HOOSICK, N.Y. >> With one out remaining in the seventh inning and Hoosick Falls up a run, Panther starter Noah Conety had one thing standing between him and a complete game victory — Mount Anthony's Brody Farnum.
In their previous encounter in the fifth, Farnum got an inside fastball and absolutely cleared it out for a two-run homer.
"I tried to stay away from the inside, tried to jam him and it didn't work obviously," Conety said. "I wanted to throw outside to him, I respect his [hitting ability]."
With the tying run in scoring position, Conety got Farnum to ground into a force to end it, 5-4, and knock Mount Anthony from the ranks of the unbeatens.
He almost didn't face Farnum again, as Hoosick coach Mike Lilac said he mulled putting in ace Wyatt Whitman.
"There was a thought to bring in the ace, but I just had a hunch," said Lilac, in his 26th season coaching at Hoosick Falls. "As long as [Noah] wasn't walking guys, we were fine. Wyatt was ready if needed, but Noah was still throwing strikes. The infield was playing well and I felt the defense would make a play."
Hoosick Falls took the lead early against MAU's Will Shea, the freshman making his first varsity start. Riley Bacon started by reaching on an error and then Connor McCart blasted a single and Wyatt Whitman a double to grab the lead. Conety drove in another run on a sacrifice fly and Ryan Sanders brought in the third on a grounder to short.
"It's hard to come from behind, it puts a lot of pressure on the kids," said MAU coach Walt Parmenter. "That first inning killed us, but that's baseball. We made some mistakes early and it cost us."
Shea settled down after the tough first inning, allowing his team to get back into it. In the top of the fifth, MAU got on the board. Brian Grace walked to lead off the frame and after Conety got the next two hitters on groundouts, Carter Bentley drove in Grace from third to cut the lead to 3-1.
Having a cushion helped Conety relax in a couple of pressure situations.
"I'm more comfortable with a lead and it lets me throw a little harder," Conety said.
Hoosick Falls upped the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Connor McCart walked, then Whitman hit a single to put runners in scoring position. Conety drove in another run with a groundout and two batters later, Wyatt Cushman drove in Whitman for a 5-1 lead.
MAU's bats started to wake up in the sixth. Pat Powers grounded out, but Noah Normyle hit one over the right fielder's head for a triple before Farnum took Conety deep to make it 5-3.
Austin Condo came in for the sixth to pitch for MAU and retired the side in order. Then the Patriots had some two-out magic. Condo doubled to keep MAU alive and scored on a solid single to center from Powers to make it 5-4. Normyle singled to put runners at first and second, setting up the Conety-Farnum matchup.
"We hoped [Brody] could put it in play, but he hit it right at the shortshop," Parmenter said.
MAU drops to 5-1, while Hoosick improves to 6-2 overall.
"Playing MAU is always fun, we know a lot of the guys," Conety said. "They always have a good ball club, but today we were on top."