SCHUYLERVILLE — Amsterdam baseball coach Rob Hisert played a hunch, and it helped the Rams win for the first time this season.
Hisert gave Jacob Nasadoski his first chance to take some cuts, and the junior had two hits including a tie-breaking, two-run single in a 4-0 Foothills Council win at Schuylerville Friday.
Nasadoski reached base three times, set up an insurance run with his second single, and Matt Hughes pitched two-hit ball over the first five innings.
“I thought about it earlier today, and on the bus, I told our [assistant] coach [Bob Noto], I had a feeling about Nasadoski,” Hisert said. “He didn’t play in our first two games, and I felt he was going to do something, and he did.”
Batting fifth in the order as Amsterdam’s designated hitter, Nasadoski broke up a scoreless pitching duel between Hughes and Schuylerville’s Lucas Woodcock with his two-run single up the middle in the fifth inning.
Andrew Spagnola and Tommy Ziskin had singled to start the fifth, and Spencer drew a one-out walk to load the bases.
“I was looking to hit the ball and find a gap,” Nasadoski said. “Get some runs in.”
Amsterdam (1-2) had threatened against Woodcock in the third when Craig Durinick drew a two-out walk, stole second, and Cotugno singled to short left. Schuylerville’s Cayden Rutland threw a Durinick out at home with a dart to catcher Carson Patrick.
“That was a hustle play on his part,” Schuylerville coach Darrin Renner said of Rutland, one of three seniors on his team. “He came up with the ball and threw it in stride. That was impressive.”
Amsterdam threatened again in the fourth when Carson Cotugno led off with a single and Nasadoski was struck by a pitch. Woodcock escaped the jam with a strikeout, groundout and popout.
“We were on the ball, but we were hitting it at kids,” Hughes said. “I had a feeling we were going to break through.”
Amsterdam squelched Schuylerville’s best bid to do that in the home fifth inning when Ashton Morris reached on an error, stole second and raced for home on Otto Bolduc’s single to right field. Durinick scooped the ball and relayed to first baseman Kyle Bottisti, who then fired home, where Spencer Cotugno applied a tag on Morris.
“It looked like the kid was going to be safe,” Hughes said. “We had two great throws, and Spencer made a great tag.”
“We’re always talking about, ‘Hit the cutoff, hit the cutoff,'” Hisert said. “Little things add up.”
Ziskin hit an RBI single in the sixth, and Carson Cotugno scored on a double steal after he reached on an error and Nasadoski singled in the seventh.
“It feels great,” Nasadoski said. “I got my first two hits today, but it was a team effort.”
Hughes gave up only that hit in the fifth and another in the second, and the senior righty struck out three and walked two in his five shutout innings.
“He switched pitches well,” Hisert said. “He didn’t live or die by one pitch.”
“He pitched a beautiful game,” Nasadoski said of Hughes.
Carson Cotugno struck out five and didn’t allow a hit in two innings of relief as the hard-throwing Wake Forest commit completed the shutout against a Schuylerville (2-3) team that has a completely different look from the 2019 one that earned a state Class B title and the 2020 edition that had designs going after another before that season was derailed by the coronavirus.
“Our pitchers threw strikes and we fielded the ball. I would consider this a building-block game,” Renner said. “We competed with one of the better teams in the league. They [Amsterdam] lost to Queensbury and South Glens Falls by one run, and they are two other teams in our league that are in the top group. Broadalbin-Perth is another team in that group.”
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