CHESTERTOWN Two neighboring high school baseball teams that werent given too much attention early in 2008 finished their season schedule strong, prompting observers to raise expectations for next year. Tuesday, their coaches expressed high hopes for the coming year. North Warren Central Schools team enjoyed nearly a half-dozen wins to end their regular season, launching them into the Section II tournament. Then North Warrens competitive sectional play took them into the finals of the tournament for the first time in recent history, or as long as anyone at the school remembers. Jason Humiston, varsity baseball coach and school athletic director, recalled the 2008 season with satisfaction. We finished the season really strong with a four- or five-game run, he said. We started hitting the ball better, playing good baseball. The sectional games were exciting, he said, with an initial game against Schenectady Christian School exchanging the lead back and forth, ending in a score of 5-4. The players sectional experience from last year, particularly the seniors, helped them out, Humiston said. Then the teams determination and poise helped them in the semi-final game against Loudenville Christian that went into extra innings, with North Warren meeting the challenge and scoring 3 runs in the top of the eighth to win 4-2. The win took them to the Joe Bruno stadium in Troy for the first time ever for a showdown with the talented Fort Ann team. This contest, the sectional finals, ended up in a 4-6 loss to the Cardinals. They are a good squad, Humiston said. And their tournament experience helped them out. Humiston said the team had loads of talent, and hell be missing graduating seniors Bruce Carpenter, Aaron Griffen, Ryan Wade, Eric Konazewski, Fred Meade, Chuck Morel, Lucas Raymond, and Jobe Breault. Next year, however, considerable talent will be moving up, including some players with Sectional experience. Short stop/pitcher John Remington, a starter on varsity since 8th grade, will be anchoring the team, Humiston said. Remington has good eye-hand coordination, he hits over .300, and he steals bases well, Humiston said. Hes also an outstanding fielder, and he rarely makes a mistake. Humiston added that the hell be guiding the team to work hard on their hitting the ball consistently. In high school play, youve got to hit the ball, and it boils down to scoring more runs than the other team, he said. Offense wins games, so our philosophy is to get our hitting the best it can be. One reason Humiston is optimistic about next year is that the baseball program at North Warren is apparently developing momentum. Students in younger grades are identifying with the high school varsity teams success, and they are competing to be on the squad someday, Humiston said. Kids are coming out of the woodwork, he said. At Warrensburg High School, the varsity baseball team had a longer winning streak to end the regular season, but fell in their first sectional game. The team won 13 of its last 15 games prior to sectional play, Coach Rex Reynolds said. It ended up the season 10-4 in league play. We had strong athletes, and once they gelled, they won games but we just didnt get a break in sectionals, he said. Their strengths were hitting we had guys who could hit all through our lineup also we had speed on the bases and strong pitching. Warrensburg ended the regular season as runner-up to Lake George in Adirondack Leagues Western Division. A high point of the year was beating rival Lake George in the last week 4-3, Reynolds said. The graduating seniors, Reynolds said, had a lot of team spirit, were a coachable group, and were very athletic. It was a talented group producing plenty of hits and lots of stolen bases with strong pitching, Reynolds said. It was a lot of fun having those seniors around, coaching them night after night. Graduating senior ballplayers include: Todd Lawson, Kyle Power, Ryan Black, Nate Burdett, Colby Markey, Matt Perry and Alex Quigan. Reynolds said theyll be missed, while he expressed high expectations for the 2009 season. Weve got good juniors moving up, and very good sophomores, including three that played on varsity, he said, referring to Brendan Frye, Mike Perrone, and Donte Siletti. Among the JV players moving up into the lineup will be Jason Power and Mike Curtis, Reynolds said. Well be very competitive for several years, considering our decent pitching and hitting, he said. Were looking forward to another good season.