PLATTSBURGH — After defeating the Post 326 Adirondacks 8-2 Friday, the Clinton County Junior Mariners needed to win one of Saturday’s possible two games to capture the District IV Junior championship.
But, they only needed one.
The Mariners fell behind early, as the Adirondacks took a 1-0 lead after one.
But, with Andy Kneussle on the mound, that would be all that Post 326 would be allowed.
Kneussle struck out 12 batters and allowed just two hits and one run, which came in the first inning, as Clinton County captured a 3-1 victory.
“He came and did his job” Mariners coach Gary Duquette said. “He had 12 strikeouts (Saturday) and didn’t give up a hit after the first inning.
“We pretty much relied on Andy Kneussle (Saturday).”
Post 326’s starting pitcher Ryan Trudeau was strong on the mound as well, striking out eight.
“Their pitchers did a nice job,” Duquette said. “But, we just aren’t swinging the bats well. We are striking out too much. If that continues we will have a tough time at the zone tournament.”
But, after falling behind 1-0, Clinton County scored two in the third to take the lead for good.
Dan Hartman had an RBI single to tie the game before Blake Altizer delivered the game-winning run on a single in the third.
Mickey Pepper, pinch running for Altizer, added an insurance run on a passed ball in the seventh inning.
Caleb Keysor led the way for the Mariners with a pair of hits.
Chris Clarke and Kolby Pertak paced the Adirondacks with a hit apiece.
Clinton County, with the victory, moves into next weekend’s double-elimination zone tournament in Saugerties.
The Mariners will play Saturday at 1 p.m. against the winner of District III.
“We have been riding our pitching all year long,” Duquette said. “If it keeps doing what it has been doing we should be very competitive.”
Clinton County will host the Vermont Jays Monday at 5:30 pm. at South Acres as a tune-up for next weekend’s games.
Clinton County 3, Post 326 1
Jr. Mariners 002 000 1 — 3 6 4
Adirondacks 100 000 0 — 1 2 2
Kneussle and D. Hartman. Trudeau, Pertak (6) and Preston. WP- Kneussle. LP- Trudeau.