Shaker misses opportunity to solidify hold on Blue Division lead

The Shaker baseball team is hoping it won't look back at last Friday and wonder about what could have been.

The Blue Bison (7-3 league, 11-3 overall) had a chance to maintain possession of first place in the Suburban Council Blue Division, but Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake spoiled it with a 4-2 comeback victory in Latham.

As a result, Shaker fell into a tie with Shenendehowa entering Monday's showdown in Latham.

As I told the guys after the game, we control our own destiny, and unfortunately we can control it in both (good and bad) ways, said Shaker coach Pete Mravlja.

Things looked promising for the Blue Bison after they took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. But BH-BL rallied for four runs in the top of the fifth inning, and Spartans' ace pitcher David Fischer entered in the bottom of the sixth and shut Shaker down to preserve the victory.

"I thought we got complacent once we got the 2-0 lead," said Mravlja. "Mike Casey was pitching a great game for us. But unfortunately they strung together a couple of hits, and then they got a big hit that drove in three runs."

Fortunately for Shaker, the loss didn't cost it a Section II, Class AA playoff berth. The Blue Bison had already locked that up with their seventh league win of the season, a 5-2 victory over defending Sectional champion Guilderland last Wednesday.

"Now, we've got to look at our seeding because our three losses were crossover games (against non-divisional opponents), and those are two (standings) point games," said Mravlja.

While Shaker has secured a Sectional berth, crosstown rival Colonie is still scrambling to earn its seventh league win and clinch at least a .500 record to make the playoffs. The Garnet Raiders had a chance to get closer to that mark last Friday, but Niskayuna scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to pull out a 6-5 victory.

Colonie (5-5, 11-6) rallied from an early 4-0 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the third inning and single runs in the fourth and fifth frames before John Moore belted a two-out, two-run single that gave Niskayuna (6-4, 11-4) the lead for good.

Adrian Mitchell doubled and added two singles for the Silver Warriors, while Matt Weinman led the Garnet Raiders with a pair of singles.

Colonie tried again for its sixth Suburban Council win of the season Monday when it traveled to Saratoga Springs.""

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