After doing next to nothing for the first five innings, Scotia-Glenville had Troy pitcher Michael Hughes on the ropes.
Bases loaded, one out and down three runs in the sixth inning of the Saturday’s Class A baseball semi, the Tartans had their best chance to extend their season.
But they could only manage two weak ground balls, leaving three runners on the basepaths and their championship-game hopes dashed in a 4-1 loss.
“Bases loaded with one out, I want them to hit the ball. Execute and hit the ball,” said Scotia coach John Striffler. “Not try to do too much, just put the ball in play. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Hughes didn’t allow a hit through four innings as his teammates got him a 3-0 lead.
“He was throwing offspeed, keeping us off balance,” said Scotia’s Dan Zeglen. “We kept popping the ball up.”
Leadoff hitter Marty McCollum agreed that Hughes was effective in keeping No. 3 seed Scotia offstride.
“He was throwing a ton of offspeed stuff, and it worked,” McCollum said. “It messed up our timing.”
Scotia finally solved the 10th-grader in the fifth inning.
With two out, Mike Barbee singled to left for the Tartans’ first hit. He moved to third on an error, and McCollum delivered a run-scoring single.
Seventh-seeded Troy got that run back in the top of the second when Scotia smelled out a squeeze play, only to see catcher Isaac Puglisi throw the ball into left field.
Two walks and a Mike Mushaw single provided Scotia its chance in the sixth.
Hughes, who had been getting fly-ball outs all game, two ground balls to extinguish the threat.
He got left-handed hitting Juliano Febo to hit to first baseman Dan Judge, who threw home for a forceout.
Catcher John Germinerio made the play of the game to end the inning. The sophomore popped out from behind the plate to collect Brendon Sarnowski’s slow roller between the plate and the pitcher’s mound, then turned and outran Mushaw to the plate, his spikes hitting the plate a second ahead of Mushaw’s.
“We missed our opportunity,” said Zeglen, who was left in the on-deck circle when the game ended.
“It was our big chance,” said McCollum.
Hughes recorded 12 fly-ball outs, including the final three of the game.
“He threw strikes, and got a lot of popups,” Striffler said. “And we hit a few right at their fielders. Sometimes they try to do to much, and hit a popup.”
“We hit too many fly balls right at people,” McCollum said. “That was probably because our timing was off.”
In defeat, Sarnowski turned in six solid innings of relief after replacing starter Michael Borbee in the second inning.
“Brandon did a fantastic job. He kept us in the game the whole time,” Zeglen said. “He got strikeouts, ground balls, whatever he needed to do.
“We needed to play our best game today, and we didn’t.”
Troy, the No. 7 seed, will play top-seeded Queensbury in Thursday’s championhip game.
Troy 210 001 0 — 4 7 1
Scotia 000 010 0 — 1 3 2
Hughes and Germinerio; Borbee. Sarnowski (2) and Puglisi.
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Categories: High School Sports