VALATIE —Kyle Bartlett's three-run home run in the fourth inning proved to be the difference maker in Northern Columbia's come from behind victory over Saugerties in the District 15 10-12 All-Star Championship game Wednesday night.
Saugerties wasted little time getting on the board and tagging Northern Columbia starter Brady Holzhauer. Jace VanValkenburg got the scoring started with an RBI single to centerfield and Jake Monroe followed it up with an RBI single to left field, giving Saugerties an early 2-0 lead.
Saugerties continued their early offensive dominance in the second inning with nine-hitter Brady Mulford blasting a leadoff solo home run over the right field fence, giving Saugerties a commanding 3-0 lead, however, Northern Columbia's bats eventually woke up.
After a slow start to their offense through the first two innings, Northern Columbia got it going in the third with singles from Jake Ormerod and Kyle Danforth, and that set up Jack Mullins for an RBI single, making it a 3-1 game.
First baseman Tim Wheeler followed it up with a two-RBI single to right field that drove in Danforth and Mullins, tying the gae at three apiece. Northern Columbia was able to capture their first lead of the game with bloop single to right field by Mitch Keegan that drove in Wheeler.
Down 4-3, Saugerties quickly responded in the fourth. Saugerties loaded the bases with one-out and they capitalized with an RBI groundout by Ty VanValkenburg to tie the game at four apiece. They later took the lead off a two-RBI double to right field by Jace VanValkenburg to extend the lead to 6-4.
Saugerties tallied their seventh run off a Brady Reynolds single to centerfield that drove in VanValkenburg, however, Saugerties looked to add an eighth run sending Monroe, but the relay from centerfield was perfect and Monroe was gunned out at home, keeping it 7-4 heading into the bottom half of the inning.
Northern Columbia stayed hot at the dish with Mullins slapping an two-out single to right field and advancing to third on an error, setting up Holzhauer with a runner in scoring position and he capitalized with an RBI single to the shortstop, allowing Mullins to score.
Down 7-5 with two outs, Saugerties intentionally walked Wheeler giving Northern Columbia two runners on with two outs and Bartlett at the plate, and he wasted little time, blasting the first pitch over the centerfield fence for a three-run home run, giving Northern Columbia an 8-7 lead.
Saugerties again threatened in the fifth, loading the bases with two outs. Ty VanValkenburg stepped to the plate and slapped a line drive to the gap in left centerfield, however, Holzhauer made a diving catch to seal the third out and prevent Saugerties from tying the game, and potentially taking the lead.
Northern Columbia with Bartlett on the mound in the sixth went on to shutdown Saugerties to capture an 8-7 victory and the District 15 10-12 championship.
Holzhauer got the win on the hill going four innings and allowing seven runs—six earned—off seven hits while fanning five batters. Bartlett came in for relief and tossed two shutout innings.
Holzhauer also helped himself at the dish, going 2-for-3 with two singles and an RBI. Bartlett added the game-winning three-run home run, and Wheeler chipped in a single and two RBI.
For Saugerties, Jace VanValkenburg tossed a complete game allowing seven runs and punching out four batters. At the dish, he was 2-for-3 with a single, double, and three RBI.
Offensively for Saugerties, Mulford added a home run and Monroe and Reynolds each chipped in RBI singles.