With one starting pitcher out with a broken wrist, Schalmont baseball coach Bob Anderson is looking for the rest of his staff to be sharper for the remainder of the season.
Junior right-hander Jim Hamilton gave the Sabres what they needed Wednesday, throwing a six-hitter as Schalmont beat Fonda-Fultonville, 4-1.
“That was a huge outing for Jimmy,” said Anderson after his team improved to 9-2 to remain tied with Voorheesville for the top spot in the Colonial Council’s Patriot Division with four league games remaining. “He’s now our No. 2, with Chris Amorosi out for the year with a broken wrist.
“I sat down and talked with Jimmy, and told him this is his spot now, and he’s got to step up and do the job for us.
“He came out here today and kept them off-balance. He got into a few jams and got out of them with some quality pitches. And we played some good defense behind him.”
“With Chris out, we all know we’ve got to step up,” said Hamilton, who benefitted from two outstanding defensive plays by Greg Musk in center field. “This was a big win for us, after losing to Lansingburgh on Monday.”
Musk kept the Sabres ahead when his throw to catcher Andrew Cote was in time to cut down a possible second run off a two-out single by Kody Shaw in the Fonda third.
Musk, now the team’s No. 1 starting pitcher, dove to make an inning-ending catch of a sinking liner with two runners on to end the Fonda sixth and keep the Sabres ahead, 4-1.
“We do long-tossing on days we don’t pitch, to keep up our arm strength,” said Musk. “I didn’t throw [Tuesday], so I just let it go.
“On the catch, I was playing more shallow on all but a couple of their hitters. It was a sinking line drive, but I saw it all the way.”
“I’ll have to buy him an ice cream,” said Hamilton. “Those were great plays.”
“I liked the catch better, because that was in a huge part of the game,” said Anderson. “Greg read that ball beautifully off the bat. As soon as he broke for it, there was no doubt in my mind he was going to make that catch.”
Fonda coach Rick Palumbo could appreciate the plays for their execution, but also knew they contributed to the Braves’ stranding eight runners.
“We are just having trouble pushing runs across, and Schalmont made some outstanding defensive plays,” he said.
In addition to Musk’s two rally-killing plays, Fonda’s fifth inning ended when Albert Fiorenza grounded out to Schalmont third baseman Tyler Mattick. Fiorenza protested that the ball hit off his foot, making it a foul ball.
“I thought it hit his foot, but that’s baseball,” said Palumbo, whose team fell to 6-4 in league play. “We had some bad luck today.”
Mattick had a solid game, hitting a two-run single in the second inning and later dropping down two sacrifice bunts.
“That’s the type of effort we need from everyone. Ty really had an oustanding game,” said Anderson, whose team got two runs in the third when Dan Bergami doubled home a run and scored on a Tyler Demers sacrifice fly.
Fonda left-hander Charles Parslow also allowed just six hits.
“Parslow pitched well,” said Palumbo. “He had one bad inning, which is uncharacteristic for him.”
Hamilton used his off-speed pitches to keep Fonda off-balance.
“I was careful with their No. 3 hitter [Shaw],” he said. “I just tried to mix it up and keep them guessing.”
Hamilton finished strong, getting the side in order in the seventh, important with a game set for today against Albany Academy.
“That was huge for Jimmy, after he got behind on their first hitter in the seventh, to come back and get him and then get the last two outs,” said Anderson. “That saves us some arms for tomorrow.”
Fonda-Fultonville 001 000 0 — 1 6 0
Schalmont 022 000 x — 4 6 1
Parslow and Kowalski; Hamilton and Cote.