Horde Wear the Adirondack League Crown

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By Keith Harrington

What a difference a year makes. Last May Granville baseball coach Cory Burton, his coaching staff and players sat in the dugout at East Side Rec. in Saratoga dejected. The Golden Horde had rolled through the Adirondack League in dominating fashion, only to be stunned by Lake George in the circuit title game. It was as difficult a postgame interview as this sportswriter has ever had to conduct.

Fast forward to Friday night. Granville scored the winning run with an aggressive bunt and run to edge Hartford-Fort Edward 2-1 to claim the ADK crown in a walk-off in the bottom of the eighth at East Field in Glens Falls.

“Last year, this team saw the heartbreak, so it is cool to get this group that has not experienced that to finally get their title,” Burton said.

The road to the playoffs was 360 degrees different from last season. Granville began the season 0-2 in league play, including a one-run walk-off loss to the Tanaforts, only to scrap and claw their way back to the Final Four.

“It’s been pretty much do or die since that initial conversation,” Burton explained. “We let two go early. These guys (H-FE) got us early in the season too. We put ourselves in a pretty big hole.”

The contest was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth. The Golden Horde had players on first and second. The conventional baseball wisdom in the situation is to bunt the runners over. Granville did more than that. Isaiah Guyton broke for third on a steal attempt. Trey Mason laid down a picture-perfect bunt down the first baseline. As the Tanaforts tried to record the out Guyton flew around third and sprinted toward home. The throw to the plate was not in time setting off a wild celebration.

“I was just thinking, ‘I am going home no matter what.’ I saw that Trey was still running to first and I was already halfway down the baseline. I just have to go, the game is on the line,” Guyton said.

Granville outhit Hartford-Fort Edward 9-2, but the Tanafort’s defense flashed the leather with huge defensive plays time and time again.

Both teams received solid pitching performances. Logan Breton got the starting nod for the Golden Horde and pitched four innings. Breton gave up two hits and struck out seven. Liam Farrell did not allow a hit and struck out seven in four innings of relief work.

“Telling Liam (Farrell) he’s not starting is never a good idea if you don’t want to get a weird look. He always wants the ball. He was up. It was his turn in the rotation. He was ready for it,” Burton said of Breton. I told him go until trouble. Go until I see something. When they had the top of the order coming up. Let’s show them something different. They hadn’t seen Liam yet.”

Joe Allen went the distance for Hartford-Fort Edward, scattering nine hits and struck out three.

Mason and Donny Woodell had two hits each for Granville.

Bartholomew and Dan Boucher had the lone two hits for the Tanaforts.

The win gave Granville their first championship since 2019 when they defeated Whitehall in a very similar game.

Granville is now 10-3. Hartford-Fort Edward is 8-6.

Photo Credit-Dave Jensen