By: Aidan Joly
Down by two runs in the middle innings, Saratoga finally turned it around late in the game and needed all they could get, eventually winning in walk-off style for a 4-3 win Saturday night over Schuylerville.
Schuylerville’s offense was superior early on as they scored a pair of runs in the third inning for their first lead and extended it to 3-1 in the fifth inning.
Saratoga’s offense took a while to wake up, but they did in the bottom half of the fifth as they sent eight to the plate and scored a pair of runs off of a John Irons single. Then Cam Flemming walked with the bases loaded to tie the game. They had a shot to add more, but a diving catch from Black Horses left fielder Cameron Alber ended the threat.
Saratoga had another chance in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and two outs, but Brian Hart was picked off at first to end that threat, the second frame in a row that Schuylerville had come up with a big inning-ending play.
“Good for (Schuylerville) for trusting their gut and going to that play,” Saratoga coach Andy Cuthbertson said.
With the game tied heading into the bottom of the seventh, Irons was hit by a pitch to start the inning, then Gordon Hogben reached on an error, and two batters later Ryan Seales walked. That brought up Lewi Clarke with the bases loaded and one out with a real shot to end the game.
He did that, lifting a fly ball to right field, caught by Horses outfielder Matt Peck. Irons was sent home and scored to end the game and clinch a 4-3 victory.
“I didn’t really want to think about it too much and let it get to my head. I just kind of let it happen, and now looking back, my senior night, getting a walk-off on it, it’s a great feeling,” Clarke said.
The offense was a long time coming for Saratoga as they struggled to hit Schuylerville starter George Olsen early on after getting a run in the first. After the run in the first, he did not allow another in four total innings pitched. The two Blue Streak runs in the fifth came off of Alex Vallee.
“I think that five, six, seven is home for us. For some reason, either we come out on fire in the first inning or we’re a little bit lackadaisical, but five, six, seven seems to be what we like to come out with. Good for these guys for getting it done on senior night,” Cuthbertson said.
Schuylerville looked to be at its strongest early as they scored their two runs in the third with Carson Dunkel coming up big with an RBI triple to plate Derek Willson, and he later scored on a wild pitch from Brian Hart, who started on the mound for Saratoga. He went four innings, giving up two runs on three hits before Hogben came in to relieve him.
Schuylerville falls to 10-7 overall on the season.
Saratoga is now 12-4 for the year. They will be back in action on Monday, on the road against Shaker. That game will begin at 4:15 p.m.