Falcons edge Hawks; Wave wins
Frontier Regional's Niko Ames, #2, as second baseman opens his glove for the ball to tag out Smith Academy's Harry Kennedy, #11, at their game at Frontier on Monday after a fumbled catch at first base drove Kennedy to try for second.
Frontier Regional's Seth Gewanter, #14, takes a swing at their game against Smith Academy on Monday.
Frontier Regional pitcher Nate Patterson beats catcher Sean Doyle to the ball to throw to second for a tag out against Smith Academy on Monday.
Smith Academy plated a pair of runs in the fifth inning to break a scoreless deadlock and went on to record a 2-1 independent baseball victory over Frontier Regional School on a windswept Monday afternoon at Valiton Field in South Deerfield.
The Falcons (2-0) used a trio of pitchers to get through the seven innings and the three responded by combining to allow just five hits and three walks.
The move was done because Smith Academy has four games this week and head coach Jeff Pluta did not want to wear out his arms. Compounding the heavy schedule is the fact that the Falcons are without ace David Longstreeth, who is currently out with an injury.
John Ferrara started for Smith and struck out one and walked two in two innings before giving way to Keith Natale, who earned the win in relief by striking out one and walking one in two innings. Sophomore Kevin Banas came on to earn the three-inning save, allowing one unearned run, while striking out none and walking none.
Frontier starter Nate Patterson, who was coming off a one-hit victory in his first outing of the season, shined for the second straight game and held the Falcons hitless until the fifth inning, when Austin Rogers led off with a single. Rogers moved to second on an errant pickoff throw and scored when Cam Woodward smacked a double. Woodward came around to score the second Smith Academy run of the day on an error.
Patterson finished with one strikeout and one walk in five innings of work. Khalil Taylor pitched two scoreless innings of relief with one strikeout and three walks, and the two pitchers combined to allow just three hits to the Falcons.
The Red Hawks got one run back in the bottom of the sixth when Brandon Bryant roped a triple and scored on a passed ball, but that was all Frontier (1-3) could muster. Bryant finished with a three-hit performance, while Sean Doyle doubled, and Noah Barnes singled.
Frontier hosts Mohawk Trail Regional High School on Wednesday.
Greenfield 7, Pioneer 0 — Greenfield High School baseball coach Tom Suchanek wishes Connor Eckstrom had come out for the team as a freshman.
As it is, Eckstrom finally came out this season for his senior year and on Monday afternoon he took the hill for the first time in his varsity career. Eckstrom made it a memorable debut, as he struck out 13 over six innings of scoreless work to lead the Green Wave to its first victory of the season with a 7-0 win over Pioneer Valley Regional School in independent baseball action at Veterans Memorial Field in Greenfield.
Eckstrom walked just two and allowed three hits in the outing before giving way to Garrett Hudson in the seventh inning and Hudson preserved the shutout by striking out the side. Eckstrom, a lanky righty, showed well for himself after not having played baseball since middle school. He even worked out of a pair of jams to the delight of his coach.
In one inning, Pioneer had runners on second and third with nobody out and Eckstrom came back to whiff the next three batters, while in another inning the first two men also reached but two strikeouts and a fly ball out later the senior was out of the jam unscathed.
“He’s a rookie senior,” Suchanek joked. “For a first-year varsity player he has picked up stuff very quickly. He’s got decent mechanics, that’s not to say he doesn’t have to work on stuff still, and he had pretty good composure. For a first-year player, this was a good first outing.”
Eckstrom got plenty of run support early as Greenfield scored three times in the first inning and twice in the second inning to take an early 5-0 lead.
The Wave finished with just five hits on the day, but was helped out by five Pioneer errors and six walks issued by Pioneer pitching.
Hudson had a solid day at the plate, knocking in one run in the first inning on a groundout and then blasting an offering from Pioneer reliever Jordan Cutting off the fence in deep left-center in the second for a two-run double. Jake Elwell added two hits on the day including a double, Drew Barisano singled and drove in a run, and Jourdan York-Welcome knocked in a run.
Kyle Hubbard suffered the loss, striking out two and walking three in just one inning of work. Jordan Cutting struck out three and walked three in three innings of relief. Hubbard, Tim Atkins and Zach Lambert each had one hit for Pioneer.
Greenfield gets one day off before starting a string of four games in four days beginning on Wednesday afternoon in Athol against the Red Raiders. Pioneer gets back to work Wednesday at home against Turners Falls High School.
Mohawk 1, Belchertown 0 — Mohawk scored once in the first inning for its only run of the day but it proved to be enough for pitcher Billy Gray, who tossed seven shutout innings as the Warriors edged Belchertown High School, 1-0, in an independent game in Belchertown.
Stephen Reynolds worked a two-out walk for Mohawk in the top of the first inning and stole second. After a walk to Tucker Jenkins, Javier Morales smacked an RBI single to right field for the only run of the game.
That was all Gray needed as he dominated the Orioles’ lineup, allowing just two hits and three walks over seven innings and striking out five. Belchertown pitcher Tommy Daley Jr. was nearly as good, allowing just two hits to Mohawk. He struck out eight, but also walked five batters.
Andrew Doty had the other Mohawk (1-2) hits, while Nick Leduc and Jonathan Ingram each had one hit for Belchertown.
Turners Falls 7, Easthampton 3 — Turners Falls scored seven times between the fourth and fifth innings to come back from three runs down and knock off Easthampton High School, 7-3, in independent action Monday afternoon at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls.
The Eagles scored once in the first inning and twice more in the second to get out to a 3-0 lead on Turners Falls starter Zach Wright (three strikeouts, four walks in four innings), but that was all they could muster. Wright shut down Easthampton in the third and fourth innings and in the bottom of the fourth Turners Falls came back to tie the score a 3-3, as Jalen Sanders provided the big hit in the inning with a two-run single.
Freshman Quinn Doyle took the hill for Turners Falls in the fifth and he looked solid, striking out two and walking none in the final three innings of scoreless ball.
“He pitched great,” Turners Falls coach Jay Liimatainen said. “He threw strikes, he kept the ball down. I was impressed with his composure, being that he is a freshman and it was his first time out there. But he gave us just what we needed.”
The Indian bats gave Doyle just what he needed to earn the win as they struck for four runs in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run single by Nick York. Marcel Ortiz and Sanders each finished with two hits.
Hopkins 4, Athol 3 — Andrew Omer struck out 11 over seven innings of work to help Hopkins Academy edge Athol High School, 4-3, in an independent baseball game Monday in Hadley.
Omer allowed just five hits and two walks on the day, but had to survive a sixth-inning scare that saw Athol score twice to cut the deficit to 4-3. The Red Raiders got a single from Jerry Parker to open the sixth and an RBI triple from Brad Bousquet made it 4-2. Jake LaPointe hit an RBI single still with nobody out and stole second base with No. 5 hitter Jamie Posk at the dish. Omer came back to strike out the side and strand LaPointe at second base.
Posk suffered the loss for Athol, striking out six and walking two in four innings of work.
Zach Anderson finished with two hits and two RBIs for Hopkins.
South Hadley 5, Mahar 4 — Mahar Regional School scored four times in the top of the first inning but South Hadley High School came back to score five times the rest of the way while holding the Senators scoreless to squeak out a 5-4 independent victory Monday afternoon in South Hadley.
The Senators struck for four runs off South Hadley starter Joe Ciolek but the Tiger pitcher settled in from there and pitched six innings of shutout ball the rest of the way, finishing with eight strikeouts and no walks. The Tigers came back to score once in the bottom of the first inning and then scored twice in both the fourth and fifth innings to take the lead.
Patrick Sears finished with two hits, including a double, and two RBIs for the Tigers.
Drew Patria pitched well in the loss, striking out 10 and allowing just five hits and one walk in six innings of work. Jake Paul finished with two hits and one RBI, while Logan Barrett tripled and drove in a run, and Ryan Arsenault singled and drove in a run.
McCann Tech 11, FC Tech 1 — Sean Davis finished with three hits and five RBIs at the plate and pitched five innings of one-run ball to lead McCann Technical School to a 11-1 Tri-County League baseball victory over Franklin County Technical School Monday afternoon in Turners Falls.
Ethan Wickline suffered the loss, striking out one and walking one in one-plus innings of work. Mitch Mailloux struck out three and walked two in four innings of relief for the Eagles (1-2), and Austin Burdick struck out two and walked none in the final two innings. The Eagle pitchers were not helped out by the defense, which committed five errors on the day.
Nate Crocker, Kyle Johnson and Mailloux each had one hit for Franklin Tech.