Broadalbin-Perth baseball looking to defend sectional crown

Broadalbin-Perth baseball coach R.J. Pingitore talks with his team during the opening day of spring sports practice Monday at Broadalbin-Perth High School. (Paul Wager)

BROADALBIN – After winning its first Section II title, the Broadalbin-Perth baseball team will now look to remain on top of the Class B heap.

The Patriots return plenty of key players from last year’s Class B title-winning team, including seniors Mike Magliocca, Luke Barnhart, Hayden Benton, Luke Tambasco and junior Ryan Savoie.

“We’re returning a lot of players from last year’s team. It’s a good mix of returning players and newcomers,” Broadalbin-Perth coach R.J. Pingitore said. “We’ve got returning players at our core positions. We’ve got the kind of players that can play anywhere.”

Peyton Bogusz, Michael Dormond, Ryan Hertik, Jake Terwilliger and Ryan Visco all graduated after last year’s title run that included a walkoff 11-10, nine-inning win over Schalmont in the semifinals and a walkoff 6-5 victory over Ichabod Crane in the championship game.

“It was definitely a stressful way to do things,” Pingitore said of his team’s nerve-wracking run to a sectional title last spring. “There wasn’t ever a time that we thought we were done though. We kept battling every pitch, every out, every inning, and every inch of the way.”

Broadalbin-Perth finished last season 16-6 overall and 9-4 in Foothills Council play.

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Pingitore said he’s hoping to improve on those lofty numbers this season.

“My goal is to see us get better every time out from day one until the end of the season,” he said. “To get to where we want to go, it’s going to take hard work.”

That work began with the opening day of practice Monday, and it will continue with a spring training trip to Florida in two weeks.

“We’re going to go to Florida in a couple of weeks,” Pingitore said. “We’ll get a chance to play a bunch of scrimmages, play in warm weather and get ready for the season. It’s a good chance to get out on the field. It will be a good chance for us to bond as a team, and a chance to learn to like one another.”

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After returning from Florida, Broadalbin-Perth has scrimmages scheduled at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (March 28), at Greenwich (March 29) and Shenendehowa (March 31).

Broadalbin-Perth is hoping that its experience ends with another sectional title and its first trip to the state tournament after last year’s tourney was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to be that team. We’ve always thought of ourselves as that team with a target on our backs. Now, we are,” Pingitore said. “We’ve talked about championships and winning championships for a long time. Now, we’ve kind of spoken that into existence.”

The Patriots are slated to kick off the regular season on April 6 with a non-league game at Fonda-Fultonville before opening Foothills Council play at Glens Falls on April 7. B-P’s first home game is set for April 11 when it hosts Queensbury.

“We’re going to get back to basics because that’s what got us here,” Pingitore said. “We’re going to take it day-by-day this season. I don’t want to look too far into the future.”

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By Paul Wager

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