SARATOGA SPRINGS — Timely pitching for Mohonasen and base-running miscues from Saratoga were what paved the way for the Warriors to take a win against Blue Streaks varsity baseball on Monday afternoon at East Side Recreation Park, 5-3.
Despite giving up a couple of hits early, Mohonasen starter Brian Lineback looked locked in during the early innings. Saratoga had two hits in the first two frames, but their aggressive leads on the basepaths did not pay off as both Devin McArthur and Christian Arpey were picked off at first base in the first two innings.
While this was going on, the Warrior offense was clicking early as they scored on a David Hunt single in the first, a sacrifice fly from Dom Dipeiro in the second and scored two more runs in the top of the third on an error to make it 4-0 before Saratoga’s half of the fourth.
Saratoga did make it 4-1 in the bottom half of the third but were shut down once again in the fourth by Lineback, who had a 1-2-3 fourth. Lineback had a great start to his season as he went 5-1/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and walking just one.
“I knew I had my defense behind me, and I just had to go out there, throw strikes, do my job, and they’re going to do theirs,” Lineback said.
He struck out only three, having more of a pitch-to-contact style most of the way.
“He is a pitch-to-contact guy. When he’s striking guys out, that’s when you got to get worried. His pitch count was pretty limited until the last inning,” Mohonasen coach Kevin Sheremeta said.
Saratoga strung some hits together in the fifth and made it 4-2 and had a chance to score again on a bases-loaded opportunity for McArthur with two outs, but a deep fly ball was caught to end the threat. Mohonasen scored in the sixth to make it 5-2.
The Blue Streaks scored again in the bottom of the sixth and again had a bases-loaded situation with one out. Lewi Clarke hit a fly ball to centerfield, seemingly a sacrifice fly. However, John Irons left third base late and after a rundown, was tagged out to end the inning, and the second Saratoga rally in as many innings was ended.
“His first move was forward because he thought it was a line drive down, and I think he quickly realized that the ball was carrying and was going to be caught so he had to struggle to get back to the bag,” Saratoga coach Andy Cuthbertson said. “The throw was going to beat him, so it was kind of on him and me at the same time.”
For Mohonasen in their season-opening game, it proved to be a great way to start the season, going on the road and holding off one of the best offensive teams in Class AA.
“It’s definitely going to be a huge confidence booster for us moving forward into the league, beating one of the best,” Sheremeta said.
Mohonasen is back in action on Wednesday, taking on Niskayuna at home. That game will begin at 4:15 p.m.
Saratoga is now 1-1. They next hit the road, facing Troy on Wednesday. That game will also begin at 4:15 p.m.