SARANAC LAKE - The Saranac Lake baseball team capped off an undefeated week with a 10-3 victory Saturday over visiting Northern Adirondack.
The win was the fourth of the week for the Red Storm who evened their Champlain Valley Athletic Conference record at 4-4.
Saranac Lake got another strong performance at the plate that included four extra-base hits, an effective two-way effort on the mound by a pair of sophomore pitchers and a defense that committed just one error.
On this play in Saturday’s game, Saranac Lake third baseman Grant Strack tagged out Northern Adirondack’s Ryan Manion, who attempted to stretch a double into a triple during the sixth inning.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Trent Fitzgerald winds up to throw a pitch for Saranac Lake during Saturday’s home game against Northern Adirondack. Fitzgerald tossed five innings and struck out seven batters to earn the win.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
The Red Storm held early leads of 3-1 and 4-3 before breaking the game wide open by scoring five runs in the bottom of the third inning.
"We're flying right now," Saranac Lake head coach Bill Wilson said. "I'm really proud of our guys. We're hitting the ball, we're running the bases with smarts and we're playing aggressive baseball. I think our kids are really starting to feel confident."
On offense, Saranac Lake pounded out 11 hits.
In the field, starting pitcher Dylan Gunther and reliever Trent Fitzgerald combined to limit the Bobcats to five hits. Fitzgerald did most of the work after he took the mound in the third inning when Gunther left the game with a sore throwing arm. Fitzgerald gave up three hits, allowed just one run, struck out seven, and retired the Bobcats' batters in order in the fifth and seventh innings.
Logan Wood, Grant Strack, Nick Bayruns and Fitzgerald led Saranac Lake at the plate with two hits each. Strack, Bayruns and Gunther each swatted a double for the winners and Matt Phelan belted the only triple in the game. Catcher Steve Rodriguez also chipped in a single for the Red Storm.
NAC scored once in its first at-bat and Saranac Lake answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning for a 3-1 edge. Each team added a run in the second and after the Bobcats tacked on another run in the third, the Red Storm erupted with five runs in the bottom of the frame to grab a commanding 9-3 lead.
Colby Garrand, Ryan Manion and Garrett Gero each doubled for the Bobcats, who fell to 0-6 in CVAC play.
"We still need to get rid of that one inning in each game where we seem to fall apart," NAC coach Jeph Doorey said. "We have a young team, and when we have a defensive let down, it can snowball. We are going through some tough times, but I am seeing improvement from our kids.
"I thought Saranac Lake hit the ball well and they played solid defense," Doorey added. "They have a nice ball club, and they are a good group of kids."
Although Saranac Lake has won four straight, each one of those victories have come against teams with records below .500. Today will provide a big test for the Red Storm as they travel to face the unbeaten Beekmantown Eagles starting at 4:30 p.m.
Saranac Lake 10, Northern Adirondack 3
McLean, Gardner (3), Petrashune (5) and Garrand. Gunther, Fitzgerald (3) and Rodriguez. WP - Fitzgerald. LP - McLean. 2B - Garrand (NAC), Manion, (NAC), Gero (NAC), Strack (SL), Bayruns (SL), Gunther (SL). 3B - Phelan (SL).