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Teddies roar back for 4-2 triumph

Teddy Bear Pools rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and went on to defeat Wilbraham Funeral Home, 4-2, in a Tri-County League men’s amateur baseball game Thursday night at G.T. Valiton Field in South Deerfield.

Wilbraham scored once in the first inning and added another tally in the fifth to take a 2-0 lead. Meanwhile, Teddy Bear (11-8) was held to just one hit until the sixth, when it finally broke through.

Justin Carey led off the frame with a ground-rule double to deep left field and moved up to third on Casey Blanchard’s single to shallow left. Tom Malooly came to the plate and blasted a triple to the right-center field to plate Carey and Blanchard, tying the game at 2. After Zach Bartak struck out, Kyle Platner was intentionally walked, and then Andrew Sadowsky hit a seeing-eye grounder between short and third, bringing Malooly home with the go-ahead run and sending Platner to third. Platner scored the insurance run on a double-steal attempt that saw Sadowsky get thrown out at second.

Malooy had two of Teddy Bear’s five hits in support of winning pitcher Joe Larson, who hurled a two-hitter with five strikeout and five walks.

Teddy Bear heads to Rivers Field in Chicopee today at 5:45 p.m. to face the Chicopee Falls Tigers.

American Jr. Legion

Greenfield 7, Wilbraham 1 — Gabe Seaver continued to show why he is arguably the best pitcher in the Western Massachusetts American Legion Baseball Junior Division this season.

The Greenfield Post 81 ace pitched six shutout innings and the top seeds defeated fourth-seeded Wilbraham, 7-1, in Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinal series Thursday night at Veterans Memorial Field in Greenfield.

The teams will meet for Game 2 tonight at Farrell Field in Wilbraham beginning at 6:30 as Greenfield goes for the sweep.

Seaver struck out eight and allowed just two hits and three walks in six innings as Greenfield built a 7-0 lead. Tyler Townsley pitched the seventh and allowed the lone Wilbraham run. Seaver improved to 7-0 on the season and has allowed just four runs on the year, including just two earned runs.

“He’s the best pitcher in the league,” declared Greenfield skipper Kyle Phelps.

Greenfield gave the pitcher more than enough support in the second inning and did so in odd fashion, as virtually every run came about in an ongoing pattern. Nate Crocker got things going with a single and a steal of second before coming home on Zach Wright’s RBI single. Wright then stole second and scored on Townsley’s RBI single. The theme continued as Townsley stole second and scored on Julian Diamond’s RBI single. Not to be outdone, Diamond stole second and scored on Andrew Toritto’s single. Greenfield tacked on a fifth run in the third inning when Crocker singled, stole second and scored on Wright’s double. It was another example of Greenfield’s aggressive baserunning, something that has been on display all season. Greenfield finished the game with 10 stolen bases on 11 attempts.

“That’s been our strategy all season,” Phelps said. “We want to be aggressive. That’s the way we like to play. We run and bunt and play small ball and put pressure on the defense.”

Greenfield tacked on its final two runs of the night in the fifth inning when Kevin Luippold and Crocker each singled and moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Wright grounded out to plate Luippold for his third RBI of the game, and Colin Cloutier added an RBI groundout to score Crocker for the third time on the night.

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