CLIFTON PARK — After a rocky start to the season the Shenendehowa baseball team is on a seven-game winning streak, including wins against Niskayuna on consecutive days.
Plainsmen starter Will Shea was efficient through his five innings of work, and the Shenendehowa bullpen kept the Silver Warriors in check for a 4-2 non-league win Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday, Plainsmen pitcher Sean Flaherty one-hit Niskayuna for a 6-0 Suburban Council win.
On Tuesday, Shea was on the same track, not giving up a hit until Sam Falace’s infield single in the top of the fifth inning.
“[Coach Greg Christodulu] told me three innings, but I was pitching pretty good and was efficient, so I went a little bit more,” Shea said. “It was mainly my fastball, but I was locating my curveball well today.”
He allowed one run in his five innings of work on two hits, striking out two and walking one batter.
“We thought he was going to be a three-inning guy for us and then he ended up going five, benefit to him, he was effective, still striving to get more consistency with his curveball,” Shenendehowa coach Greg Christodulu said. “I think if he can do that, he might be very effective as we come down the stretch.”
Shea was buoyed by a three-run first inning by the Plainsmen (6-4 Suburban Council, 8-4 overall), followed by solid defensive play throughout the afternoon.
“I get more motivated to work harder when my teammates work hard for me,” Shea said.
Niskayuna (6-4 Suburban Council, 7-6 overall) scored a run on the contest’s lone error, an errant throw from the outfield to the infield on a flyout allowing Max Rowden to score from second in the fifth inning. Falace drove in Dylan Mennillo in the sixth inning with a double, also the game’s only extra-base hit.
“We hit some balls hard that were right at people and that’s the way it goes sometimes,” Niskayuna coach Chris Bianchi said. “We had that opportunity in the sixth inning, and we didn’t put balls in play where they needed to be put.”
Shenendehowa’s Cal Van der Veer went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI hits, redeeming himself after yesterday’s road win.
“I went 0 for 2 yesterday [two strikeouts], so today in the cages I was just working on staying up the middle,” Van der Veer said. “I pulled both balls, but for the most part I hit them hard.”
Christodulu had more than the winning streak in mind heading into Tuesday’s rematch.
“It was important for us to come out, keep the momentum, try to get quality at-bats,” Christodulu said “It’s always tough to play teams back-to-back.”
Niskayuna had something to prove.
“I think a non-league win against a strong team would have been a great confidence booster,” Bianchi said. “We had some opportunities there, they just didn’t come through.”
Niskayuna 000 011 0 —2 3 0
Shenendehowa 310 000 X — 4 5 0