By: Aidan Joly
Behind a strong bullpen performance and key hits, Saratoga varsity baseball led themselves to a 3-2 victory over Guilderland on Monday afternoon (May 1) at East Side Rec.
The game remained close throughout, with Guilderland grabbing the first lead in the third inning on an RBI double from Christian Italiano, the second of back-to-back, two-out doubles for Guilderland.
Saratoga took the lead one inning later for their first advantage of the afternoon. Brian Hart and Brad Hipsley were the two-man tandem that Saratoga rallied behind in the fourth, as Hart began the frame with a triple in the gap, and Hipsley drove him in with a double to knot the game up at one. Two batters later, Ryan Seales recorded an RBI groundout to give the Streaks the lead.
“We thought the energy was down towards the beginning of the game, so that triple helped get a lot of energy going,” Hart said.
Then things got interesting. In the top of the sixth inning, Cameron Myers singled to lead off the inning for the Dutchmen of Guilderland and scored two batters later on an RBI single from Max Gebauer to tie the game at two. Guilderland then picked up another pair of singles to load up the bases with just one out, and things started to look bleak for Saratoga. With Jack Cairns on just his second batter after coming into pitch, he forced Guilderland third baseman Dan Albright to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat and keep the game tied.
“Getting to a contact hit that’s going to put us into a double play was a focus of our pitching staff, not trying to blow the ball by guys,” Saratoga head coach Andy Cuthbertson said regarding the team’s play in the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Saratoga picked themselves up as they had two batters reach before Seales came up big again as he snuck a ground ball through the infield to score Hart and give Saratoga a 3-2 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
“Just like [my] first at-bat, put the ball in play, try to sacrifice myself to get the run in,” Seales said.
Guilderland would have two runners reach in the last inning but weren’t able to bring them all the way back to home plate, giving Saratoga the victory.
Guilderland falls to 5-8 on the season following the loss. They will play again on Wednesday facing state-ranked Ballston Spa on the road. That game will begin at 4:15 PM at Ballston Spa High School.
Saratoga improves to 12-2 on the season, and clinched an automatic bid into sectionals following a road win Friday. They will also play again on Wednesday as they take on Schenectady on the road before returning home on Thursday against CBA. First pitch for both of those games is at 4:15 PM.