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Baseball: Saratoga takes two losses to start season

Thursday, April 14, 2016 by Aidan Joly

While 0-2 may not be the optimal start to the season, Saratoga will continue to look to turn it around.

Saratoga varsity baseball played their first two games of the season this week, dropping both decisions.

They began the year on Tuesday with a home game after three rainouts, taking on the Shaker Bison at East Side Rec. They fell by a score of 6-5, with missed opportunities being the name of the game for the Blue Streaks.

Trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning, having already scored two runs in the inning, Saratoga found the bases loaded with just one out. Shaker relief pitcher Brandon Dicostanzo had come into the game. He struck out two straight Saratoga hitters, Jake Kerr and Lewi Clarke, sending the game into the sixth still a one-run game.

In the sixth, with Dicostanzo still in, Saratoga runners stood at second and third, with just one out once again. Danny Coleman struck out, and then Brendan Coffey struck out to end the sixth.

Shaker had scored their sixth run in the top of the fifth inning on a home run from Matt Paulsen.

“He (Danny Hobbs) left it hanging over the plate, and I was looking to swing and just carry it over the fence,” Paulsen said.

Shaker head coach Joe Rispole added to this.

“It’s funny, because I told them before the year that we don’t necessarily have that home run power, and we hit one in our first game.”

Saratoga ace Danny Hobbs was not at the top of his game Tuesday, going five innings, 10 hits, six runs, walking a batter and striking out four.

On Wednesday, Saratoga tried to win their first game of the year, taking on the Colonie Raiders. They would again drop the decision by a score of 4-2 in eight innings.

Colonie starting pitcher Kyle Lambert was dominant in that game, tossing a complete game on just 79 pitches. He gave up two runs on just five hits, zero walks, but just one strikeout.

“They’re (Saratoga) a great team and happy that I was able to do well against them,” Lambert said.

After seven innings, he had shut them down after throwing only 70 pitches, and the decision was made to keep him in for the eighth inning.

“He was locating, he wasn’t struggling at all, so it was a no-brainer to keep him in,” Colonie head coach Kevin Halburian said.

Colonie had struck first in the game on an RBI double from Evan Gray to make it 1-0. Later in the inning, it was Taylor Pfaaf who made it 2-0 on a sacrifice fly.

Saratoga got a run in the second on a sacrifice fly from Brian Hart. Then, Lambert took over, only allowing two baserunners until the sixth inning.

“I told the guys that we made quick outs. We didn’t see many counts that we were deep in the count.” Saratoga head coach Andy Cuthbertson said. “One of our biggest assets is our speed, and we didn’t get a lot of speed on the bases tonight.”

Heading into the eighth, Cuthbertson put in star reliever Corey MacArthur in, but he wasn’t his usual self, allowing two runs on four hits. Saratoga went down in the bottom half, losing the game.

“We can’t press. We can’t think about that we’re 0-2, and we have to think about how we’re going to get 1-2,” Cuthbertson said.

Saratoga now falls to 0-2 on the season, and will now go on a three-game road trip that includes stops at Columbia, Troy and Shenendehowa. They will be back at East Side Rec on Wednesday, April 20th, taking on Ballston Spa. That game will begin at 4:15 p.m.

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