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Bousquet blanks St. Bernard’s to bring Athol back to .500

Bradley Bousquet served up exactly what Athol High School baseball coach Josh Talbot was looking for.

The Red Raiders starting pitcher threw 57 of his 69 pitches for strikes over seven shutout innings and the Red Raiders got back to .500 with a 5-0 independent victory over St. Bernard’s High School Tuesday afternoon in Fitchburg.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak by the Red Raiders, who started the season 4-2 overall. The biggest reason for the team’s struggles have been walks and errors, according to Talbot. While the Red Raiders did commit three errors, Bousquet did his part to prevent walks, throwing 83 percent of his pitches for strikes. That led to eight strikeouts and no free passes in the shutout.

“When we get in trouble is when we walk people,” Talbot said. “If we threw strikes consistently, we’d be in much better position than where we are.”

The Red Raiders (5-5) finally gave Bousquet a lead in the fourth inning when Jerry Parker hit an RBI double. Things remained that way until the sixth when the visitors blew the game open with four more runs. Joey Adams had the big hit in the frame with a two-run triple, while Parker collected his second RBI of the game when he reached on an error, and Josh Grindle had a pinch-hit RBI single.

Athol will try to get above .500 today at home at 3 p.m. against Greenfield High School, which dropped its first game of the season on Monday. Athol defeated the Green Wave three times last season, including a 1-0, 12-inning win in the WMass Division II quarterfinals.

Frontier 9, Maynard 5 — Ryan Hoar’s solo home run in the second inning sparked a four-run rally and eventually carried Frontier Regional School to a 9-5 win over Maynard High School in independent baseball action on Tuesday in Maynard.

Hoar belted a leadoff homer to tie the game at 2-2. Then Matt Byrne doubled and Sam Tillona drove him in with a single to give the Red Hawks (8-2 overall) a lead they did not relinquish. Ben Ruddock added a run-scoring single in the frame.

Frontier broke it open with four more runs in the fifth.

Niko Ames, Peter Watroba and Billy Barrington all finished with two hits for the Hawks, who had 12 in all. Ames also had four of the Hawks’ 12 stolen bases.

Chris Flynn and Brian Demars collected two hits each for the Tigers.

Matt Ackerman pitched 5 1-3 innings to earn his first career win in his first varsity start. He struck out two and walked three.

Zach Buerman, who fanned two and walked two in three innings, suffered the loss.

Softball

FC Tech 20, Renaissance 19 — Franklin County Technical School scored three times in the bottom of the seventh inning to overtake Renaissance School, 20-19, in a Tri-County League softball contest Tuesday at Gifford Field in Turners Falls.

Sam Scopa led off with a single and scored on a passed ball and subsequent error. Katie Newell reached on fielder’s interference before pinch-runner Ellie Diamond moved to second on a groundout. Haylee Keene walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Melissa Vatalaro. A passed ball moved both runners forward, then Nicole Valeski drove in Diamond with a single to tie. Alyssa Andrews hit a grounder to first and Vatalaro scored ahead of the throw to win it.

Makayla Coburn had a big day for the Eagles, as she had two singles, a triple, a home run and five RBIs. Keene added three hits, and Andrews and Valeski (double) both collected two hits and two RBIs.

Franklin Tech (4-7, 4-5) hosts Westfield Vocational-Technical High School on Friday at 4.

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