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Baseball: Saratoga back to winning

Sunday, May 1, 2016 by Aidan Joly

Heading into the week 2-5, Saratoga tried to get back to their winning ways, and they did just that.

Saratoga had five games this week, winning four of them.

They took the field on Monday for a doubleheader, taking on the BH-BL Spartans in game one of the day. They would take a 9-6 win.

Corey MacArthur made his first career varsity start and was strong, tossing four innings and giving up four runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out a pair of Spartans.

“We’re just looking to come out for us and do something a little different, kind of spark us, and he did just that,” Saratoga head coach Andy Cuthbertson said.

On offense, Saratoga put up nine runs, a season high at home, with eight of the nine starters scoring a run, and seven of them recording a hit. However, the biggest moment came in the fifth inning, as Nick Kondo recorded the rare steal of home, giving Saratoga their final run of the game.

“The next pitch, I started busting down the line, and luckily I was safe,” Kondo said.

Saratoga was able to pull BH-BL star John Clayton in the sixth inning, and roughed him up for nine runs.

“We put out Johnny Clayton, one of our best pitchers, and he had a tough go at it; they put a lot of pressure on him,” BH-BL head coach Virgil Chevalier said.

They took the field again Monday afternoon, taking on the Mohonasen Warriors. They beat them by a whopping 14-0 in one of Saratoga’s best all-around games of the season so far.

The put-away inning for Saratoga was the fourth, when they put up 10 runs in the inning, sending 16 batters to the plate for a more than 45 minute half inning. That extended their lead to 1-0 before the inning to 11-0 after. The highlights of the inning were an inside-the-park grand slam from Kondo and an RBI double from Brendan Coffey. Danny Coleman also added an RBI single in the inning.

“For us to battle, and put in quality at-bats…we got rewarded for it today,” Cuthbertson said of the inning.

Brad Hipsley also added a pair of RBI singles during the game.

Coleman also tossed five shutout innings on only three hits, and struck out five.

“We played really well as a team,” Coleman said. “That’s a lot of runs. So pitching, I just did my thing.”

The Streaks would head to the road to play Averill Park on Wednesday, and beat them by a score of 6-3.

They played once again on Thursday, taking on Queensbury. They fell in eight innings by a score of 4-3.

They were down 3-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, but rallied from an error, scoring Matt Triola, and a sacrifice fly from Brian Hart tied the game at three.

However, Saratoga would struggle on the mound and in the field on two wild pitches from Jake Kerr. An error by Coffey at catcher allowed Patrick Conway to score. The Streaks got two runners on in the bottom of the eighth, to no avail.

“It’s the best part of this team. Something bad happens, they make something good happen,” Queensbury head coach Jay Marra said.

Brett Rodriguez was dominant for Queensbury, pitching seven innings, giving up three runs on three hits, and striking out four.

The week continued on Friday, with Saratoga taking on Bethlehem. They picked up their fourth win of the week, this time by a final score of 6-2.

They got the first 1-0 lead, but fell to trailing 2-1. The fifth inning was critical for Saratoga, as they batted around and scored four runs. This was highlighted by a three-run double from Coleman.

“Our quality at-bats, in terms of the number of pitches we’re taking, are increasing, and that number is directly related to having competitive at-bats,” Cuthbertson said.

Danny Hobbs returned to his former self, tossing a complete game on five hits, two runs and striking out nine.

“I felt really good going in, and just tried to grind out a win; my control was okay for the most part,” Hobbs said.

Saratoga improves to 7-6 on the season after the week. They will be back in action on Monday, taking on Guilderland. They will be back at home on Wednesday, taking on Schenectady at East Side Rec. That game will begin at 4:15 p.m.

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