Turners Falls holds off Beavers, 3-1
Turners Falls winning pitcher Tyler Charboneau pitches during his 3-1 win over Putnam to open the Indians' WMass Division IV Baseball Tournament run Thursday afternoon at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls.
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TURNERS FALLS — It isn’t often that a pitcher can give up four consecutive hits in an inning without allowing a run, but that’s the jam Tyler Charboneau found himself in Thursday — and worked his way out just in time for Turners Falls High School.
The Indians’ junior right-hander took a 3-1 lead into the top of the sixth inning against Putnam Vocational High School in the Western Massachusetts Division IV Baseball Tournament, before the Beavers’ first four hitters all reached on singles, one of whom was thrown out trying to steal second. With the bases loaded and one out, Charboneau escaped by retiring the next two hitters, then set down the side in order in the top of the seventh to preserve Turners’ 3-1 victory over the Beavers at the Bourdeau Fields complex.
Fifth-seeded Turners (10-11) advanced to a quarterfinal round game Monday at fourth-seeded Granby High School. Game time was undetermined at press time Thursday night. Putnam of Springfield, the No. 12 seed, finished at 11-10.
“It was crazy, but I tried to throw strikes the best I could and I just had faith in my fielders,” said Charboneau of the sixth inning. “If they got the bat on the ball, I knew my fielders would make the play.”
Charboneau allowed nine hits and an unearned run in his complete-game effort, with five strikeouts and no walks allowed.
“I just had to settle him down a little bit,” said Indians coach Jay Liimatainen of his sixth-inning visit to Charboneau on the mound. “He said, ‘Coach, they’re starting to hit me hard.’ He was still throwing hard, his pitch count wasn’t up, it was just his location. He got the ball down, and he got out of it for us.”
Jalen Sanders drove in all three runs for Turners, including a two-run single in the bottom of the first inning to reverse the hosts’ early 1-0 deficit. The Indians were outhit by the Beavers 9-5.
“Tournament time, they’re low-scoring games. Play defense and pitch, and you’ve got a good shot,” said Liimatainen. “We got a couple of early RBIs that really helped us out and helped us settle in.”
Putnam began the game with singles by Eddie Maldonado and Carlos Gonzalez to put men at first and second. Chris Estrada followed with a bouncer through the box off Charboneau to second baseman Marcel Ortiz, who stepped on second to retire Gonzalez but then threw low to first, allowing Maldonado to score the lead run.
In the home first, against Putnam starter Carlos Penalbert, Emmitt Turn reached on an error and was bunted to second by Zach Demars. Brody Markol drew a walk and Charboneau flied out to right, moving Turn to third. With Sanders batting, Markol swiped second, and Sanders then grounded a base hit out of the reach of the diving Gonzalez at shortstop into short left field. Turn and Markol came in to score to give the Indians a 2-1 lead.
Charboneau then allowed singles in both the second and third innings with no damage, and Turners provided some insurance in the bottom of the third. Markol walked with one out, went to third on Charboneau’s base hit to right, and Sanders lifted a sacrifice fly to left to bring in Markol to make it 3-1.
The Indians managed only one other hit against Penalbert (two walks, two strikeouts) after the third inning, but Charboneau retired seven of eight Putnam hitters before running into trouble in the sixth. Estrada singled to right leading off, but Markol gunned him out attempting to steal second. Penalbert, Daniel Mendez and Justin Robles each followed with singles to load the bases. Charboneau then got Jose Figueroa on a called third strike and induced a fly ball to right by Ki-Shawn Monroe to end the Beavers’ threat.
Turners now gets another crack at Granby, which beat the Indians, 1-0, on their home field in the first round of the 2013 Division III tournament. The Rams (15-6) advanced Thursday by thumping Pathfinder Vocational High School, 17-2, in another Division IV first-rounder.