Huskies edge Hudson Falls in season opener

PHOTOGRAPHER:
Gloversville’s Tyler Quinones slides under Hudson Falls catcher Raven Carlisle after he missed a high throw on Dylan Sweeney’s fourth-inning squeeze bunt to score what proved to be the winning run in Monday’s Foothills Council game at Husky Field. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

GLOVERSVILLE — Coach Mike DeMagistris wasn’t quite sure what to expect from his players in Gloversville’s season opener.

The Huskies had only been on the diamond one day before hosting Hudson Falls.

However, the Huskies were ready and used strong performances on the mound from Anthony Ponticello and Aaron Dona to stave off a seventh-inning Tiger threat to pick up a 5-4 Foothills Council victory Monday at Husky Field.

“I am pleased with the way we played,” DeMagistris said. “We practiced outside one day and that was yesterday for about two hours. We didn’t make too many mental errors and I don’t think we made any physical errors. It was a good win for us. “

Ponticello showed good control early, scattering two hits, while striking out seven through the first four innings.

The Huskies backed up his effort with two runs in the third and three more in the fourth.

Dona worked his way on with a one-out walk in the bottom of the third and executed a hit-and-run play with Dylan Sweeney to put runners at first and third before Sweeney stole second and Ponticello drew a walk to load the bases. Trevor Mee lined a single to center to drive in Dona for the Huskies first run of the season and keep the bases loaded. Nate Thompson worked the count with two outs to draw a walk and bringing Sweeney home for a 2-0 Gloversville advantage.

Ponticello got his teammates back to the plate quickly, striking out two of the four batters he faced in the top of the fourth.

With one out, Tyler Quinones reached base on an error and advanced to third on Dona’s double.

Quinnones charged down the third-base line to score as Sweeney bunted the ball down the first-base line. Sweeney stole second and came around to score with Dona on Ponticello’s double to give the Huskies a 5-0 lead.

“We were putting the ball in play,” DeMagistris said. “Dylan Sweeney comes up with a great squeeze. He swung at a bad pitch and I gave him a chance to hit the ball because he has been putting the ball in play and he executed the squeeze. That was a big run for us.”

The Huskies would need all of those runs as the Tigers came up with a big inning in the top of the fifth, scoring four runs with two out to close the gap to 5-4.

“Anthony gave us good innings and we probably went one inning too long with him, but Aaron came in and did a great job,” DeMagistris said. “That wasn’t the plan to bring Aaron in. He was having a strong game and made several big plays at shortstop but with a 5-4 game, we needed to win today and not worry about Wednesday.”

Dona allowed only one hit and struck out four in two innings of relief, including working his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh with a game-ending strike out to get the save.

Owen Ovitt was 1-for-3 for Hudson Falls (1-1, 1-1) with two hits and RBI and a run scored, while Zach Swartz had a hit and two RBIs. Swartz also took the complete-game loss on the mound for the Tigers, allowing six hits, striking out six and walking four.

Sweeney led the Huskies at the plate with a 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Dona was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored and Ponticello added a double and two RBIs.

Ponticello allowed four runs on seven hits, struck out eight and walked none in five innings, while Dona allowed no runs on one hit, struck out four and walked three.

Gloversville (1-0, 1-0) is scheduled to host Glens Falls at 5 p.m. Wednesday in a Foothills Council game at Husky Field.

The Indians are coming off a 7-4 victory over Broadalbin-Perth on Monday at Shuttleworth Park.

Gloversville 5, Hudson Falls 4

Hudson Falls 000 040 0 — 4 8 1

Gloversville 002 300 x — 5 6 0

Swartz and Carlisle; Ponticello, Dona (6) and Sweeney.

By Paul Wager

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