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Tigers rout Frontier

Frontier's Niko Ames slides into the plate on a first-inning passed ball Wednesday during the host Red Hawks' 10-3 Hampshire League baseball loss to South Hadley at G.T. Valiton Field in South Deerfield..
Recorder/Micky Bedell

Frontier's Niko Ames slides into the plate on a first-inning passed ball Wednesday during the host Red Hawks' 10-3 Hampshire League baseball loss to South Hadley at G.T. Valiton Field in South Deerfield.. Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

Peter Luchini struck out four and allowed three hits and two walks in the complete-game victory to lead South Hadley High School to a 10-3 Hampshire League West Division win over Frontier Regional School Wednesday afternoon at G.T. Valiton in South Deerfield.

The loss moved the Red Hawks (11-7 overall, 7-2 West) a half-game behind idle Greenfield in the HL West standings. South Hadley (12-7, 5-4) jumped all over Frontier starter Ben Ruddock early, scoring three times in the first inning and three more times in the second. Ruddock finished with six strikeouts and four walks.

“Ben pitched well. It was a matter of us not playing good defense and making some untimely errors,” Frontier coach Chuck Holt said.

Pat Sears finished with two hits, including a double, and four RBIs. Joe Ciolek singled, doubled and drove in two runs, while Luchini and Chris Jarrett each had one hit and one RBI.

Nolan Muzyka, Kade Gewanter and Sean Doyle each had a hit in the loss, with Doyle picking up an RBI.

Mahar 9, Easthampton 8 — Even a seven-run deficit was not too large to keep Mahar Regional School from setting up a shot to grab at least a share of the Hampshire League East Division title.

After Easthampton High School scored seven times in the bottom of the first inning, the Senators immediately responded with seven runs in the top of the second to tie the game, then scored two more runs in the third and held on for a 9-8 victory over the Eagles Wednesday in Easthampton.

The come-from-behind win puts Mahar (12-7, 6-3) in position to tie for the HL East title. The Senators must defeat Athol High School today in Athol. A win would leave Athol, Mahar and Smith Academy (which defeated Mohawk Trail Regional High School, 6-5, Wednesday) all at 7-3 in the division and in a three-way tie atop the standings.

Those plans almost went up in smoke as Easthampton benefitted from two Mahar errors in the first inning to jump all over Senator starter Drew Patria, who gave up seven runs (one earned) in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by an RBI single from Zach Crisafulli, an RBI double by Andrew LaValley, and a two-run double from Erik Fickett.

That lead didn’t last long as Ryan Arsenault and Cody Marshall led off the top of the second with back-to-back singles. Hunter Richardson and Logan Barrett each hit RBI singles, Brendin Woodard worked a bases-loaded walk to force in a run, and Zach Adams and Arsenault each hit two-run singles.

“After they got seven runs in the first, I didn’t know how the team was going to respond, but I was really pleased with the energy that they came back with after going down 7-0,” Mahar coach Art Billings said. “We knew if we won we had a shot to tie for the league, and that’s what the boys have been working hard for all season.”

Mahar went up 9-7 with two more runs in the third, when Drew Patria walked and Kyle Gonyner was hit by a pitch to leadoff the frame. Patria later scored on a wild pitch and Gonyner scored on an error. Easthampton got one more run in the fifth to make it a one-run game, but Patria and reliever Zach Adams combined to close out the win. Patria wound up striking out seven and walking nine in six innings of work, while Adams earned the save by pitching a scoreless seventh.

Fickett suffered the loss, striking out one and walking three in two innings.

Smith Academy 6, Mohawk 5 — Smith Academy scored five times in the fourth inning to erase a 4-0 deficit and moved itself in position to possibly tie for the HL East title while dashing Mohawk’s hopes with a 6-5 victory Wednesday afternoon in Hatfield.

Both teams entered the day with 6-3 records in HL East play and each sat one game behind first-place Athol. Should Athol fall to Mahar today in the HL East-finale, it would make for a three-way tie between both of those teams and Smith Academy. Mohawk (11-9) fell to 6-4 in the league and is out of contention for the title.

The Warriors got off to a strong start, scoring once in the first inning on a Stephen Reynolds RBI single, then adding another run in the top of the second, when Mark Buck hit an RBI triple to score Luke Looman, who had singled. Mohawk tacked on two more runs in the fourth, benefitting from three Smith Academy errors to take a 4-0 lead.

The Falcons (10-7) came roaring back in the bottom of the fourth, when Keith Natale led off with a triple and scored on Tony Pedruczny’s RBI single. Pedruczny eventually scored on a safety squeeze by Cam Woodward, and Smith Academy added another run later on another safety squeeze, this time from Steve Bruscoe. Austin Rogers hit a two-out, two-run double to put the Falcons on top for good. Smith Academy tacked on a run in the sixth on a Rogers RBI single.

That run proved to be huge as Buck doubled with one out in the seventh and scored on a two-out RBI single from Liam Datres de la Blotier, who went to second base on a wild pitch to move into scoring position with the tying run. Smith Academy brought on ace David Longstreeth to get the final out and he responded by getting JJ Burt to fly out to center field.

Gabe Seaver suffered the loss, walking five in 32/ 3 innings.

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