviously that's a significant expense, particularly for small schools that might have fewer than 75 in-season athletes at any given time. But Bob O'Malley, president of the New York State Athletic Trainers' Association made some great points about the value of trainers when I spoke to him this week.

   The NYSPHSAA hasn't adopted the recommendation yet and there is no indication that the policy would ever become mandatory, but it's likely the subject will arise in the next year in many school districts that have a part-time trainer or none at all.

   Power surge: Spotswood (N.J.) High catcher Mike Izzo tied a national record Thursday by hitting three home runs in one inning Thursday as his team thrashed New Brunswick 30-2.    The National Federation of High School Associations' record book shows the feat being accomplished five previous times.

   His three fifth-inning homers came on a pair of first-pitch fastballs and a 1-2 curveball. Spotswood sent 20 batters to the plate in the inning, scoring 17 runs.

   Izzo is batting .463 with five homers and 20 RBIs in just 54 at-bats this spring.

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