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GLENS FALLS — Nick Jacques had a rough start at the plate in his college baseball career this spring.

The Shenendehowa graduate batted just .143 as a freshman infielder at LeMoyne College.

But as a designated hitter for the Glens Falls Dragons on Thursday night, Jacques gave his summer ballclub a big spark, ripping a two-run single and scoring on an error in the fourth inning.

Those runs gave Glens Falls the early lead and backed up a solid pitching effort by James Varela, as the Dragons defeated the Utica Blue Sox 6-3 at East Field.

Jacques’ own run was actually a bit of a misread of head coach Cameron Curler’s signal at third base. Following his two-out drop-in single, Jacques moved on Brendon Frank’s base hit — and kept going on a throwing error for a 3-0 lead.

“The coach was waving me — I thought he was waving me home, but he was just waving me to take it around,” Jacques said. “I was thinking I might as well go home, and I was lucky enough that he overthrew it, so I was able to get home safely. Lucky coincidence, pretty much.”

Jacques was more than happy to contribute to snapping Glens Falls’ (4-6) three-game losing streak — and get back some confidence after a tough spring with the bat.

“It was just getting used to the grind of playing every single day with balancing schoolwork and all that,” the biology major said. “(Thursday night) I was just trying to see the ball, hit the ball, keep to basics. When you start over-thinking, that’s when the pitcher will beat you.

“It’s definitely good to catch a break here and there, just have to focus on what you have to do and get it done,” Jacques added. “We have nine solid bats in the lineup, so I know if I couldn’t get it done, someone was going to pick me up later in the game. Playing with that kind of comfort behind you is a pretty good feeling.”

The Dragons also had a pretty good feeling with Varela on the mound. The incoming junior at LIU Post carried a one-hitter through five innings, weathered a rough sixth, and finished his eight innings of work with the win.

“It much better than having a no-hitter — you’ve got that one hit out of the way, and you can keep attacking,” said Varela, who struck out six, walked one and allowed seven hits. “I had a lot of life to my fastball, and I feel I used that to my advantage.”

He also had a few runs to work with after the Dragons’ four-run outburst with two outs in the fourth. Brandon Torres hit an RBI double and Glens Falls added a pair of sac flies for a 6-0 lead.

Utica tagged Varela for five hits and three runs in the sixth, but he settled down in his last two innings.

“I was just rushing my tempo a little too much instead of sitting back for a second and taking a breath, and they took advantage of me for a second,” Varela said.

Glens Falls 6, Utica 3

Utica (3-8) 000 003 000 — 3 7 2

Glens Falls (4-6) 000 420 00x — 6 6 4

WP — Varela (1-1). LP — Kessinger (0-2). 2B — Olmstead (U), Powell (GF), Torres (GF).

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Follow Pete Tobey on Twitter @PTobeyPSVarsity and check out his blogs on poststar.com.

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reporter

Covering high school and minor-league sports in Section II since 1989. SUNY Plattsburgh grad. Colleen's lesser half. Three amazing young people call me Dad. Fan of Philadelphia Eagles, New York Rangers and Mets, and Syracuse Orange.

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