GLOVERSVILLE - In their last two outings, the Johnstown Sir Bills have hammered out 19 hits and scored 24 runs.
Friday, the Sir Bills traveled to Gloversville with an eye on recording their third straight win and fourth in the last five games.
Johnstown coach Aaron Mraz handed the ball to Grant Gyldenvand and he responded with his second-straight 1-hitter to lead the Sir Bills to a 3-0 victory over the host Huskies under the lights at Husky Field.
Johnstown’s Grant Gyldenvand (21) delivers a pitch to the plate during Friday’s Foothills Council game against Gloversville at Husky Field in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Gyldenvand said that "Consistency and keeping it in the strike zone," has been the key to his back-to-back 1-hitters. "I don't need to strike everybody out, but no one is going to blast it. I let my defense make the plays and they do."
Mraz agreed saying, "Grant's performance has been like that all year. He has been solid on the mound. He always has himself under control and is always around the plate. This is his fifth game and he has given up only two earned runs, thrown two shut outs and back-to-back one-hitters. The defense knows he is going to put the ball in play a lot of times, so they are on their toes and ready to play for him. We just get good performances from the whole team when he is on the mound."
Johnstown (7-4 overall, 6-3 Foothills) came out swinging in the first inning.
Ryan Auty lined single to left only to be gunned down by Gloversville left-fielder Zak Funk.
Dan Nellis followed with a single and advanced to second and third on wild pitches.
Nellis raced home on a throwing error to give the Sir Bills a quick 1-0 lead.
Gloversville got a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the first when Justin Putnam reached on an error, stole second and advanced to third on Brad Mulligan's ground out. Putnam was stranded at third as Gyldenvand pitched his way out of the inning with a strikeout.
The Huskies picked up what would be their lone hit of the game in the bottom of the third.
Jordan Himpsl lined a double to right center field. Gyldenvand got Funk to fly out to center field and caught Himpsl heading to third on a fielder's choice off the bat of Putnam.
Gloversville worked the bases full with two outs with a walk and and fielding error. The Sir Bills got out of the threat when catcher Adam Caputo pounced on a check-swing dribbler in front of the plate and out raced Putnam to the plate for the force out.
Johnstown again made to most of a scoring opportunity in the top of the fifth.
Auty was hit by a pitch and Nellis followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs.
Matt Szurek lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to score Auty and Jon Heroth followed with a triple to deep right field to put the Sir Bills up 3-0.
"In games like this you have to take advantage of what is given to you," Mraz said. "With these two teams, no matter what their records are, they are always tight games. We have guys who can hit the ball. If they see a pitcher enough, they will get to them."
Ben Chase came on in relief of Gloversville starter Sam Salvagni and got the Huskies out of the inning.
Gyldenvand remained in control in the later innings, striking out seven of the last 13 batters he faced with Mulligan working the count for a sixth-inning walk for the lone Gloversville base runner.
"Credit our two sophomore pitchers, Sam Salvagni and Ben Chase, today," Gloversville coach Mike DeMagistris said. "To hold Johnstown, which is a very good hitting baseball team, to three runs is an accomplishment. Our guys competed and were in the game. Our pitchers did an outstanding job hitting their spots and got some tough hitters out. The are gritty kids."
Nellis finished with two hits and two runs scored for the Sir Bills, while Auty, Heroth, Richie Lee, Caputo and Joey Henderson all singled.
Johnstown will host Amsterdam in a non-league game at 2 p.m. today before hosting Gloversville at 7 p.m. Monday at Johnstown High School.
"The good thing about baseball is we can go right back at them Monday night," DeMagistris said. "We know we can play with people and I understand we are young but when we start hitting the ball with our pitching we are going to be very good."
Johnstown 3, Gloversville 0
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Gloversville000 000 0 - 0 1 1
Gyldenvand and Caputo; Salvagni, Chase (5) and Luci.