Seven-run fifth paves way for Saratoga in win over Niskayuna

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Tied 3-3 in the fifth inning, Saratoga varsity baseball’s bats came alive in a big way as they scored seven runs in the frame and held on for an 11-5 win on Friday against Niskayuna at East Side Rec.

Heading into the bottom of the fifth, Saratoga had the top of the order coming up against Silver Warriors starter Tim Schaffer who had struggled a bit earlier on. Devin McArthur led it off with a single. Two batters later, Brad Hipsley gave the Blue Streaks the lead. After three more hits, two walks, two errors, a groundout and a hit batter, Saratoga had a 10-3 lead.

“I felt pretty good that we had the top of our order coming up, and we’ve really been about one hit at a time all year long,” Saratoga coach Andy Cuthbertson said. “I think the guys were pretty relaxed and just kind of putting the ball in play. I think this team is very capable of that one big inning, and they showed it tonight.”

Niskayuna had taken a 3-1 lead early on courtesy of a first inning RBI from Aaron Whitley and extended it to a two-run lead off of a two-run double from James Murphy. Saratoga tied it up in the bottom of the third inning with back-to-back RBI doubles from Jack Trimmings and Hipsley, and Saratoga later opened the game up with that big fifth frame.

Niskayuna coach Chris Bianchi said of Saratoga’s rally, “We put some people on base with a walk, and then a couple balls in the field that probably could have been made. When you’re playing a good team in a close game, little things make a big difference.”

Hipsley had a big day for Saratoga as he tied the game with the RBI double in the third inning then gave his team the lead in the fifth. He went 2-4 on the day with the two big doubles.

“He’s been a real special kid this year. He has taken the whole mental toughness to a new level and when he gets up to bat he’s just so relaxed and calm and just uses the skill he has. I think it’s a testament to his preparation to the game and his executing,” Cuthbertson said.

Niskayuna put two runs on the board in the sixth inning off of Saratoga reliever Nate Chudy but it was not enough.

Saratoga improves to 11-4 on the season. They will play again on Saturday night as they celebrate senior night against Schuylerville. Ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m., and first pitch is set for 7 p.m.

Niskayuna falls to 9-8. They will play again on Monday, at home against Shenendehowa. Game time for that one is set for 4:15 p.m.

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