It didn’t take the Malone and Massena varsity baseball teams very long to close out the Northern Athletic Conference regular season on Friday, as the two Section 10 rivals completed their final regulation contest in less than 90 minutes.
The FA boys walked off the field with a 2-1 win under their collective belts and enter Wednesday’s Class A championship game at Salmon River Central School with a modest five game winning streak. The Huskies and Raiders will begin their respective quests for the sectional crown at 6 p.m. The winner of the Section 10 Class A championship will advance to the NYSPHSAA playoffs and take on the Section 3 Class A champion at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse.
In Malone on Friday, the Huskies took the lead in the third inning with a solo run. FA followed that with another run in the fourth, then limited the Raiders (5-9, 5-7 NAC) to just the one run the rest of the way, as senior Logan Spaulding earned the win on the mound. Spaulding allowed five hits and one walk while striking out seven. Massena senior Hunter Young suffered the loss, but held the FA bats in relative check by only allowing three base hits and two walks. Young, who carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning, did not strike out any FA hitters.
The Huskies, who never trailed in the game, took the lead in the third without the benefit of a base hit. Treviyn Deuyour, who walked twice, led off the frame with his first free pass. Deuyour, the FA catcher, was replaced on the basepath by courtesy runner David McClain (a speed-up rule that allows the coaches to insert a pinch runner for a pitcher or catcher). McClain moved toward second on a hit-and-run and scampered over to third on the throw to first on a groundout. McClain scored the game’s initial run on a wild pitch.
Franklin Academy (11-3 overall, 9-3 division) scored the eventual game-winning run in the fourth.
Jordan Perry ripped a one-out single to right and raced around to third as the Massena outfielder booted the ball. Perry crossed the plate with the game-winning run on a Cameron Perras sacrifice fly to deep center.
Spaulding and the FA defense kept the Raiders off the board until the top of the sixth, including an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play in the fourth.
Young, however, was the benefactor of miscommunication between the FA shortstop and left fielder and stood safely on first when his pop fly to short left field was botched. Young completed his trip home when he raced around the bases on Cory Monacelli’s RBI double that fell into the left-center field gap.
The FA defense shut down Massena’s potential rally when Trent Carriero made a diving catch in right field for the second out of the inning, then fired the ball back into the infield to double-up the Raiders baserunner at second to end the threat. It was the Huskies’ second twin-killing of the contest.
Spaulding finished off the game by striking out the first two batters in the seventh before giving up Massena’s final hit of the contest, a single up the middle off the bat of Christopher Firnstein, before inducing the final out on a fly ball to Ethan Peck in center.
“This game had no bearing on the standings in any way, but I am glad we entered the post-season on a positive note,” stated FA coach Tim Lamay.
Spaulding, Perry and Ethan Peck had base hits for FA, while singles for Massena came from Young, Taylor Mitchell, Chris Firnstein and Conner Eastwood. Monacelli had the only extra base hit in the game, a run producing double in the sixth.
There was just one other varsity baseball game on Friday involving a Section 10 team that had Gouverneur drop a nonleague game, 10-1, at Carthage.
In the lone NAC softball contest on Friday, Canton whitewashed Potsdam 23-0 in five innings to end the softball regular season.
Massena 000 001 0 – 1 5 3
Young (L) and Monacelli. L. Spaulding (W) and Deuyour. 2B- Monacelli (Mass).
Records: Massena (5-9, 5-7 Central), Malone (11-3, 9-3 Central).
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