Post 81 edges Agawam, 4-2
Greenfield Post 81 was finally able to finish a playoff game, but it was a struggle.
Mike Duclos worked through control issues to pitch a complete-game five-hitter and Post 81 manufactured enough runs to defeat Agawam Post 185, 4-2, in Game 2 of the American Legion Baseball Department Playoff quarterfinal series Wednesday night at Agawam High School.
The teams will finish Game 1 of their series — suspended Monday after 71∕2 innings due to darkness with the scored tied at 2-2 — today at 4:30 at Veterans Memorial Field in Greenfield. Game 3, if necessary, will be played immediately following the conclusion of the first game.
Greenfield drew first blood when Niko Ames was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on Tanner Jillson’s bunt single, and Thomas Malooly brought him home with a sacrifice fly.
Post 81 added its second run in the top of the second. Liam Datres de la Blotier singled and stole second, then Mark Buck walked. Datres de la Blotier stole third but was thrown out at the plate when Sam Tillona attempted a safety squeeze. Agawam, however, gave the run right back when John Deskavich’s grounder to third was thrown away, allowing Buck to score.
Agawam came back to tie it in the bottom of the fifth when Zach Jendrysik roped a two-out, two-run triple to right field, but Greenfield reclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth. Datres reached on a one-out error, then after the second out, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on Tillona’s single through the right side.
Greenfield added a much-needed insurance run in the seventh, when Niko Ames doubled, moved to third on a bad pickoff throw and scored on Garrett Hudson’s sacrifice fly.
Post 81 head coach Ryan Tatreau lauded the effort of Duclos, who struck out four and walked three in his seven innings of work.
“Mikey battled all night,” said Tatreau. “He didn’t have his best stuff, and he was searching for ways to get guys out throughout the game, but he’s so mentally tough he was able to do it. He also made a great play to cut down a runner on an attempted safety squeeze, so he did everything he could to help us win.”
Taterau was also impressed with Agawam starter Tyler Lyne, who fanned four ,walked no one and allowed seven hits in the complete-game loss.
“He pitched really well, “We just couldn’t string too many hits together and we were just dinking and dunking to try and get runs across. ... To get a win out a game like that was very pleasing.”