JOHNSTOWN - Broadalbin-Perth tripped itself up Wednesday.
Offensively and defensively, the Patriots played well enough to beat Johnstown. But when it came to running the base paths, the Patriots stumbled to their 12th consecutive loss.
"We made some mental mistakes on the bases that hurt us," said B-P coach Dan Simonds, whose team lost 5-1 to Johnstown on Wednesday night. "We played good physical baseball I thought, but we didn't have the mental game for the entire game today."
Broadalbin-Perth’s Luigi Magliocca is caught in a run down at first base as Johnstown’s Steven Brown, left, throws the ball to Joe Nellis (27) as Mitch Vdoviak (12) looks on to get the out at first base. (The Leader-Herald/Erich Neuhaus)
B-P made four mistakes on the paths that killed its offensive momentum, none bigger than the mistakes in the fifth inning.
With Patriots runners on first and second and no outs, trying to rally trailing 4-1, Tyler Raco was doubled off second base when Johnstown outfielder Jason Roth made a fine diving play in short center.
Raco tried to tag up after Roth's catch, but was ruled he left early.
For as promising as the inning began, after the play the Patriots were left with just Matt Visco standing on second and two outs.
"We're not a team that scores eight, nine runs a game, so if we give up three or four it puts us in a bad situation," Simonds said."Every time we waste an opportunity to score it really hurts us bad."
RJ Pingitore capped off the running gaffes when he was doubled off first on Tim Gordon's pop-out to shortstop Kieran McCoy.
Pingitore had every reason to try and be aggressive at that point down 4-1 in the sixth. He just pitched out of a one out, second and third jam in the fourth inning and a bases loaded, one out jam in the fifth by getting consecutive strikeouts to end both innings.
"We could've busted this thing open a couple of times, but we didn't," Johnstown coach Aaron Mraz said. "RJ did a great job. I have to give him a lot of compliments on that because two or three times that game he bore right down and got himself out of some deep trouble."
The senior has been doing what he can to snap B-P out of its troubles.
When opponents throw their ace, like Johnstown did with Joe Nellis, Pingitore takes to the hill where he has 28 strikeouts in 26.1 innings pitched with a 4.25 ERA.
In the batter's box the right-hander straddles between batting third or fourth in the lineup, where he's done nothing but hit the cover off the ball all season. After going 2-for-2 with a triple and scoring the only B-P run on Wednesday, Pingitore raised his average to a gaudy.425.
"He goes out there and just works and battles all the time," Mraz said of Pingitore. "He's a tough out at the plate, he does the job on the field and he's the reason it's a 4-1 game. He takes that team under his wing and you can tell he's the leader of that group."
Simonds said although Pingitore's effort and leadership isn't paying off in wins right now, it could when he moves on to college.
"You watch him in [the dugout] and he's the biggest cheerleader we have," Simonds said. "He knows that we're a young team, he's knows that he's surrounded by sophomores and juniors and that his role is to try and win games as much as it is to foster some of these younger kids development and keep the program strong. He's done a great job."
B-P, though, sits at 1-12 and 0-8 in the Foothills. The Patriots will try and turn things around today when they head to Doubleday Field in Cooperstown to play Warrensburg.
In years past, this game has served as a bright spot B-P has needed to get a roll.
"It starts [today]," Pingitore said. "Although Warrensburg is a smaller school, they're not throwing anyone faster than we haven't already seen. Doubleday Field always gets our confidence up and it always seems to be the turning point in our season. We're hoping with the youth that we have we can put it all together and make a run."
Johnstown completed the sweep with another strong offensive performance, getting 10 hits from eight different players. Nellis, who went all six on the mound with seven strikeouts and one run, had three hits including an RBI in the sixth.
"We build off of what we did on Monday," said Mraz, whose team finished with 12 hits on Monday. "It was good to see us comeback and still hit the ball, so that was a great sign - Monday just wasn't a fluke."
Johnstown had three hits in the third and fourth innings that led to a combined three runs, which proved to be more than enough. Roth continued his hot bat with a triple to lead off the third, while Barnholt added a single for the second straight game upon his return to the season.
The win was the third straight for Johnstown (6-4, 5-3 Foothills), which hosts Cobleskill-Richmondville tonight at 7 p.m.
Johnstown 5, Broadalbin-Perth 1
Broadalbin-Perth000 100 0 - 1 6 1
Johnstown101 201 x - 5 10 2
Pingitore, A. Visco (6) and Gordon; Nellis and Hecht.