Mohawk shocks Wave, 4-0
Ryan Pease and Billy Gray combined to toss a one-hit shutout and Mohawk Trail Regional High School pulled off a 4-0 Hampshire League baseball upset over Greenfield High School Thursday in Buckland.
The Warriors (6-8 overall, 4-7 HL) took advantage of three costly errors by the Green Wave (11-2, 9-2), each one leading to a run as Mohawk scored one run in four innings.
Pease pitched the first five innings and did not allow a base hit but was tiring after five and gave way to Gray. The Green Wave opened up the sixth inning against Gray with a Jake Elwell single for the only Wave hit of the game, but Gray settled in and did not allow a run. The win sets up Mohawk for a possible postseason push as the Warriors need four wins in their final six games season to qualify.
“It’s a huge win for us,” Mohawk coach Mike Billiel said. “Making the postseason is definitely doable if we can play decent baseball like we did today. We had lost five of six games (after starting the season 4-3), so the guys are back up now. They believe that we have a chance.”
After Pease struck out Greenfield’s Mike Duclos with a runner on to get out of the first inning, Mohawk plated its first run of the game when Pease singled, stole second, went to third on a Liam Datres de la Blotier single, and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Ryan Spitzer. Billiel said getting the early lead was huge and seemed to put Greenfield on edge.
“I think they came in today thinking we were a walkover, so when we scored the run in the first inning it was huge,” he said.
While Pease was dealing on the bump, Mohawk was adding runs on the scoreboard, each coming at the expense of a Green Wave defensive miscue. In the third inning, Sam Slowinski walked and Connor Maloney singled to put runners on the corners. Maloney then took off to steal second and the throw down by Green Wave catcher Elwell sailed into center field, allowing Slowinski to score.
It was another high throw that led to a third Warrior run in the fourth inning. Ryan Spitzer and Jaquille Gardner led off with back-to-back singles and Alex Buntin attempted to bunt them up but the bunt attempt was popped up to Green Wave pitcher Drew Barisano. Both Warriors runners took off but they caught a break when Barisano tried to double-up Gardner at first base and threw the ball into right field, allowing Spitzer to score the third run of the game.
Greenfield threatened in the top of the sixth when Elwell greeted Mohawk pitcher Gray with a leadoff single and Garrett Hudson worked a walk. Zach Bartak hit into a fielder’s choice that saw Hudson get cut down at second base but left runners on the corners. Bartak then tried to steal second but, for the second time in the game, Mohawk catcher Datres de la Blotier caught a Green Wave baserunner trying to steal. Gray then struck out Duclos to end the threat.
Mohawk used the momentum from getting out of the jam to stick the final dagger into the Green Wave in the bottom of the sixth. Gardner did the honors when he smoked a triple to the gap in right-center field and the relay came into shortstop Bartak, who fired the ball to third base to try and get a sliding Gardner. But for the third time in the game, the ball took off on a Green Wave defender, sailing over the head of the third baseman, allowing Gardner to run home with the final run.
Pease finished with three strikeouts and three walks in five innings, while Gray struck out one and walked two in two innings of work.
Barisano suffered the loss, striking out two and allowing six hits and two walks.