Post 81 rides Hudson past Hamp, 7-1

Greenfield Post 81 scored seven times in the first three innings and went on to take a 7-1 victory over Northampton Post 28 in an American Legion Baseball game Saturday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Field in Greenfield.

Greenfield (11-4) staked starter Garrett Hudson to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, and then blew the game open with four runs in the second. Northampton scored one run in the top of the third to make it 6-1, but Greenfield got the run back in the bottom of the frame and Hudson shut out Post 28 the rest of the way.

Northampton’s defense led to a pair of first-inning unearned runs for Post 81 as Niko Ames reached on an error and later scored on a grounder by Thomas Malooly. On that play, Malooly reached on an error and a second run came home.

Post 81 busted the game wide open in the second inning with four runs, each of which came home after two outs. Mark Buck opened the inning with a walk and stole second but remained there after a pair of outs. Ames and Tanner Jillson worked back-to-back walks to load the bases, and Hudson came through with a clutch, two-run single. After Hudson stole second, Malooly delivered a two-run double to make it 6-0.

“Hudson and Malooly have been in the middle of our lineup all season,” Greenfield coach Ryan Tatreau said. “They are two of the guys who are definitely most capable of cashing in those opportunities. We really wanted to win this game and to have those two guys step up and blow the game open in that inning was huge. It goes to show what kind of guys we have leading this team.”

Hudson was in control, allowing a third-inning RBI single to David Konowitch before settling in and finishing the complete-game, seven-hitter. Hudson struck out five and walked one.

Buck added an RBI single in the third inning for Greenfield.

Greenfield did not qualify for the National Bound Tournament, finishing fourth overall in the District 2/3 standings. Palmer won the district and earned the automatic berth, while Springfield defeated Northampton, 8-2, Sunday to overtake Westfield for second in the standings. Springfield was supposed to take on the top team from the Berkshire’s in a one-game playoff to determine which team would join Palmer from western Mass. in the National Bound field, but the Berkshire’s threw a wrench into the mix Sunday night by announcing it would not send one of its five teams to National Bound. That sends Springfield to the National Bound Tournament automatically. Springfield will take on Palmer in the eight-team National Bound Tournament Thursday night at Holy Cross in Worcester in a single-elimination game.

Greenfield will now play each team in its zone once more and appears to be a lock to qualify for the eight-team District Championships. Greenfield will take on Easthampton Thursday night at 5:45 at Daly Field in Easthampton.

Tri-County League

St. Joseph’s 7, Manny’s 1 — The struggles continued Sunday for Manny’s TV & Appliance.

The TV & Appliance Men lost their second straight game and third in their last four games with a 7-1 setback to St. Joseph’s in a Tri-County League baseball game at Veterans Memorial Field in Greenfield.

The hitting struggles continued again for Manny’s, which is the defending league runner-up, as the offense managed just three hits against St. Joseph’s pitcher Kevin Dupras. Manny’s (4-6) currently sits in eighth place in the TCL standings. Eight of the 11 teams in the league make the postseason, so things are getting to a critical stage.

“We’re struggling at the plate, for one thing,” said Manny’s coach Lee Magee. “We’re not accustomed as a team to not hitting like this. I don’t know. I think every game is a new day and hopefully we will find our bats. It’s definitely been frustrating watching how this has unfolded.”

Manny’s did not score until the bottom of the seventh when Austin Finck hit an RBI double. John Wilkes and Troy Scott had the only other hits in the loss. And while Manny’s pitching has been adequate, it was another tough outing for Jeff Dixon, who gave up six runs in six innings on 11 hits and a walk. It was the second straight game Dixon has been tagged for 11 hits after he gave up that number in a 6-5 loss to DiFranco in Manny’s most recent game this past Tuesday. Dixon finished with six strikeouts.

St. Joseph’s (9-3) took a 2-0 second-inning lead when Joe Perlak (four hits) hit an RBI single. Another run came home on a botched rundown by Manny’s. St. Joseph’s scored twice more in the fourth — one on a Matt Anziano RBI single and the other on Brad Brothers’ RBI double — and two more runs came home in the sixth on a Perlak RBI double and a Ralph Edwards sacrifice fly. Brothers added an RBI single in the seventh off Manny’s reliever Dusty Mones for the final run.

If Manny’s is going to make a playoff run, then it will have to turn things around in a hurry as the team plays a string of 10 games in 11 days beginning tonight at home at 5:45 against Easthampton.

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