Baseball: Smith Academy edged by Logan Moore, Mohawk Trail in 1-0 loss (PHOTOS)

Mohawk Trail’s Jed Niquette connects with the ball during a game against  Smith Academy in Buckland Tuesday.

Mohawk Trail’s Jed Niquette connects with the ball during a game against Smith Academy in Buckland Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

Mohawk Trail’s Noah Sprague can’t handle the throw as Smith Academy’s Ryan McCoy takes third in Buckland Tuesday.

Mohawk Trail’s Noah Sprague can’t handle the throw as Smith Academy’s Ryan McCoy takes third in Buckland Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

Mohawk Trail’s Logan Moore pitches against Smith Academy in Buckland Tuesday.

Mohawk Trail’s Logan Moore pitches against Smith Academy in Buckland Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

Smith Academy’s Connor Kowalski pulls in a fly ball against Mohawk Trail in Buckland Tuesday.

Smith Academy’s Connor Kowalski pulls in a fly ball against Mohawk Trail in Buckland Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

Smith Academy’s Oscar Higuera pitches against Mohawk Trail in Buckland Tuesday.

Smith Academy’s Oscar Higuera pitches against Mohawk Trail in Buckland Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Staff Writer

Published: 05-07-2024 7:22 PM

BUCKLAND — With the way Mohawk Trail ace Logan Moore was pitching on Tuesday against Smith Academy, the Warrior offense didn’t need to do much at the plate to come away with a victory. 

Moore had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning, not giving the Falcons anything to work with as the junior struck out 10 of the first 15 batters he faced. 

Conversely, Smith Academy pitchers Oscar Higuera and Harry LaFlamme combined to limit Mohawk Trail to just one hit, though the Warriors were able to get a run across in the fifth to take a 1-0 lead. 

Though the Falcons broke up Moore’s no-hit bid in the sixth, Smith Academy was never able to get the tying run across, enabling Mohawk Trail to walk away with a 1-0 Bi-County North victory. 

“I pitched against [Smith Academy] last time so I knew what to expect,” Moore said. “I know they didn’t have a few kids but I wasn’t even supposed to pitch today. He threw me in and I felt great out there.” 

While Moore was excellent on the hill, the Warrior defense behind him did their job as well. Mohawk Trail (3-9) didn’t commit an error in the field, the first time it was mistake free on the season. 

The victory was the second in a row for the Warriors, which are trying to keep stacking the victories together. 

“The kids played really well on defense,” Mohawk Trail coach Doug McCloud said. “I don’t think we had more than one hit but we got the job done.”

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Although Smith Academy (0-10) didn’t get the win, it showed major improvement in many areas on Tuesday. 

The Falcons holding the Warriors to just one run is the lowest total they’ve allowed all season, as the previous nine games saw Smith Academy’s opponent score double-digit runs. 

“We let their runners on by walks and they only scored one run,” Falcons coach Jacob Butler said. “For us, this is as good as a win.” 

While Mohawk Trail failed to score runs early on, it was getting players on base. 

The Warriors loaded the bases on a trio of walks in the first, but Higuera got a pair of flyouts to end the inning without giving up a run. In the second Brady Gancarz walked, stole a pair of bases but was stranded on third. The same thing happened to Moore in the third, as he walked, made it to third but Mohawk Trail was unable to get him home. 

The Warriors finally broke through in the fifth. Ty Griswold got things going with a base hit, Mohawk Trail’s first of the game. 

“It felt good coming off,” Griswold said. “It got us started off.”

Weston den Ouden reached on an error and Moore walked to load the bases with no outs. LaFlamme came in to pitch and got a strikeout but Jackson Lilienthal grounded out to drive in Griswold and give the Warriors a 1-0 lead. 

LaFlamme got a ground out to end the inning without any additional runs going on the board. 

Ryan McCoy broke up Moore’s no-hit bid with a single to open the sixth. Higuera walked to put a pair of runners on, but Moore struck out the next three batters he faced to keep the Falcons from knotting the score. 

In the seventh LaFlamme walked and stole a pair of bases to put the tying runner on third, but Moore got a pair of strikeouts before Issak Baranoski hit a hard line drive to short that was caught to seal the Mohawk Trail win. 

“I was just trying to throw strikes,” Moore said. “I just wanted to get outs. The last hit [from Baranoski] was nerve-wracking. It sounded good. He’s a friend of mine but our infield came up with plays today. I think this was our first game without an error this season.” 

Moore finished with 15 strikeouts, two walks and the one hit surrendered. 

Higuera tossed four innings for the Falcons, striking out three and giving up just one hit. LaFlamme pitched the final two innings, striking out three and not allowing a hit. 

"We’re thrilled with the way we played,” Butler said. “We made one physical error. Our eighth grade pitcher [Higuera] only gave up one hit in four innings which is great. Our catcher [LaFlamme] did great with the bat and defensively calling every pitch then came on the mound and did very well.”