Even with a comfortable lead late in the game, Aaron Kalish wouldn’t give in.
Following his game plan, Kalish refused to throw over the middle of the plate to the Niskayuna batting order, and he painted the black all night en route to a 6-2 Shenendehowa win over the Silver Warriors in a battle of Suburban Council unbeatens Friday night at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.
The Plainsmen improve to 8-0 in SC play and 10-0 overall at the halfway point of the season. Niskayuna slides to 7-1 in both the league and overall.
Kalish gave up five hits during his complete-game effort, but only one — a double to Mike VanHeusen — was for extra bases. He struck out six, including four looking, and didn’t walk anyone.
Kalish was staked to a 2-0 first-inning lead, and that’s really about all he needed.
“It was unbelievable to have a 2-0 lead right off the bat,” said Kalish. “So much pressure is taken off you when you get an early lead like that.
“I try to vary my looks all the time,” Kalish added. “If I can throw strikes, my defense gets behind me, and we can get some quick outs.”
Kalish admitted that he doesn’t like to use the fat part of the plate any time he steps to the mound.
“That team [Niskayuna] is a good team, and they can hit,” he said. “If I leave it over the middle of the plate, they can hit it.”
Shenendehowa coach Greg Christodulu said he wasn’t surprised by Kalish’s effort.
“He’s been that way for the last two years,” Christodulu said. “He was starting to get up there with his pitch count, but my assistant coaches and I talked about it, and he was throwing the same way in the seventh inning as he was in the second or third, so we kept him in there. He just kept pounding the strike zone.”
The Plainsmen banged out nine hits, including a pair of doubles by shortstop Justin Yurchak, who just missed a homer in the opening inning before settling for a two-run double to deep center.
“I thought it was out, but I wasn’t sure, so I kept running,” said Yurchak of the hit that set the tone for the entire game. “I was ready for that first pitch of the game, and I was looking for a fastball on my first at-bat.”
Christodulu said he loves where the Plainsmen are right now.
“We’re 10-0 at the halfway point. We’re just trying to play one at-bat, one inning and one game at a time. We have a good group,” he said.
Shenendehowa 212 010 0 – 6 9 2
Niskayuna 010 010 0 – 2 5 1
Kalish and Pearson; Feeney, Duesterdick (5), Toy (6) and Spataro.