For the baseball team, a big win over Pine Plains on Monday, 8-4, ushered in the varsity debut of sophomore Jared Babineau, who hurled 6 1/3 innings of six-hit five-strike out ball, before turning it over to closer Chris Ranalli, who got the save with a strike out over the last 2/3’s of the inning.
With a six-run top of the first inning and two RBI’s each for Jake Doyle and Gavin McCann, plus an RBI for Babineau, the Huskies took control of the game, and added runs in the third and fifth innings. Meanwhile, after giving up a run to the Bombers in the bottom of the first inning, Babineau settled into a compelling rhythm and just seemed to run out of gas in the seventh, when he was touched for three runs (two on a double by the Bombers’ John Vandewater). Highland was led offensively by Babineau, with three hits, Hart with two, and Max Cruz with a 2-for-3 afternoon.
On Thursday, Highland dropped a 2-1 decision to Division 3 foe Spackenkill, despite a brilliant performance by Cruz, who went the distance, allowing five hits, striking out seven, but walking five (which continues haunt him). But as gem-like as Cruz’s performance was, Spackenkill’s Les Horvath did him one-run better, going the distance, also allowing five hits and striking out four. The Huskies took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third as Anthony Pavese blooped a double down the rightfield line, moving Terrance Sheehan, who had walked over to third, where he scored one-out later on a Hart single. Spackenkill got both their runs in the bottom half of the inning on two-out singles by Frank Herrera and Dennis Kawalski. Cruz fell to 2-2 on the season.
Highland baseball is 4-2 in the MHAL, but 0-2 in Division 3 (Spackenkill, Rhinebeck and Ellenville), and has make-up games with the Blue Devils, Webutuck and Onteora in the next weeks (plus all the regular season games scheduled). “We’ve been playing well, but it puts a lot of pressure on our pitchers to have to play so many games in so short a time. But what can we do?” puzzled the frustrated Jim Delmar, Highland head coach.
And if the Highland baseball team is frustrated with the weather, imagine how the softball team must feel. The Huskies came into Thursday’s game with Spackenkill just 2-0 after nearly three weeks of the season gone, but got yet another pitching gem from veteran hurler Carly Bilchak, who went the distance with a four-hit seven-strike out performance in the 10-1 Highland win. Bilchak helped her cause offensively with a double, single and an RBI; while Jayna Parker had a double, two singles and a pair of RBI’s; Jen Porter two singles and two RBI’s; Steph Porter a pair of singles; and Alexis Johnson a pair of singles.
Highland is 3-0 overall and in the MHAL (1-0 in Division 3), with make-up games against Coleman, Ellenville and Pine Plains beside their regularly scheduled games over the next two weeks.