FARMINGDALE — After leaving baserunners on in bunches in the early innings of Thursday’s tight Mountain Valley Conference baseball game with Hall-Dale, Madison wasn’t too picky about how some of those runners finally crossed the plate.

Madison scored its runs on a balk and a pitch to the backstop, and pitchers Devon Watt and Chase Malloy and the defense teamed up to take care of the rest in a 2-1 win.

Malloy, who scored both runs, raced home with the winning run on a wild pitch with two out in the top of the seventh.

“We left a lot on base. We didn’t hit many. We got on base with a lot of errors and walks,” Malloy said. “When the score is this low, I know I’ve got to do whatever I can to score. If there was a passed ball, I was ready to go, especially in a 1-1 game in the seventh inning.”

Malloy and Sean Whalen accounted for all of Madison’s hits with two singles apiece as Madison improved to 9-0.

“The key for us has definitely been defense and pitching,” Malloy said. “I mean, not that we haven’t been hitting the ball good. But our defense is elite (compared to) last year.”

Ryan Sinclair and Alec Byron doubled for Hall-Dale, which dropped to 6-3.

Malloy started the seventh with an infield single off Hall-Dale starter Sinclair. He stole second, then went to third on a ground out for the second out of the inning. Hall-Dale elected to intentionally walk Watt to pitch to Brandon Hadley, who had struck out twice previously. But Sinclair’s first pitch got by catcher Tyler Dubois and Malloy beat his throw home to a covering Sinclair.

Madison stranded two runners in each of the first two innings. Malloy reached via the first of Hall-Dale’s five errors in the game leading off the third. A stolen base and passed ball got him to third. With runners at the corners, Sinclair hesitated on his pick-off move to first and was called for a balk. Malloy trotted home to make it 1-0 Madison, which ultimately left the bases loaded in the inning.

Madison stranded 11 baserunners for the game.

Watt, a big left-hander, allowed Byron’s double in the third inning but was otherwise perfect in his three innings before giving way to Malloy, a righty, to start the fourth.

“Coach likes to keep us eligible for future games so usually we stay in for about three,” Malloy said. “He told me to be ready for the fourth inning. Devon did a great job and I was ready to go.”

In the fourth, Malloy issued a one-out walk to Quinn Stebbins. Sinclair reached on a dropped fly ball — Madison’s lone error — to put runners at first and second, but Malloy escaped by getting Cole Lockhart to ground to second. Madison threw out Sinclair at second base but the relay throw to first was high and Lockhart beat it. Stebbins rounded third and tried to score, but Watt made a perfect throw home for catcher Evan Bess to tag a sliding Stebbins for the final out and temporarily maintain the lead. “I said coming in that we might be the top two run-producers in the conference right now, and (Hall-Dale) definitely did put the ball in play,” Madison coach Scott Franzose said. “It came down to defense and a hell of a job by Devon and Chase in relief.”

Hall-Dale did tie it in the fifth as Austin Stebbins led off with a single, was sacrificed to second and scored on Malloy’s two-out wild pitch.

Sinclair put the tying run on in the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff double. Pinch runner Jacob Brown got to third with one out, but Malloy ended the game with a ground ball back to the mound and a ground out to first.

Watt and Malloy combined to allow just three hits and one walk while striking out two.

“We’ve really been hitting the ball,” Hall-Dale coach Bob Sinclair said. “This is unusual to score only one run today, because we have been scoring six, eight, 10 runs. We’ve been putting a lot of runs across the plate. But give them credit. They didn’t give us an opportunity to capitalize on their mistakes.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

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Twitter: @RAWmaterial33