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Big inning, Massena upset win boost Potsdam to share of Central baseball banner


The Potsdam Central varsity baseball team combined a big inning with some unexpected outside help from Massena Central into a share of the NAC Central Division title as the regular season came to a close on Monday.

Before heading into their respective Section 10 playoffs, both teams will be going up against each other on Wednesday in what will be played as a non-league in Potsdam.

Potsdam 10, Franklin Academy 1: At Clarkson University’s Jack Phillips Stadium, the Sandstoner trailed 1-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth where they broke the game open with an eight-run rally.

With the win, the Sandstoners finished at 10-2 and pulled into a tie with division-leading OFA, who also closed at 10-2 after dropping a 6-4 decision to Massena.

Ben Miller went the first four innings to earn the win over FA, striking out five and walking none while limiting the Huskies to just two hits. The one run he allowed was unearned. Will Coleman took over mound duties to start the fifth and wound up striking out three, walking two and allowing one more hit. Austin Lamay (4K) struck out the side in the third inning but was chased in the fourth where the Sandstoners relayed three hits, three walks, two hit-batters and an error into eight runs, sending 13 batters to the plate. Brandon Welch (1K, 1BB, 2H) went the final three and two-thirds inning in relief.

The Potsdam offense made the most of five hits. Miller, Shawn Clark and Brandon Noble all connected for two-run singles and came around to score solo runs. Coleman doubled and came around to score twice. Trevor Keleher was 1-3 with two runs scored. Connor Prosper and Zach Snyder each scored once as the Sandstoners sealed their win in the sixth with the final two runs of the game.

Alex Johnson led off the game by reaching on the only Potsdam error of the game and wound up scoring three batters later when Lamay grounded into the second out of the inning. Shawn Mulverhill, Welch and Blayke Lewis had the three FA hits.

After finishing up the regular season against Massena on Wednesday, the Sandstoners will head into the Class B playoffs which will also include defending champion OFA, Gouverneur and Salmon River. OFA will be the top seed and is slated to host Salmon River on Thursday while Potsdam plays host to Gouverneur in the other semi-final. Both games are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. starts. The Class B final is set for Wednesday, May 29, at 4:30 p.m. at Clarkson.

Massena 6, OFA 4: After Massena recorded its upset win at OFA to deny the Devils a chance to claim sole control of the Central title, both coaches said it was game to focus on.

“In terms of mometnum this was just huge for our young team after a very disappointing loss to Salmon River,” said Massena Coach Greg Paquin after the Raiders finished 8-9 season with a 6-6 NAC Central mark.

“This was really big to get a win over an OFA team which I think is one of the best in the state.”

OFA Coach Tom Pinkerton urged his no. 12 state-ranked Class B team to learn from the loss which left the Devils and Potsdam tied atop the final Central standings at 10-2.

Seth Pinkerton and Breton LaRose, who came on in the fourth inning and pitched the rest of the game, combined for 11 strikeouts and while issuing 12 walks and allowing five hits. The Raider tandem of Rory Corcoran and reliever Joey LaBelle, who picked up the win after taking to the mound in the sixth inning, combined for 10 strikeouts and five walks in a four-hitter.

The Raiders opened a 4-0 lead as number eight batter Jeremiah Reagan came through with four RBIs and prevailed with two runs in the eighth where Reagan scored the winning run.

In the second inning Dave Phillips singled and scored on a single by Reagan. In a three-run third, Logan Deshane singled after walks to Isaiah Dillabough and Phillips and Reagan hammered a three-run triple.

OFA answered with two in the bottom of the third as Pat Cosmo drew the first of three walks on the day, Alex Farrell singled and Konnor Murdock drilled a two-run double.

The Devils pulled even in the sixth as Murdock walked and scored on a single by Zach Sharpe who rambled around the bases on a long double by Andrew Cole.

Dillabough plated Reagan with a bases-loaded walk in the top of the eighth and Zack Rusaw followed with a sacrifice fly. LaBelle followed by striking out the last two batters of a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth.

The Raiders will now get set to face FA in the Class A title game on Tuesday, May 28, at 4:30 p.m. at Clarkson.

Salmon River 5, Gouverneur 2: In Fort Covington, the Shamrocks picked up their second straight win to close out the regular season. Jarid Gray was in command on the mound for the Shamrocks, carrying a no-hitter into the fourth inning when the Wildcats, not only collected their first hit of the contest, but ruined the shutout bid by Gray and his teammates.

Gray went the distance allowing just a pair of singles off the Gouverneur bats while striking out 10 batters, six with his knuckleball.

The Shamrocks backed up Gray with two runs in the second and three in the third to move in front 5-0. Gouverneur struck for both of its runs in the top of the fourth, after that, the defense held the Wildcats off the board with solid defense.

Offensively for SRC, Tyler Brooks ripped a two-run single while Brandon Bryington also drove in a couple of runs and freshman backstop Zach Smith singled and scored the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the third.

Justin Bigness doubled and scored while Gray helped his own cause with a base hit. Mainville scored twice during the regular-season finale.

Hunter Ayen (5K, 2BB) suffered the loss for Gouverneur as Matt Ashley had an RBI-singlewhile Aaron McEathron had the other Wildcat hit.

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