SARATOGA SPRINGS — The varsity baseball programs of Saratoga and Shenendehowa faced off Wednesday in a doubleheader, which was swept by Saratoga.
After the game was tied at two through less than two innings, it seemed like a slugfest was in store, but that was not the case.
The teams remained tied until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Jack Trimmings scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, lifting Saratoga to a 3-2 win.
“I saw it pretty quickly, and I know that here we got a really deep backstop, so I had some time to get there, and I knew I was going to get there safely,” Trimmings said.
Shen had a great chance to take the lead in the top of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and one out. Saratoga brought in Alex Henderson to inherit a very tough spot on the mound, and he delivered, getting Joe Novenche to ground into a double play, effectively ending the threat and keeping the game tied.
“That was huge. That was a momentum-changer. Bases loaded with one out, they score a run there, it was a low-scoring game. I think it changed the mood completely, gave us that extra edge,” Henderson said.
Brendan Disonell was dominant in the middle innings on the mound for the Plainsmen. He went the 6 2/3 innings, giving up just five hits but taking the loss. He struck out seven Saratoga hitters.
The nightcap was another close one, with Shen scoring all three of their runs in a big bottom of the third, but Saratoga was not to be outdone as they took the lead in the sixth inning and held it for a 4-3 victory.
The Plainsmen batted around in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs and leaving the bases loaded after Saratoga had grabbed a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Two of Shen’s runs came on a chopper up the middle off the bat of catcher Colby Aiello.
After Blue Streaks starter Nate Chudy was pulled in the fourth inning, Gordon Hogben came in for the rest of the night and dominated. He went 3 2/3 no-hit innings of relief and struck out nine.
It was not just the mound where he came up big. His RBI infield single in the top of the sixth that scored John Irons ended up being the game-winning hit.
“That first game set the tone. We brought it right into the next game, got out early, and we got the job done,” Hogben said.
Saratoga head coach Andy Cuthbertson said that playing and beating Shen means a lot for them. “Anytime we play Shen I think it’s a quality opportunity for our kids to play under pressure and maybe get some of that postseason butterflies out of the way early,” he said. “The kids competed but kept their head level. I’m proud of them.”
The postseason brackets come out Thursday; each team has one nonleague regular season game remaining. Saratoga will play on Thursday afternoon at home against Queensbury at 4:15, while Shenendehowa will also play Queensbury this Saturday with the first pitch at 11 a.m.