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Queensbury vs. Amsterdam baseball

Queensbury pitcher Noah Edwards winds up for a pitch during the Section II championship game against Amsterdam earlier this season.

It’s been Queensbury’s rallying cry all year.

Last year, the Spartans lost to Burnt Hills by two runs in the first round of the playoffs. Stunned by the result, it was a long offseason for a Queensbury team that returned nearly every player from that gut-wrenching loss.

With some help from coach Jay Marra, the Spartans (17-4) still will not let that game go.

“I never let them forget it,” Marra said. “We were very disappointed. I told the guys we have to prove that we are better and they did.”

A trip back to the Class A state semifinals — Queensbury’s third appearance at states in four years — signifies the Spartans have made up for last year’s early exit.

Despite the success of avenging last year’s season, pitcher Noah Edwards said they will not be satisfied unless they come home with a state championship.

“I was on the team two years ago when we went there and I had great time,” Edwards said. “Unfortunately we lost and I’ve wanted to get back ever since. It is a great experience and for the younger guys it will help them in the future.”

Edwards has been the Spartans’ ace this season. He’ll be on the mound Friday when Queensbury plays Canandaigua Academy at 5 p.m. at Binghamton University.

Along with junior Jack Sylvia on the mound, the Spartans have not allowed more than three runs in their past two games.

Nine seniors, including Edwards, lead Queensbury in search of its first state baseball championship.

Going into this season, Edwards said he knew the Spartans had an opportunity to be good but he was not sure just how great they could be.

It was not until the middle of the season, when Queensbury notched two wins against Class AA schools, when the Spartans realized they could play with anyone.

“We got some wins against a couple Suburban Council schools in Shaker and Saratoga,” Marra said. “Which was a big confidence boost.”

Edwards added it’s the Spartans’ well-rounded approach to the game that he thinks makes them dangerous.

“We always knew we were a good hitting team,” Edwards said. “But we thought we’d be shaky on the pitching. It has actually worked out pretty well for us between me, Jack (Sylvia), Ben (Shpur) and Matt Chase.”

Queensbury is facing an opponent in Canandaigua Academy that Marra said looks a lot like the Spartans.

Canandaigua features a talented left-handed pitcher in Michael Sculli, who has posted three consecutive postseason shutouts.

Regular-season baseball differs a lot from postseason play, largely because of the time between games.

Marra said he has been trying to put the Spartans in as many live situations as possible during practice to make up for the six-day gap between their regional final victory and states.

However, some players like senior Mike Guido are sick of waiting.

“Yeah I am just ready to get to Binghamton,” Guido joked. “We are ready to get this done.”

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Follow Ellis L. Williams on Twitter @BookofEllis

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