JOHNSTOWN — With the seeds for the sectional tournament set to be announced Tuesday, the Broadalbin-Perth baseball team entered Thursday’s Foothills Council finale with Johnstown looking to build some momentum.
The Patriots, who won the Section II Class B title last spring, picked up a 9-5 win over the Sir Bills at Johnstown High School.
“This is our third Foothills Council win in a row,” Broadalbin-Perth coach R.J. Pingitore said. “Even though we lost 7-6 to Amsterdam last week, that was kind of the turning point in our season. It showed just that we could compete with anyone.”
Since that loss last Wednesday, the Patriots have won three of their last four games, including the rematch with Amsterdam last Friday.
On Thursday, B-P’s Mike Magliocca was 2 for 3 with two walks, an RBI and two runs scored, while Hayden Benton added a double.
Mick Winton was 3 for 4 for Johnstown, while Carter Cheney had two hits as part of an eight-hit effort.
“Credit to Johnstown, they hit the ball today,” Pingitore said.
After two scoreless innings, B-P scored the game’s first run in the top of the second when Sean Helferich scored on a double by Magliocca after reaching on an infield single to make it 1-0.
Johnstown responded in its half of the third, scoring once after Cheney and Tavien Blowers led off with back-to-back singles.
The Patriots regained the lead in the fourth when T.J. Platt scored on an error after reaching on a walk to make it 2-1.
Johnstown answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth to grab a 3-2 lead, getting two-out RBI singles from Zach Tallon and Cheney.
B-P responded with four runs on two hits and an error in the top of the fifth to regain the lead for good at 6-3.
“We’re learning how to finish games now,” Pingitore said. “We fell behind today, but we came right back and took the lead back.”
Johnstown got a run back in its half of the fifth when Vinnie Rizzo scored on a wild pitch after reaching on an infield single.
Down 5-3 after five innings, the Sir Bills saw the game fall out of reach in the sixth when they committed three errors in the frame. The Patriots turned those mistakes into three runs and an 9-4 lead.
“Errors have been a big bugaboo for us all season,” Johnstown coach Jon Jennings said. “We made some untimely errors again today, and it cost us.”
Benton earned the complete-game win on the mound for the Patriots, allowing eight hits, striking out six, walking none and hitting one batter.
The victory completed a season sweep for B-P over Johnstown. The Patriots also posted a 13-6 win over the Sir Bills on Tuesday at Broadalbin-Perth. B-P has now won its last eight meetings with Johnstown. The Sir Bills’ last win over the Patriots came in the Class B Tournament on May 18, 2017.
“This was a better effort today than we had on Tuesday,” Jennings said.
Four of B-P’s losses this season have come by one run or in extra innings.
“If a couple of plays had gone our way in those games, it would be a completely different conversation right now,” Pingitore said. “We’ve had to come from behind a few times this year and we’ve played a lot of close games. Those are the kind of things you have to do to make a sectional run.”
Broadalbin-Perth (8-11 overall, 6-7 Foothills) will wrap up its regular season Friday when it hosts Averill Park at 4:30 p.m. in a non-league contest.
“It doesn’t get any easier. Averill Park is a good team,” Pingitore said. “It’s another game that will help us get ready for sectionals.”
After Friday’s contest, the Patriots will await the seedings for the Class B Tournament.
“We’re going to find out our fate on Tuesday,” Pingitore said. “I feel good about our body of work. We’ll see what happens. Our experience from last year can only help us.”
Johnstown (2-16-1 overall, 1-12 Foothills) is slated to host Mayfield on Saturday in its regular-season finale at 7 p.m.
It will be the final game of the season for the Sir Bills, who have opted not to compete in sectionals this season.
Broadalbin-Perth 001 143 0 — 9 6 2
Johnstown 001 210 1 — 5 8 5