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Saratoga strikes late to beat Colonie

Through the first five innings, it looked like Colonie's pitchers would keep Saratoga Springs' batters off balance.

But the balls that had been handled by Colonie's defense through those first five innings started falling in for hits in the sixth inning, and that's all the Blue Streaks needed to pull out a 4-3 victory in Saturday's Section II Class AA semifinal game at Hudson Valley Community College.

At this point of the season, you're just happy to get what you get, said Saratoga coach Dean Bailey. "It's all about taking advantage of situations."

"Like they say, it's a game of inches," said Colonie coach Kevin Halburian.

Colonie (16-7) built a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning on Chris Kalica's RBI double and Christian Fitzgerald's two-run single. And it looked like the lead would stand up after the Garnet Raiders turned a double play in the fifth inning to thwart a Saratoga rally.

Back-to-back walks started Saratoga's sixth inning rally, though. Pitcher Matt Coleman then lined a single off an infielder's glove to load the bases for Chris Davis, who smoked a double down the right field line to drive in two runs. Alex Lushkevich singled to drive in the tying run, and Zach Forbes added an RBI single to put the Blue Streaks (14-8) in the lead.

Coleman slammed the door shut on Colonie by pitching two scoreless innings to pick up his second complete-game victory of the playoffs.

"We had some timely hits [in the fourth inning]. We just couldn't finish it," said Halburian. "Coleman, to his credit, came right back after giving up those three runs."

Saratoga advances to Thursday's Sectional final against Guilderland, which upset Big 10 champion LaSalle 7-5 in Saturday's other semifinal game.

Saratoga Central Catholic reached the Class B final for the third time in four years by beating Mechanicville 11-3 Saturday at Bob Bellizzi Field in Albany.

The top-seeded Saints met Granville in Wednesday's Class B title game.""

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