Surge hold off first-place ’Birds

After making a diving play, Saranac Lake shortstop Jose Negron flips the ball to second baseman Taran Tani to force out Plattsburgh catcher Robbie Kellerman in the top of the eighth inning in Friday’s game. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — The Saranac Lake Surge chalked up another victory Friday, topping the Plattsburgh Thunderbirds 4-1 at Petrova Avenue in Empire Professional Baseball League action.

It was another big win for the Surge during a six-game series against the Thunderbirds, who currently sit on top of the league standings. The Surge are now 3-1 against Plattsburgh in games played over the past four days, with two matchups remaining in the series.

The teams started off with three scoreless innings of baseball Friday, before Saranac Lake took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth.

Austin Steinfort had an impressive outing on the mound to lead the Surge defense, and Stephen Octave had a big day at the plate, finishing with a single and belting a homer to left field in the bottom of the seventh to score the Surge’s fourth run.

Steinfort worked eight innings and gave up just four hits and struck out seven. During the first seven innings, Steinfort and his defense retired the Thunderbirds in order five times, and they only faced four batters in the other two innings. Plattsburgh picked up its lone run in the eighth inning.

Kyle Robinson scored the game’s first run to cap off a flurry of three straight Surge singles in the fourth inning. Robinson reached base with a one-out single, and Tyler Hill and Alexander LaFayette followed with successive hits.

The Surge upped their lead to 3-0 with two runs in their next at-bat and then picked up one more insurance run on Octave’s shot over the fence in left field.

Robinson, Hill and LaFayette also finished with two hits apiece in the victory.

The Surge evened their record at 15-15 and stayed one game behind the Road City Explorers in the battle for the final playoff spot in the EPBL. Plattsburgh dropped to 16-8 with the setback.

Friday’s matchup marked the first game the Surge played without third baseman Daniel Dominguez, who was moved up to the Quebec Capitales of the CanAm League. He was replaced by Jordan Matos, who previously played with the New York Bucks.

Saranac Lake and Plattsburgh clash two more times in single games Saturday and Sunday, which both start at 1 p.m. at Petrova Avenue.

The Surge ends the regular season in a series Monday and Tuesday against the Explorers in what could shape up to be the competition to see what team will wind up in the playoffs. That series starts Monday with a slated doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m.