BY JOE CARR
For Your Clifton Park & Halfmoon
CLIFTON PARK — On to the Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament this weekend for the 10U travel baseball team of Clifton Park.
The baseball team has been in the state tournament at ages 8 and 9, but never made it into the regional tournament. The team plays its first game July 21 in Poughkeepsie, looking to advance into the semis and finals on July 22 and 23.
“This is the first season we’ve all been together as a complete team,” said head coach Paul Reinisch. “We’ve been figuring each other out and I’ve been learning the way the guys play and it’s been coming together all season.”
A turning point in the season for the team came when Clifton Park hosted a Memorial Day tournament and ended up beating a strong Saratoga team that had defeated them earlier in the season. That may have marked the team getting the feel for each other and working together well as a team.
“We have each others’ back in games,” said top hitter Brendan Gonzalez. “We trust each other on the field and that helps us a lot.”
The team has its strengths both on offense and defense, which is key to success.
“We can be hitting well and at the same time our pitching is strong,” said leadoff hitter Austin Dean. “It’s great to go out there and get things started off for the team on offense. We can get things moving early in games and that’s what we’ve been able to do.”
Going into the regional tournament, the team’s players all have common goals: to have fun and do well.
“A lot of the teams in this tournament are past state champions but if we’re playing well that’s all that matters,” said Reinisch.
“We’re just going to play as hard as we can because if we do that then we can beat any team we play,” said pitcher James Redick. “We know what we can do as a team and we just want to play well to come out with some wins.”