By: Aidan Joly
Behind a gem of a pitching performance by Alex Henderson, Saratoga varsity baseball beat Shenendehowa on Friday afternoon at Shenendehowa High School by a final score of 2-0.
Henderson had no trouble getting through Shen’s order throughout the game as he allowed just three hits, walked only two and struck out six for undoubtedly Saratoga’s best individual game pitching performance of the year. He also went through a stretch where he retired 10 straight Plainsmen hitters from the third to sixth innings, which included a three-pitch inning in the sixth.
“(On the mound) I really tried to relax, slow down and find the zone consistently,” Henderson said.
“I think (Henderson’s) plan of attack to keep hitters off balance is what made him so successful, and we played flawless defense behind him,” Saratoga head coach Andy Cuthbertson said.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when Brian Hart led off with a hit and was eventually driven in on a sacrifice fly from Ryan Seales to give the Blue Streaks their first lead of the afternoon. They extended their lead in the fifth inning when Lewi Clarke scored on an error off the bat of Jake Fauler for an insurance run that was not needed in the end. Henderson had a little bit of trouble in the seventh as Shenendehowa got two runners on base, but neither got all the way back to the plate. It had been the same for Shenendehowa as they struggled to get anything going on the offensive side of the ball all afternoon.
“Saratoga took advantage of our inability to execute, and unfortunately we didn’t have many competitive at-bats,” Shenendehowa head coach Greg Christodulu said.
For Shenendehowa on the mound, Brandon Roberts got the start and went five innings, giving up two runs on two hits and walked four Saratoga hitters.
This victory for Saratoga snaps a three-game losing streak, and they sit 14-5 following the victory as they close out league play. After their non-league game against Schuylerville Saturday, they will await their sectional seed.
“This is huge, right at the end of the season against Shen, and we’re battling for a seed in sectionals. This is a nice step in the right direction,” Cuthbertson said.
Shen now stands at 12-7 on the year following the loss. They will finish their regular season on Monday with a tilt at home against Queensbury. That game will begin at 4:15 PM.