Bethlehem baseball team endures up-and-down week

The first week of the Bethlehem baseball team's season had more twists and turns than Route 156 going up the Helderberg escarpment.

The Eagles (1-2 league, 2-2 overall) endured an 11-9 loss to Colonie last Monday in a game that featured 27 walks between the two teams. They rebounded in a big way last Wednesday with an 18-3 romp over Mohonasen before falling to Niskayuna 7-2 in last Thursday's home opener. But, they ended the week on an up note with a 7-4 victory over Albany.

It's early in the season, and that's to be expected, said Bethlehem coach Rob Helm.

The one consistently positive thing that Bethlehem did during the first four games has been hit the ball. The Eagles had 13 hits against Mohonasen, seven hits against Niskayuna and 11 hits against Albany. Mike Fish, Matt Branigan, Ben Gallop and Chris Riedel all have had multi-hit games for the Eagles.

"We've got great hitters throughout the lineup," said Helm. "You've got a bunch of guys who can hit the ball very well."

The Eagles have needed every run they've scored while their pitchers and their defense work out some early-season problems. Bethlehem pitchers issued 17 walks and hit three batters in the Eagles' season-opening loss to Colonie, while the defense committed six errors in Saturday's non-league win against Albany.

"The pitching will come " it will," said Helm. "I was pleasantly surprised by (John) Morrill. He pitched well in his two appearances (against Mohonasen and Niskayuna)."

Helm said Bethlehem's play will improve with more time on the field.

"We're improving each time we play. That's what we're trying to do," said Helm.

The Eagles were scheduled to play Averill Park Tuesday.""

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