Wednesday, March 23, 2016 by Aidan Joly
Saratoga baseball season is back, and the team will be looking to take their game one step up from last season.
In 2015, Saratoga had their best season in recent memory, going 15-5 in the regular season and winning the Section 2 title with a 1-0 win over Shenendehowa. They reached states, but fell in the state final game last June in Binghamton.
Saratoga will be playing under a new head coach for the 2016 season, Andy Cuthbertson. This move came last December when Cuthbertson was named the head coach for the 2016 season. He replaces former head coach Dean Bailey, who was dismissed as the head coach for “allegations of violations of the school district’s coaching handbook,” according to a press release from May 15 of last year.
Cuthbertson was a graduate of Keene State in 2002, and his coaching resume is extensive. He spent time as an assistant coach at Springfield College and head coach at LaGrangeville High School. He most recently spent four years as the varsity head coach at Mohonasen High School, and was hired to be the modified head coach at Saratoga last year. Cuthbertson was promoted to assistant coach of the varsity team last year under interim head coach Rich Lofink.
“At the modified level, I was expecting a lot of errors and a lot of hits, but our team last year was pretty good. We played a lot of no-error baseball,” Cuthbertson said. “I was excited to be part of Saratoga, and part of the modified program last year.”
As for players, Saratoga has many key returners for 2016. Starting pitchers Danny Hobbs and Danny Coleman are back for their senior seasons, headlining the pitching staff. Six starters from last year will return for this year, with the exceptions of graduates Marshall Kiesow, Jack Herman and Zack Stacey. Stars such as Nick Kondo, Jake Fauler and Brandon Hipsley are all returning, as is Brendon Frank, who drove in the team’s only run in the Section 2 final win over Shenendehowa.
First-year players are expected to be in battles for starting spots for the 2016 season. Cuthbertson said that the 10 varsity rookies will play roles on the team, such as outfielders Brian Hart and Lewi Clarke, as well as middle infielder Brad Hipsley. All three of these players are sophomores.
“We’re going to play one game at a time and play intense baseball, and we’re going to do it with a passion, and wherever that takes us, that’s where we’ll end up,” Cuthbertson said.
Saratoga will open the 2016 season with a league game, taking on Mohonasen, Cuthbertson’s former school, on Wednesday, April 6th. That will be a home game for the Blue Streaks, at the East Side Rec field. The game will begin at 4:15 p.m.