HOOSICK, N.Y. -- When asked to describe Friday afternoon's baseball game against Mount Anthony in one word, it took Hoosick Falls coach Mike Lilac about 30 seconds to come up with opportunistic.
Lilac's Panthers took advantage of some bloops and fortuitous bounces in a 9-run sixth inning that was the difference in a 12-10 win.
"We had some bloops, line drives, a little of this and that, bad bounces that [ate] up their infielders," Lilac said. "I said before the sixth that it's getting late here, we have six outs to play with. Turns out we only [needed] to use three of those outs."
Mount Anthony took an 8-3 lead into the sixth, but the first three Hoosick hitters -- Brandon Hodges, Alex LaBarge and Garrett Wright all singled to load the bases off Patriot starter Ellis Baker with no outs. Hodges scored on a mishandled grounder, then Peter Muratorri walked to drive in a run. No. 9 hitter Alex Mendez came up and jumped on the first pitch, cracking a two-run double down the left-field line to pull the Panthers within 8-7.
"It was a total momentum shift, when your No. 9 guy gets the 2-run double ... we were in good shape to tie it," Lilac said.
Still with no one out, Tom Peabody tied the game at 8 with a RBI base hit and Wyatt Whitman gave Hoosick the lead with an RBI double to score Peabody.
"Everything they hit found a hole," said MAU coach Walt Parmenter. "It happens sometimes, but too many of them found holes. We didn't make errors, they put the ball in play, so kudos to them.
Mendez was thrown out at third for the first out and after Devin Babson came in to pitch for the Patriots, Tyler Rondeau struck out. But a walk from Hodges and a Labarge hit-by-pitch loaded the bases again and Wright added some insurance with a two-run single to make it 11-8.
"It helps to have the whole team hitting, nice to see everyone contribute," Whitman said. "It was an eye-opener for us, if we keep battling, we can get back into games."
"We tried to offset them by switching out Ellis, but that inning, no matter what we pitched or who pitched, they found the spaces," Parmenter said.
In the seventh, down 12-8, Mount Anthony tried to come back themselves as Shea Mooney tripled to drive in Marcus LaFlamme to make it 12-9. Mooney scored on a wild pitch, but Whitman struck out Matt Upright and Babson to end it.
Muratorri earned the win while Baker took the loss.
"[Up] 8-3 with an inning and a half [left], you don't expect to cave in like that. They put the ball where we weren't, that's the bottom line," Parmenter said.
Mount Anthony dominated through the first four innings, taking a 6-0 lead with the offense coming from the bottom of the lineup. Austin Metcalf singled in the first run and then scored on a double by Marcus LaFlamme. In the third, Ellis Baker scored on a single to center from Babson and in the fourth, No. 9 hitter Ezra Caron blasted a homer to left for a 4-0 lead.
"We hit the ball better, we were more aggressive running the bases," Parmenter said. "Everyone that started did something positive. Austin had a big hit, Ezra hit the ball well and did a great job defensively as well."
MAU drops to 0-2 and faces Fair Haven on Tuesday.
"We have to move forward and be ready for Fair Haven," Parmenter said. "I don't really have any words for it, it stinks."
Hoosick Falls improves to 2-0 and starts a grueling schedule with five games next week.
"It was a long [game] but fun, it's a lot better to win a game like this," Lilac said.