Recorder file photo Amsterdam's Julian Gallup, The Recorder's 2014 High School Baseball Player of the Year, hits during a game against La Salle Institute at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy.
Recorder file photo Fonda-Fultonville's Zak Shaw, The Recorder's 2014 High School Baseball Pitcher of the Year, works during the Section II Class B championship game against Voorheesville at Joe Bruno Stadium.
Recorder file photo Amsterdam shortstop Andrew Rouse dives for a line drive during an April 25 game against La Salle Institute at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.
Recorder file photo Fort Plain catcher Drew Fureno ranges into foul territory to make a catch during a game against Schoharie at Phillips Field in Fort Plain.
By ADAM SHINDER
So, that was some season, huh?
The 2014 high school baseball season was, in many ways, a banner year for the vast majority of area teams. There was history, in the form of Fort Plain's Craig Phillips picking up his 700th career coaching win earlier in the season; there were teams that brushed with greatness, with both the Amsterdam Rams and Galway Golden Eagles reaching the Section II semifinals in their respective classifications; and there were two teams that snatched Section II's brass ring and were crowned champions -- Fonda-Fultonville in Class B and Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville in Class D.
With the season coming to an end June 6 when OESJ was knocked out of the New York State Class D regionals, it became time to reflect on a wild baseball season that was compacted into less than two months thanks to seemingly endless weather problems.
So, The Recorder has named its 2014 All-Area High School Baseball Team, led by Player of the Year Julian Gallup of Amsterdam, Pitcher of the Year Zak Shaw of Fonda-Fultonville and Coach of the Year Darin Lynch of OESJ.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Julian Gallup, Sr., Amsterdam
The Co-Player of the Year alongside teammate Andrew Rouse in 2013, Gallup saw a slight drop-off in his offensive numbers this season, but the Niagara University-bound outfielder's body of work in helping lead the Rams to their first Section II playoff win in a decade earns him this award.
After hitting .429 during his junior season, Gallup hit .327 as a senior while alternating between the first and third spots in head coach Brian Spagnola's lineup. The primary focus of opposing pitchers, Gallup rarely saw too many hittable pitches, as evidenced by his 15 walks and .485 on-base percentage.
While his batting average dropped, Gallup's power numbers were up in 2014 as he collected five extra base hits -- a double, a home run and three triples -- while driving in a team-best 18 runs. The speedster also maintained his menace on the basepaths, stealing a team-high 17 bases and scoring 22 runs.
It was on the pitcher's mound were Gallup rounded out his resume in spectacular style. After throwing just 32 innings between his sophomore and junior years while sitting behind the likes of Chris Carbone, Zach Dufel and Dylan Angelo in the Amsterdam rotation, Gallup became the Rams' ace this season and, after going 0-2 over his first three starts, was brilliant down the stretch.
Gallup finished the season 4-3 with a 2.84 earned run average and 46 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings. His three complete game wins -- a three-hitter against La Salle Institute at Joe Bruno Stadium, a six-hit shutout against Christian Brothers Academy in the first game on the turf at Shuttleworth Park and a six-hitter against Scotia-Glenville in the Section II Class A quarterfinals -- were among the area's finest pitching performances of the season.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Zak Shaw, Sr., Fonda-Fultonville
At the top of a balanced rotation, Shaw's overall record during the season in the ultra-tough Colonial Council wasn't overwhelming -- 4-3 with a pair of saves -- but his peripheral numbers against that level of competition were simply stunning.
In his third year as a starter and his second year as the staff ace for the Braves, Shaw finished with a 1.86 earned run average and held opposing hitters to a .181 batting average over 49 innings in a league that included Section II Class B finalist Voorheesville, perennial power Albany Academy and a Schalmont team that won the Section II Class BB title and will play for a state championship in the Binghamton area today.
Shaw racked up 75 strikeouts against just 14 walks and posted a minuscule WHIP of 0.94, allowing just 32 hits and 13 earned runs for the season.
It was in the postseason when Shaw was at his absolute finest. The righthander started the Braves' quarterfinal win against Stillwater, firing a six-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts in a 7-0 victory, then limited Voorheesville to two hits and two unearned runs over seven innings in the Section II Class B title game at Joe Bruno Stadium before the Braves' improbable rally to win their first sectional title since 1982 on five walks in the bottom of the seventh.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Darin Lynch, OESJ
The single hardest decision on this year's list, Lynch tops a field of five worthy candidates for the award thanks to leading a Wolves club without a single senior on its roster to the Section II Class D championship.
The award easily could have gone to Fonda-Fultonville's Rick Palumbo, who coached the Braves to their first sectional title since 1982, while Fort Plain's Craig Phillips took a team with almost no varsity experience to 14 wins and both Amsterdam's Brian Spagnola and Galway's Mark Kalinkewicz led teams that flashed brilliance during the regular season and were both a run away from heading to sectional championship games.
But, Lynch gets the nod for OESJ's adaptation after Dylan Klock was lost from the pitching rotation in the second week of the regular season as sophomore Brad Smith moved into the role of ace and the team stormed through the Class D playoffs, scoring 30 runs in three games and easily beating defending state champion Fort Ann, 7-1, in the title game.
THE RECORDER ALL-AREA BASEBALL TEAM
C: Drew Fureno, Fr., Fort Plain -- A 5-foot-5 fireplug, Fureno moved behind the plate this season and turned in a phenomenal two-way season, hitting .460 with 21 runs scored and 20 stolen bases while playing absolutely flawless defense that saw him go through the entire season without an error while also keeping opposing baserunners in check with his formidable arm.
1B: Ben Manna, Sr., Galway -- First base was a rotation-heavy position for most area teams this season, but Manna was a constant for the Golden Eagles. The senior captain hit .322 with 16 RBI for a team that reached the Section II Class C semifinals.
2B: Kolbie Glionna, Sr., Amsterdam -- After a tough junior season, Glionna was the Rams' most consistent hitter in 2014, leading the team's everyday players with by raising his batting average more than 100 points to .386 while driving in 16 runs and scoring 15 runs. He was also the only area player to hit more than one home run, hitting one in each of the Rams' first two games at Shuttleworth Park this season.
3B: Jace Fox, Soph., Canajoharie -- The power in the middle of the Canajoharie lineup, Fox hit .480 with a .612 on-base percentage and a .740 slugging percentage. Fox slugged eight doubles, a triple and a home run, drove in 12 runs, scored 18 runs and earned 15 walks in only 67 plate appearances.
SS: Andrew Rouse, Sr., Amsterdam -- Always solid and nearly impossible to strike out -- just six in 72 plate appearances -- Rouse hit .333, ripped six doubles, stole 14 bases and led the Rams with 23 runs scored. He was also a rock in the infield and turned in the defensive play of the year with his behind-the-back flip to start a double play against Catholic Central.
UTIL: Dylan Klock, Soph., OESJ -- Playing both shortstop and centerfield, Klock hit a scorching .457, scored an area-best 32 runs, drove in 14 runs and stole 17 bases in 20 attempts. Of his 37 hits, 22 of them were for extra bases -- 17 doubles and five triples.
UTIL: Buck Anderson, Sr., Canajoharie -- Remarkably consistent at the plate, Anderson led the area with a .500 batting average. He drove in 13 runs, ripped eight doubles and was the one of the area's toughest hitters to strike out this season, fanning just three times in 62 plate appearances.
OF: Luigi Magliocca, Sr., Broadalbin-Perth -- A first-team Foothills Council all-star, Magliocca was a dynamo at the top of the Patriots' lineup, hitting .433 with 21 runs scored in 77 plate appearances. Few things were surer this season than a Magliocca stolen base -- he attempted to swipe 22 bags, and was successful every time.
OF: John Vicciarelli, Jr., OESJ -- Vicciarelli was a do-it-all player from the Wolves out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup, hitting .394 with 23 runs scored and 15 RBI to go along with 13 stolen bases in 17 attempts.
OF: Devan Battisti, Jr., OESJ -- The Wolves' everyday leftfielder hit .348 with three triples, 15 runs batted in and 22 runs scored while also going a perfect 21-for-21 on stolen base attempts. He hit the two-run double that kickstarted OESJ's sectional championship game win over Fort Ann.
DH: Anthony Sinicropi, Jr., Fonda-Fultonville -- The most consistent hitter on a Braves team that played in the pitching-heavy Colonial Council, Sinicropi boasted a .338 batting average and led his team with 16 runs batted in while striking out only seven times in 74 plate appearances.
P: Brad Smith, Soph., OESJ -- Plugged in as the Wolves' No. 1 starter when Klock pulled a triceps muscle, Smith went 9-2 with a 1.95 ERA and racked up 88 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings. He threw a one-hit shutout against Schoharie during the regular season and fired complete games in the Section II Class D semifinals and championship game.
P: Jesse Heroth, Soph., Fort Plain -- A third-year varsity player as a sophomore, the slight lefty went 7-2 with a minuscule 0.81 ERA. He allowed just 30 hits and 18 walks while racking up 80 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings and never allowed more than two earned runs in any of his 10 appearances.
P: Joe Winsman, Sr., Canajoharie -- The senior sidearmer only posted a 1-4 record with one save and a 3.64 ERA, but was an unmatched workhorse for the Cougars, throwing 50 of the team's 110 total innings on the mound. In those 50 innings, Winsman racked up 64 strikeouts and, incredibly, allowed just four walks.
ALL-AREA SECOND TEAM
C: Payten Johnson (OESJ), Sam Uline (Galway)
IF: Eric Robertshaw (Amsterdam), Joe Zarecki (Broadalbin-Perth), Brett Getman (Broadalbin-Perth), Colin Davis (Canajoharie), James May Jr. (Fort Plain), Kiernan Briggs (Fort Plain), Taylor Hartman (Galway), Jordan VanNostrand (Mayfield)
OF: Jonardy Anil (Amsterdam), Brady McGillin (Amsterdam), Dillan Veeder (Canajoharie), Kevin Myers (Fonda-Fultonville)
P: Tyler Graham (Broadalbin-Perth), Pat Hart (Fonda-Fultonville); Tyler Goergen (Galway), Zachary Hartman (Galway), Bobby Gates (Mayfield)
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Recorder file photo OESJ's Dylan Klock rounds third base on his way to scoring a run against Fort Ann in the Section II Class D championship game at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy.
Recorder file photo OESJ pitcher Brad Smith delivers a pitch during the Section II Class D championship game against Fort Ann. Smith went 9-2 with a 1.95 ERA this season to earn a spot on The Recorder's All-Area High School Baseball Team.