TUPPER LAKE - The Tupper Lake baseball team lost 7-3 in nine innings against Chateaugay on Monday evening.
After trailing for much of the game, the Lumberjacks scored two runs in the seventh inning to tie the game. The Lumberjacks nearly pulled off a comeback, but came up just short.
Mitch Keniston led the seventh inning comeback attempt with a home run over the left fielder's head. He was the first batter in the inning.
Tupper Lake’s Devin Larson takes a cut during the seventh inning of a 7-3 loss to Chateaugay on Monday in Tupper Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Mike Lynch)
Broyce Guerette followed with a double and went on to score after Anson Gagnier hit a single to center field.
It appeared the Lumberjacks might be able to complete the comeback as Gagnier went to third base on the play, but Chateaugay's pitcher Nick Ashline settled down and retired the next three batters.
Ashline was helped by some good defense. The biggest play came with no outs and Gagnier at third base. That's when freshman shortstop Zach Cowen dove to his left to grab a line drive off the bat of Devin Larson. The play turned out to save the game for Chateaugay. Gagnier would have scored easily if the ball had gotten through the infield.
"It definitely would have saved a run," Chateaugay coach Ron Boyea said. "We've been up and down defensively, and tonight was a good night."
Ashline picked up the win for Chateaugay with a complete-game effort. He allowed only five hits and struck out 12. It was his second win of the season against Tupper Lake.
"I think he did a fantastic job pitching," Boyea said. "He went nine innings. Ironman out there for us to go that long and the kids played defense behind him. I think we had maybe an inning or a couple of errors. Other than that, I think they played solid defense."
Tupper Lake received a strong pitching effort from Larson, who gave up three runs in five innings. Gagnier picked up the loss in relief. He pitched solidly until the ninth inning, when Chateaugay was able to string together four runs with some solid hitting but were also aided by some sloppy defense by Tupper Lake.
"Our pitchers are really stepping their game up," Tupper Lake coach Scott Tower said. "I couldn't be more happy with the way the pitching is going. They are learning to become not just throwers and become pitchers."
Despite the loss, Tower said the team showed some improvement from last week. For the most part, they played better in the field.
"I like the way we battled back at the end," Tower said. "Today was one of those days when the ball was just depending on the hop, and the hops didn't really go our way. We came out a little flat early on. We picked it up toward the end and then at the end we just ran out of gas a little bit. We keep plugging along. I think if we look at our last game, we improved a little bit today."
Tupper Lake returns to action on Friday when it hosts Parishville-Hopkinton.