CANTON - The Canton Central varsity baseball team relayed the momentum of a strong start into a 5-4 NAC Central Division win over Massena at the SUNY Canton diamond on Tuesday.
The Bears jumped out to a 3-0 start in their first at-bat then added a solo run in the second before turning back a late Raider rally for their first win of the season.
Avery Slack, who pitched his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth after the Raiders had pulled to within one with a three-run outburst in the fourth, lasted one out into the sixth. Alex Hayes took over with the bases loaded and pitched out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts. He went on to turn back a seventh-inning rally in the seventh where the Raiders pushed across a run before stranding a baserunner on secondbase to end the game. Slack fanned four and walked two while allowing three runs on five hits to earn the win while Hayes gave up three hits in the final frame before earning the save.
Tyler Haas went the distance in taking the hard-luck loss, striking out two and walking just one while surrendering eight hits.
Offensively for Canton,Jake Corbine was 2-3. Bryant Wentworth singled and scored two runs. Justin Holmes and John Stone (run scored) also singled.
David Phillips and Connor Paquin anchored the Massena effort with three hits apiece. Paquin keyed the three-run rally in the fourth for the Raiders with a two-run single while Phillips came around to score a run. Jeremiah Reagan and Zack Rusaw (triple) both had a hit and scored solo runs while Isaiah Dillabough doubled.
The Bears scored what held up as the winning run in the bottom of the fifth where Francesco Palumbo singled then came home when the Raiders mishandled the ball trying to complete a double-play.
The Raiders, (4-5, 2-3) are slated to return to action with a non-league game this afternoon at Carthage.
In other NAC baseball matchups on Tuesday, Franklin Academy outscored Central Division rival Gouverneur 13-6 and Tupper Lake gained an 9-6 East Division decision over St. Regis Falls while the lone West Division contest saw Harrisville overpower Hermon-DeKalb 23-2.
FA 13, Gouverneur 6: In Gouverneur, the Huskies built a 7-1 lead over the first two innings then answered a five-run rally in the bottom of the sixth by the Wildcats with a decisive five-run outburst of their own in the seventh.
Alex Johnson had four strikeouts and walked none through the first five innings for the win while Aaron McEathron fanned five and walked six over five innings in taking the loss.
Johnson also played a lead role offensively going 3-4 with 4 runs scored in the winning effort. Shawn Mulverhill (2 runs scored) and Austin Lamay (RBI) connected for two hits apiece.
The trio of Matt Waugh (2 runs scored), Hunter Ayen (2B, 2RBI) and Cody Woods anchored the Gouverneur offense with two hits apiece.
Tupper Lake 9, SRF 6: In St. Regis Falls, the Lumberjacks (2-3) scored eight runs in their first at-bat and never looked back for the win. Mitch Keniston went the distance for the win while Ryan Duquette took the loss as the Saints slipped to 0-3.
Marcus Richer rapped a double in the winning effort while Duquette tripled along with Mike Smith in the losing cause.