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Friday, July 18, 2014

Hudson 48 falls to Rochester in Legion baseball

HUDSON –- Scott Szuksta was put in an unfavorable situation Thursday night.

The Hudson Post 48 coach was missing five of his starters for his team’s American Legion baseball game against District B-leading Rochester, forcing him to use an inexperienced pitcher, play fielders out of position and send players who don’t normally hit to the plate. ...

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HUDSON –- Scott Szuksta was put in an unfavorable situation Thursday night.

The Hudson Post 48 coach was missing five of his starters for his team’s American Legion baseball game against District B-leading Rochester, forcing him to use an inexperienced pitcher, play fielders out of position and send players who don’t normally hit to the plate.

It proved costly as a combination of fielding and base running gaffes hurt Post 48 tremendously and led to a 3-2 loss at Alvirne High School.

Hudson stayed competitive throughout. It out-hit Rochester 7-3 for the game and got a strong seven innings from Ryan Hardacre, who made his first career start for Post 48 after pitching for Windham High School’s junior varsity team in the spring.

But Hudson’s deficiencies were glaring Thursday night as Rochester scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning thanks to a pair of Post 48 fielding errors.

Rick Creteau hit a one-out single off reliever Dakota Williams with the game tied at 2-2, and reached second on a sacrifice to third by Andrew Langdon.

That’s when Hudson’s troubles began.

Catcher Greg Emanuelson’s pickoff attempt at second sailed into the outfield to move Creteau to third. He scored one batter later when Justin Jewell hit a grounder to first that Dan Spicer, making his debut at first base, threw over the head of Williams, who was covering the bag.

“If those didn’t happen we win the game and it’s a completely different story,” Szuksta said of his team’s fielding and baseruning mistakes.

Hudson had a chance to tie the game in both the eighth and ninth, but came up empty on both occasions. Chris Murphy grounded out to third with runners in scoring position and two outs in the eighth. Ryan Glendye struck out looking with Hardacre on second and two outs in the ninth to end the game.

Post 48 left seven runners on base, but was most frustrated by its missed opportunity in the fifth inning.

Spicer and Glendye both singled to put runners on first and second with one out. Glendye had too big of a lead at first and was caught in a rundown between first and second base. Meanwhile, Spicer made his break for third but was immediately gunned down.

Still uncertain of where to go, Glendye was thrown out diving back to first base for the inning-ending double play before leadoff hitter James Sullivan had a chance to swing his bat.

Glendye made his mark as a pitcher for Division III champion Campbell this spring.

The base running mistakes could only come from someone who hasn’t ran the base paths regularly since Little League.

“It is what it is. I thought we did the best we could with what we had,” Szuksta said.

Hardacre’s only mistake came the next inning when he gave up a two-run home run to Langdon to put Rochester up 2-0. Szuksta was thrilled with his starter’s effort. Hardacre allowed just two runs, three hits and a walk to go with two strikeouts in a no-decision.

Emanuelson cut the deficit in half the bottom of the sixth with an RBI double to score Sullivan.

He scored the tying run when he broke for home while Murphy was stealing second.

Despite the frustrating loss, Hudson is still in position to make the postseason at 10-6 with two games left. Post 48 sits in third place in District B with the top four teams making the cut.