Raiders outlast Indians, 2-1
Athol High School rebounded from a shaky season-opening loss on Thursday to get a pitching gem from Brad Bousquet and Jerry Parker and earn a 2-1 victory over Turners Falls High School in an independent baseball game Friday afternoon in Athol.
The Red Raiders suffered a 15-0 loss to South Hadley High School on Thursday that was halted after 41/2 innings, but Bousquet and reliever Parker helped Athol even its record at 1-1 by combining to strike out 17 batters over seven innings. Bousquet started the game and struck out 11 of the 13 batters he faced (he got the other two outs on a foul pop and a sacrifice bunt), and Parker came on to register six strikeouts of the eight putouts he recorded.
“Brad mixes his pitches, he’s smart and he hits his locations,” Athol coach Josh Talbot said. “When he’s hitting his spots, he’s very difficult to hit against and he’s capable of shutting down lineups.”
Athol took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Parker walked, stole second and came around to score on a two-out single to right field by Jamie Posk. Turners Falls tied the game in the top of the fifth inning when Quinn Doyle reached on an error and came around to score on a double to left-center by Brody Markol.
The Red Raiders were not about to let the game slip away and responded in the bottom of the fifth inning to retake the lead with the game’s final run and again it came via a walk. This time, Bousquet walked to lead off the inning and eventually came around to score without the Red Raiders even getting a hit. Alex Page followed with a walk to move Bousquet to second, and Parker laid down a sac bunt to move both up a bag. Bousquet scored the game-winner on a Jake Lapointe sacrifice fly.
Palmer 2, Mahar 1 — Zach Handzel threw a no-hitter on Friday afternoon to win a pitchers’ dual over Zach Adams and Palmer High School edged Mahar Regional School, 2-1, in an independent baseball game in Orange.
Handzel needed just 83 pitches over seven innings to no-hit the Senators and he did not allow a baserunner until the fifth inning when Drew Patria worked a leadoff walk on four pitches. Handzel, who finished with three strikeouts and one walk, followed that up by retiring the next seven batters until one out in the seventh inning when Jake Paul reached on an error and scored on a second error in the inning that allowed Patria to reach.
That was all Mahar could muster and it wasted a solid outing from Adams, who allowed just six hits and no walks, while striking out six. Palmer struck for two runs in the second inning and both runs were unearned, each scoring on a two-out error. Adams got off to a shaky start in the second inning, allowing back-to-back singles to Tyler Wilson and Matt Blanchette before walking Jacob Shattuck to load the bases with nobody out. The senior pitcher came back to strike out back-to-back batters and then got No. 9 hitter Brandon Keith to hit a ball to second base but Mahar’s Ryan Murcell committed an error on the play allowing both runs to score. Adams scattered four more hits the rest of the way but kept Palmer scoreless to keep Mahar within striking distance.
Southwick 5, Greenfield 4 — In a rematch of last year’s Division II semifinal in which Greenfield High School advanced and ultimately brought home the Western Mass. title, Southwick-Tolland Regional High School exacted a small portion of revenge, beating the Green Wave, 5-4, in Southwick Friday afternoon.
The Wave took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of seventh, but unfortunately for Greenfield, starter Garrett Hudson had 115 pitches through six innings, and was not available for the seventh.
Owen Schilling got the call for Greenfield and was able to record two outs in the bottom of the final frame, but Southwick’s Eddie Martinez spoiled the party, knocking in the winning run for the Rams.
“Hudson threw a lot of pitches, and it was cold and rainy out there, so we had to bring in a sophomore who pitched pretty well, but we made a couple of mistakes and they walked off with the win.” remarked Greenfield head coach Tom Suchanek.
Hudson had a huge day for Greenfield, and but for the high pitch count, the outcome of the contest may have been completely different. He struck out 11 and walked just three in his six innings of work, and on offense he doubled and tripled and had an RBI, and the senior righty appears to be poised for a very good season.
Nick Masserelli was the winning pitcher for the Rams, going six innings, striking out one and walking none.
The Green Wave (0-2) will look for its first win of the young season in its home opener Monday afternoon at 3:30, when it hosts Pioneer Valley Regional School at Veterans Memorial Field.
Drury 4, Mohawk 2 — Tyler Briggs struck out eight and worked around some trouble at times on Friday afternoon to lead Drury High School to a 4-2 independent baseball win over Mohawk Trail Regional High School in North Adams.
While Briggs averaged more than one strikeout per inning in the win, he also walked six and gave up five hits. The Warriors were unable to take advantage of some of the wildness, falling behind 3-0 after three innings and only plating single runs in the fifth and seventh innings.
Gabe Seaver suffered the loss in his first career varsity start, striking out one and walking three, while allowing just five hits.
Stephen Reynolds doubled and drove in a run for the Warriors (0-2), while Mark Buck, Andrew Doty, Billy Gray and Sam Slowinski each had singles.
Pioneer 12, Greenfield 5 — Erin Bertrand pitched a complete game, striking out seven and walking no one, and contributed 2 hits and an RBI, as Pioneer Valley Regional School defeated Greenfield High School, 12-5, in Franklin County League play Friday in Northfield.
“Today we started playing like a Pioneer team.” said Panthers head coach Joel Cole. “We hit the ball well, and came together as a team. I’m very proud of the way we played.”
Pioneer (2-1, 1-1 FCL) got on the board in the bottom of the third, scoring seven runs, three of those knocked in by Tara O’Neil, who had five on the day. Greenfield answered right back, scoring all of its runs in the top of the fourth, with Rachel LaPointe,Vicki Balis, Bridget Searle, and Seaira Wolfe picking up the RBIs for the Green Wave (0-1, 0-1 FCL).
That was it for Greenfield’s offense, however, as Bertrand settled down and took command. The Pioneer offense continued to pour it on, scoring twice in the bottom of the fourth, and tacking on three more in the last of the sixth.
The Panthers return to the field Tuesday afternoon when they host FCL foe Turners Falls High School.
Gardner 18, Mahar 5 — Mahar High School did not do itself any favors Friday afternoon, committing nine errors on the day that led to 15 unearned runs, as visiting Gardner High School defeated the Senators, 18-5, in Orange.
“We played a very good Gardner team today, but we really helped them out, and hurt ourselves.” said Senators head coach Bill Curtis. “Of the 17 runs they scored between the second and third inning, only two were earned. To say that we had a defensive lapse is an understatement.”
The Senators (2-1) also only picked up two hits on the day to Gardner’s 14, but Curtis wasn’t overly concerned about the offense.
“We hit the ball hard, but they made all the plays,” the coach reflected. “It wasn’t a good day by any means, but it’s one loss, and hopefully the defensive lapses are out of our system.”
Pioneer 75, Sci-Tech 70 — Dan Bordner won three events and took second in a fourth and Pioneer defeated Springfield School of Science & Technology, 75-70, in an independent boys’ track & field meet on a rainy Friday afternoon in Northfield.
While some of the times and distances may have been affected by the rain, Bordner was not, and even tied a school record in the high jump on the day. Bordner cleared 6 feet, 2 inches to tie former Panther jumper Cody Battistoni for the all-time mark at the school. Bordner also won the 110 high hurdles in 19.5 seconds, and won the triple jump in 37-73/4. It may have actually been his second-place finish in the 200 (26.3 seconds) that was his most important as it was one of the last events the Panthers needed to clinch the victory. Jamie Wheeler’s win in the 800 (2:33.7) was the other event to close the deal.
Darion Sadri won both the 100 (12.2) and the long jump (20-1/2), Malcolm Crosby won the javelin in 113-3, Tre Raymond won the shot put in 37-1, and Ben Potee won the pole vault in 7-6.
The other major storyline for the host Panthers was the number of middle school athletes that scored big points for the team. Seamus Garland, an eighth-grader, won the mile in 5:53, while his younger brother, seventh-grader Clayton Garland, came in second in the 2-mile in 13:46. Eighth-grader Alyks Kostecki came in second in the 400 hurldes in 1:21.3.