MALONE - A seasons worth of improvement for the Massena Central varsity baseball team translated into a 10-4 NAC Central Division win on the road over Franklin Academy on Thursday.
The host Huskies built a 3-0 lead after four innings before the Raiders rallied with a three-run fifth, and sent 11 batters to the plate in a huge seven-run sixth inning to claim the victory.
The Huskies took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning as Blayke Lewis led off the frame with a walk, stole second and raced home on a Jordan Yando single. Yando stole second and came around to score on wild pitches off Massena starter David Phillips, who gave way to winning pitcher Isaiah Dillabough three batters later.
FA increased its advantage to 3-0 with a solo run in the fourth. Jake Perry led off the inning with a solid double into the left-center field gap, but was erased trying to advance to third on a grounder to short off the bat of Alex Johnson. Johnson went corner to corner on a Shawn Mulverhill single and scored on a Brandon Welch RBI single.
Then the wheels fell apart on the Huskies, as Massena tied that game at 3-3 with a three-run fifth.
With one out in the inning, Connor Paquin reached safely on a Malone error. Paquin stole second and scored Massenas first run of the game as Dillabough belted a triple down the right-field line, then scored on a wild pitch by losing pitcher Devan Monette. Zack Rusaw followed with a double to right on a hit that eluding the diving attempt by FA right fielder Tanner Studlack. Rusaw scored the third run of the fifth on an RBI single by Patrick Manning.
Malones third and fourth errors of the game opened up the sixth inning, allowing the Raiders to begin their rally and put runners on the corners with no outs. Logan DeShane drove in a run with a single with Paquin following with a sac fly to left. Dillabough singled up the middle to keep the Red Raiders with a runner in scoring position and Rusaw followed with an RBI double. Manning added an RBI single while the seven-run inning was capped by Joe LaBelles two-run single.
Down by seven runs with the end of the game looming, the Huskies attempted a rally of their own in the home-half of the seventh inning. Welch led off the final frame with a long shot into the left-center gap in the outfield and raced all the way to third with a stand-up triple. Welch trotted home on a deep sacrifice fly to right off the bat of Austin Lamay, but that was all the Huskies could muster and ended the attempted rally with a liner to center that was caught by Rusaw and a foul-pop to Massena catcher Paquin to end the threat, and the game.
The lack of key hits early in the game hurt us, added the FA coach. We could have possibly increased our lead, but we didnt get the hits at key times.
Offensively for the Red Raiders, Rusaw had a pair of doubles in four trips to the plate while Dillabough singled and tripled. Patrick Manning and Joe LaBelle added two hits and drove in two runs apiece in the win.
For FA, Welch singled and tripled while solo hits came off the bats of Shawn Mulverhill and Jordan Yando as Jake Perry had a double for his lone hit during the setback.
In other NAC baseball matchups on Thursday, Gouverneur posted a 13-5 Central Division win over Salmon River while West Division games saw Heuvelton handle Lisbon 12-1 and Morristown beat Hammond while Edwards-Knox at Harrisville was postponed due to thunderstorms.
Gouverneur 13, Salmon River 5: Ed Cushman hit a two-run homer in the first inning and added two doubles to lead the Wildcats (2-6, 2-4) past Salmon River in a Central Division game in Gouverneur.
Matt Waugh went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs and Hunter Ayen went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Ayen also struck out eight.
Justin Bigness drove in two runs for the Shamrocks (1-9, 1-8).
In NAC varsity softball action on Thursday, Norwood-Norfolk posted a 20-5 interdivisional win over Potsdam and Salmon River dropped an 18-3 Central Division decision to Salmon River while West Division encounters saw Heuvelton beat Lisbon 6-1 and Hammond outscore Morristown 14-12. Edwards-Knox at Harrisville was called due to lightning.
N-N 20, Potsdam 5: Katie Ames fanned seven batters and allowed one run and one hit for four innings and Courtney Wagstaff struckout two batters and allowed four runs on one hit as the Flyers scored six runs in the third and fourth for the win against visiting Potsdam.
Carlea Weaver smacked a double and two singles for N-N while Mickey Frego and Cortney Harvey each singled twice. Wagstaff also scored.
Amy Arno and Megan Oney each singled for Potsdam.
Gouverneur 18, Salmon River 3: Mackenzie Rowe spun a five hitter with two strikeouts as Megan Cook went 4-for-5 with a double, four runs scored, and two runs batted in to help the Wildcats improve to 2-5 in league play and 3-7 overall.
Katie Andrews added a double and triple with four RBIs as the Wildcats took a quick 7-0 first inning lead made it 13-3 after three innings. Danielle Bullock was 3-4 with a double, three runs scored and two RBI while Kortnee Bishop added two hits and two RBIs. Lisa Isereau connected for a single and triple during the victory.
Melanie Taylor lined two singles for Salmon River while Shayna Travers added an RBI double. Teioshontathe Herne (RBI) and Sam Ghostlaw each singled for the Shamrocks, who fall to 1-8 on the season.