Hudson no-hits Hoosac
Greenfield ace righty Garrett Hudson is on his way to a masterful no-hitter against Hoosac Thursday at Vets Field in Greenfield, where his team opened its WMass Division III Baseball Tournament run with a 4-0 win. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »
GHS 3 Connor Eckstrom Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »
GHS 9 Garrett Hudson dives into third for a RBI triple Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »
GREENFIELD — Greenfield High School senior pitcher Garrett Hudson hopes Thursday afternoon was not the final start of his high school career, but if it was, then he put an exclamation point on a fantastic four-year career.
Hudson was one walk away from a perfect game and instead settled for his second career no-hitter as defending western Massachusetts champion and sixth-seeded Greenfield opened the WMass Division III Baseball Tournament with a 4-0 first-round victory over Hoosac Valley Regional High School at Veterans Memorial Field.
Hudson was masterful over seven innings, throwing 80 pitches and facing the minimum number of batters (21) over seven innings. The only blemish was his one-out, fifth-inning walk to Joey Buonemani, who took the slightly low 3-1 fastball.
“It was a good pitch, though,” Hudson said smiling after the game, “It was right at his knees.”
That runner wound up getting doubled up at first base when the next hitter, Brandon Tworig hit a fly ball to short right field. Greenfield right fielder Jourdan York-Welcome raced in to make the catch and easily threw out the pinch runner on the play for the inning-ending twin killing. That fly ball was the only ball hit out of the infield off Hudson, who was masterful, fanning eight, none better than when he reeled back and fired what appeared to be his fastest pitch of the day to whiff No. 3 to Matt Koperniak for the game’s final out. That earned him a raucous cheer from the large Green Wave contingent as well as from teammates, who rushed out of the dugout to greet Hudson as he walked off the mound, stone cold look still on his face. Afterward, Hudson struggled to put into words what had taken place.
“I must have just stepped it up a little bit,” he said. “I honestly didn’t feel that comfortable pitching today because I had just pitched Saturday. It was pretty basic. I mixed up my pitches. We don’t have these guys charted or anything, so it was all just based off of fastball, curveball, occasional changeup.”
The Green Wave defense also played well, particularly the infield, which recorded 11 outs without an error.
Hudson was also the star of the game offensively, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning when Parker Hickey led off with a bloop single to right field. Hudson followed by unloading on a curveball from Hoosac Valley pitcher Justin Nichols and sending it on a rope to the gap in left-center. Hickey scored from first base on the play, while Hudson hustled into third for a triple. Hudson later scored the second run of the game on a Connor Eckstrom sacrifce fly.
Greenfield added two more runs in the sixth to give Hudson some breathing room. After two outs, Hudson hit a hard single past third base. It looked like the inning was going to end when Drew Barisano followed with a grounder to third that took a generous hop, but the throw to first sailed high and awry. Hudson, on his horse the entire time, scored on the play. The error was followed by three consecutive single from Eckstrom, York-Welcome and finally Kevin Luippold, with Barisano scoring on the Luippold line drive to right.
Nichols pitched well in the loss, striking out seven and walking none.