SARANAC LAKE - With a chance to even their record and keep a short win streak alive against a very good opponent, Saranac Lake's baseball players picked a bad day to struggle at the plate.
On Friday at home, the Red Storm saw their two-game winning streak end with a 9-1 loss to visiting Beekmantown. The Eagles, who entered the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference matchup on a nice roll of their own, broke open a one-run game with four runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 6-1 lead. Beekmantown then tacked on three more in the seventh to claim its fifth straight victory and improve to 5-1 in the CVAC and 8-2 overall.
After combining for 31 hits in their last two games, the Red Storm could only muster five singles against the Eagles while dropping to 2-4 in the league. The setback also left Saranac Lake with an 0-4 record in Division I play.
Beekmantown’s Brandon Buksa slides safely into home plate before Saranac Lake pitcher Trent Fitzgerald can corral the ball during the sixth inning of Friday’s game in Saranac Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
"It was one of those nights that our bats were silent," Saranac Lake head coach Bryan Munn said. "We've hit the ball well in every game this season, but we just couldn't get the bats going. Not many hits and not many men on base."
Austin Bradish went the distance on the mound to earn the win. He allowed just one run, struck out four and didn't walk a batter.
Junior Trent Fitzgerald pitched into the seventh inning for Saranac Lake and took the loss. Fitzgerald gave up nine singles and five walks, struck out two and hit two Eagles batters before being relieved with one out in the seventh by freshman Mike Rice.
In a game that stayed tight most of the way, Beekmantown scored a run in each of the first two innings to take a 2-0 lead. After going down in order in the first three innings, Saranac Lake made it a one-run contest in the bottom of the fourth when Jon McCabe singled and eventually reached home aided by a Grant Strack single and a Beekmantown error.
After giving up the one run, the Eagles took control in the sixth. They scored four times, with the first three runs coming after a walk and a pair of Red Storm errors. Trailing 6-1, Saranac Lake failed to reach base again in the sixth, and the Eagles responded by adding three more insurance runs in their final at-bat.
"Their first three guys up scored in the sixth," Munn said. "They took advantage of a walk, an error and an error. I wouldn't say that necessarily was the difference, but it certainly broke it open for them. It happened quick."
"We've played in a lot of games that have been tight, and we've been coming through," Beekmantown head coach Eric Bell said. "This team just keeps fighting. It's always tough coming to play Saranac Lake, and it's always tough winning in Saranac Lake. They beat us here last year.
"Saranac Lake is a good team at rallying," Bell added. "They cut it to one in the fourth, and I liked how we came back in the sixth and kept it going in the seventh. We had a couple of errors, but I'll take that just about any day at this level. We played a good game."
Brandon Buksa paced Beekmantown with three hits and Devin Fessette chipped in with two singles. Bradish, Justin Stevens, Adam Goldfarb and Quenton Barber each singled once for the winners.
Strack led Saranac Lake with a pair of singles, and McCabe, Logan Wood and Jack Martin had one single apiece in the loss.
Beekmantown next plays at home Tuesday against Northern Adirondack. Saranac Lake will also be at home Tuesday, hosting Lake Placid in a game slated to start at 4:30 p.m.
"We didn't hit a lot of balls out of the infield and we had a lot of popups today," Munn said. "I hope we come with the bats going against Lake Placid."
Beekmantown 9, Saranac Lake 1
Bradish and Rabideau. Fitzgerald, Rice (7) and Gunther. WP - Bradish. LP - Fitzgerald.