Whitehall sports round-up, April 14, 2022

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A Hartford-Fort Edward batter waits for a pitch as Whitehall catcher Brooke Benjamin is ready to receive it in the Railroaders’ win last Wednesday. (Photo by Keith Harrington)

Whitehall softball 4-0 to start season

By Keith Harrington

The unbeaten Whitehall softball team received a bit of a scare early but once they got rolling the Railroaders were like a runaway train going downhill as they pulled away to defeat Hartford-Fort Edward 18-4 in Adirondack League play.

It was the fourth consecutive win to open the 2022 campaign for Whitehall.

Even though it is early, Whitehall appears to be in top form already.

“We played winter league at The Dome this year, and a lot of our kids play travel ball,” said Whitehall coach Pam Putorti. “It’s a huge commitment on their part, but I think it really helps them.”

Vinna Jensen got the start in the circle for Whitehall. Hartford-Fort Edward opened the first with back-to-back hits and loaded the bases in the inning before Jensen closed the door. She settled in, striking out five of the next six batters.

“I wasn’t feeling all that well. Maybe that was it,” Jensen said about the difficult first inning.

Whitehall took a 3-0 lead in the second and added three more in the third to extend the margin to 6-0. The big blow in the stretch was a three-run homer by Madison Gould.

The Railroaders increased their lead to 11-0 with five runs in the fourth.

Hartford-Fort Edward had its best inning of the contest in the fifth when freshman Ava Nadeau blasted a grand slam home run to cut the deficit to 11-4.

Whitehall put the game away in the fifth via the run rule by plating the final seven runs of the day.

Jayden Hughes was 3 for 4 with a double for the Railroaders. Olivia Whiting and Brooke Benjamin were also 3 for 4. Ava Ruby was 2 for 3. Morgan Stevens chipped in a double.

Jensen finished with 10 strikeouts and nailed a triple.

After falling to Lake George 7-0 in the Class C sectionals a year ago, the Railroaders upgraded their non-league schedule this season. Putorti and co-coach Chris Bascue hope the stiffer competition will not only prepare the club for the playoffs but will help them receive a better seeding.

“In the past with our schedule being so full it was hard to get non-league competition with bigger schools,” Putorti said. “What was happening was when it came to sectional seeding time they looked at strength of schedule and they couldn’t compare us to the other schools because we weren’t playing up.”

The Railroaders have already defeated Foothills Council competitors Queensbury and Schuylerville and are scheduled to meet Glens Falls and Hudson Falls.

“We want to improve this year and go farther,” Jensen added.

Gabbie McFarren and Cassie Wade each had two hits for Hartford-Fort Edward.

Whitehall is 2-0, 4-0. Hartford Fort Edward is 1-1, 1-1.

On Tuesday Whitehall disposed of its second Foothills Council foe of the season, rolling over Schuylerville 18-1 in a non-league contest.

Madison Gould showed off her dominance in the circle. Gould fired a one-hitter and recorded 15 Ks against the Black Horses.

Whitehall pounded out 12 hits on the afternoon. Gould was 4 for 5 with a double, triple and four RBIs. Olivia Whiting continued her hot start to the year, going 2 for 4 with an RBI.

Riley Keefer had the only hit for Schuylerville.

Whitehall was 3-0 after the win. Schuylerville dropped to 0-1.

The Railroaders began the week on Monday, cruising past Warrensburg 13-0 in their Adirondack League opener on the road.

Gould again was in the pitching circle and had a perfect game going into the sixth inning. She gave up just two hits while striking out 12. Gould was also 3 for 4 at the plate with a home run.

Whiting was 3 for 4 with two RBIs for the Railroaders. Jensen tripled and drove in two runs. Blake Bird was 2 for 4 with a double and three RBIs.

Leigha Barnaby tripled for the Burghers.

Whitehall moved to 2-0. Warrensburg slipped to 1-1.

Whitehall rally tops TanaForts, 17-12

By Keith Harrington

The key to having some success in small school high school baseball is pitching depth. If a team has two consistent starting pitchers it is like finding a pot of gold. However, in the case of most Adirondack League teams when their ace pitcher is not available it comes down to which team can piece together enough pitching to get them through a game.

That was the case at Bob Wilkins Field in Hartford Tuesday as Whitehall rallied from an early 7-2 deficit to defeat Hartford-Fort Edward 17-12 in a league contest.

Both the Railroaders and TanaForts had thrown their aces the day before, so this one would come down to which team’s success on the hill could outlast the other’s.

“That’s what we are going to have to do when our one is not throwing. We’re going to have to piece together each game to make it work and hopefully outscore them,” said Whitehall coach Keith Redmond.

Trailing 10-9, Whitehall exploded for eight runs in the fifth to take control and held off the TanaForts the rest of the way.

Hartford-Fort Edward broke a 2-2 tie with five runs in the top of the third but the Railroaders scored three of their own on the bottom of the frame to make it 7-5.

Down 17-10, the TanaForts scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh but Whitehall was able to shut the door.

Brandon Bakerian was 2 for 3 with three RBIs for the Railroaders, including a big triple in the decisive fifth. Landon Rozell was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. CJ Monty was 2 for 5 with three RBIs.

Rozell was credited with the win with stellar relief work in the fifth. Tyler Brooks pitched the first three innings then came back on to pitch 1 1/3 in the in the sixth and seventh, striking out six.

“We knew we had the hitting. We knew we were going to score runs,” Redmond said. “They jumped on us early and we responded. We hung tough and scored some runs.”

Part of the comeback effort can be attributed to the Railroaders’ prowess on the base paths.

“Being aggressive on the base paths helps. We’ve got some fast kids so do take advantage of our speed. Make them throw the ball around a little bit,” Redmond added.

Drake Stewart was 2 for 5 with four RBIs for HFE. Ed Amell doubled. Bryce Tyler and Ayden Swears also had hits for the TanaForts. Swears had three RBIs.

Whitehall is 2-0, 2-0. Hartford-Fort Edward is 1-1, 1-1.

On Monday Whitehall began the season with a win, topping Warrensburg 12-4 on the road in league play.

Brandon Bakerian went four innings on the bump to earn the win. Bakerian recorded 10 strikeouts.

Bakerian was also hot at the plate, going 2 for 4 with a home run, triple and four RBIs. Landon Rozell was 2 for 4 for the Railroaders.

Jake Whiting closed out the game on the mound, striking out four in three innings of work.

Landon Stevens and Preston Bakemeier doubled for Whitehall.

Caleb Remington was 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs for Warrensburg.

Whitehall was 1-0 after the win. Warrensburg fell to 0-1.

Whitehall wins two on tennis court

By Keith Harrington

Whitehall’s tennis team opened the season last Monday, hosting Johnsburg on their home courts, and came away with an impressive 6-1 victory, winning four out of five singles matches and sweeping the doubles matches.

In singles play, Aiden MacLeod, Troy Austin, Tristan Foote and Anthony Jones won their matches.

MacLeod defeated Gabe Powers, 10-7, Austin blanked Gage Morris 10-0, Foote rolled over Evan Morehouse 10-1 and Jones topped Cole Sears 10-1.

In doubles, Cash Burgey and partner Spencer Houghtby, along with the pairing of Dorey Gosselin and Alyssa Carter, won by forfeit.

Whitehall was 1-0 after the win. Johnsburg fell to 0-1.

On Wednesday the Railroaders made it two wins in a row as they defeated North Warren 6-1 in a match played in Chestertown. Whitehall swept all six singles matches and split the doubles matches.

McLeod cruised past Tia Buttino 10-2 in the number one singles slot. Austin edged Jaden Maxwell 11-9. Foote slipped past Peyton Robbins 10-5. Allen Beaulieu defeated Isabella Swartz 10-2. Gosselin doubled up Nick Palmer 10-5.

On the doubles side, Burgey and Houghtby topped Gracie Staunches and Isabella Lewis 10-1.

Whitehall raised its mark to 2-0 with the win. North Warren dropped to 0-1.