MALONE - The Potsdam Central varsity baseball team withstood a solid challenge by the Franklin Academy Huskies on Thursday, but scrapped hard enough to pull off a 5-4 Northern Athletic Conference Central Division win to keep its record unblemished in league play.
Potsdam scored three times in the sixth inning on just one base hit, then held off the Huskies challenge in the seven inning to move to 10-0 in the division (10-1 overall). The loss drops the FA mark to 5-4 in the league and 6-5 overall.
Jared Moody opened up on the hill for the Huskies and pitched out of jams in the first and second innings as Potsdam threatened to score, but could not get the clutch hit off the Huskies big right hander.
Potsdam finally broke the scoreless deadlock in the third inning as Will Coleman and Ben Miller led off the frame with back-to-back singles. A force-out at second moved Coleman to third, then Nate Gringrich smacked a hard line drive off the left shine of the FA hurler. The ball caromed over to Jordan Yando as first base, who collected the sphere and dove to tag out Gringrich, which allowed Coleman to score the games first run.
After checking on his pitcher, Lamay opted to leave Moody in the game. The sophomore pitcher completed the inning by inducing a grounder to Yando, who made the unassisted putout.
The Huskies took a 2-1 lead in the home half of the fourth inning, scoring both runs on one hit and taking full advantage of three Potsdam errors. The lone hit in the frame was a one-out RBI single off the bat of Jake Perry.
Potsdam tied the game at 2-2 with a solo run in the fifth as Coleman reached on an error, stole second and came around to score on Millers RBI single to right.
FA reclaimed its one-run lead with its third run of the game in the fifth – without the benefit of a hit. Jake Henning smacked a hard shot to the right side of the Sandstoners infield. The Potsdam second baseman bobbled the ball, then rushed his throw to first and threw it over the first basemans head and into the Malone dugout, which allowed Henning to trot down to second. A passed ball sent Henning to third, and the FA runner scored on a sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of Alex Johnson.
Then the wheels came off the cart for FA.
Moody lost the strike zone and walked the Potsdam leadoff hitter in the sixth. Devon Delaney dropped down a perfect sac bunt to send Connor Prosper to second. Moody then walked the next two hitters and threw a wild pitch, which allowed Prosper to score. The other two Sandstoners moved up a base on a passed ball and consecutive wild pitches. Gringrich capped the three-run inning with an RBI single.
The Huskies attempted to rally from behind once again as pinch hitter Tucker Bartenslager launched a one-out shot over the head of the Potsdam centerfielder. Bartenslager raced around the bases for a stand-up triple and was immediately sent home by coach Lamay as the throw to the infield went over the relay mans head. Miller, who went the distance in picking up the win, slammed the door shut on the Huskies to preserve the Sandstoners unbeaten league record.
We have to look at the positives from this game, explained the Malone coach. When we play well, we can stay with anyone in this league. When we make too many mistakes the result is a loss.
I thought that Moody did a great job for us today. Hes a tough kid and didnt let on about his shin, which I should have picked up on, but hindsight is 20-20 and we just have to pick up from here and go forward, added Lamay.
Moody recorded five of the seven strikeouts against Potsdam, with Abe Gravell, who relieved Moody in the seventh, getting the other two. Moody walked four batters and gave up all 10 Potsdam hits in taking the loss.
Miller allowed just three Malone hits, while striking out five without a base on balls.
Offensively for the Huskies, Bartenslager had the triple – the lone extra base hit in the game – and scored a run, while singles came from Perry and Johnson.
For Potsdam, Coleman, Miller and Gringrich (2 RBI) had two hits apiece, while solo hits were by Prosper, Trevor Keleher, Jake Keleher and Morgan Sutliff.
The lone other Central Division matchup on Thursday saw Gouverneur pull out an 11-10 win over Canton with Shawn McEathron delivering a lead-off walk-off homerun in the bottom of the seventh inning while East Division action saw St. Lawrence Central outlast Madrid-Waddington 6-5, Parishville-Hopkinton beat St. Regis Falls 16-7 and Brushton-Moira blank Chateaugay 16-0.
SLC 6, M-W 5: In Brasher Falls, the Yellowjackets tied the game at 5-5 with two runs in the top of the sixth after the Larries had taken a 5-3 lead with three runs in the fifth before SLC went on to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh.
Hadyn St. Hilaire picked up the win in relief of starter Chris Tabor, who struckout eight and walked five while giving up eight hits before being relieved in the sixth inning. St. Hilaire wound up with three strikeouts and one walk while allowing just one more hit. Zach Brock fanned nine and walked none in taking the complete-game loss.
St. Hilaire also played a lead role offensively with three hits, including a solo homerun in the third, an RBI-triple in the fifth and a double in the seventh before coming around to score the winning run in front of a double by David Barney. Joe DiMatteo ripped three doubles and scored two runs. Barney finished with two hits, two RBI and a run scored. Jace Lanning also connected for an RBI-single. Devon Young also drilled a double while Chris Gray singled.
For M-W, Tyler Uppstrom singled and scored a runb. Brock had a double. Jacob Barney had an RBi-single. Harrison VanBuren launched a solo homerun. Tyler Fobare also had an RBI-single while Aaron Armstrong connected for an RBI double.
P-H 16, SRF 7: In Parishville, the Panthers trailed 3-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning where they turned the game around with the first of two straight seven-run outbursts.
Mike Burns pitched the first four innings then came on to close out the win after an inning and two-thirds of relief work by Chase Simmons. Burns finished with seven strikeouts and two walks while scattering three hits. Mike Cummings last three innings in taking the loss.
Anthony Pullano led the way offensively for P-H going 3-5 with a double, three RBI and two runs scored. Wyatt Snell tripled, singled and scored three times while Shaw Keleher singled twice and scored three runs.
Cummings stood tall at the plate for the Saints going 4-5 with a double and two runs scored while Cory Labounty had two hits and scored twice.
BMC 16, Chateaugay 0: After the opening week of league play, the Brushton-Moira bats began to heat up. Those bats are still hot as the BMC boys connected for 17 hits – six for extra bases – in the five-inning win over rival Chateaugay.
Alex Burnett went the distance, allowing just four hits while striking out 11 batters. The Bulldogs used three pitchers during the setback as Zach Cowan opened the game on the hill for CCS. Chris Cluff and Isaac Kinney relieved. The Chateaugay trio combined to allow the 17 hits, four walks and recorded one strikeout.
BMC scored at least one run in all five innings, striking for seven runs in the top of the fifth. Jake St. Mary singled, launched a two-run homer and drove in four runs, while Alex Burnett doubled twice and plated a run to help his own cause. Burnetts older brother Zach singled, doubled and drove in two runs, while Bryan Aubrey singled, tripled and also drove in a pair.
Taylor Tallman doubled and had two RBIs as Adam Martin and Ricky Collette (RBI) had two hits each. Solo hits came from Austin Tavernia, Jon Kennedy (2 RBI) and Cody Jesmer (RBI).
Cowan had two of the four hits for the Bulldogs.
NOTE: Malone Telegram Sports Editor John Gokey contributed to the preceding article.