Baseball: Beau Elson pitches Hopkins Academy past Greenfield (PHOTOS)

Greenfield’s Michael Pierce pitches  against Hopkins Academy at Veterans Field on Tuesday.

Greenfield’s Michael Pierce pitches against Hopkins Academy at Veterans Field on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

Hopkins Academy’s Cooper Beckwith connects for a single against Greenfield at Veterans Field on Tuesday.

Hopkins Academy’s Cooper Beckwith connects for a single against Greenfield at Veterans Field on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

Greenfield’s Deven Dubie connects for a base hit against Hopkins Academy at Veterans Field on Tuesday.

Greenfield’s Deven Dubie connects for a base hit against Hopkins Academy at Veterans Field on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

Hopkins Academy’s Cooper Beckwith makes contact against Greenfield at Veterans Field on Tuesday.

Hopkins Academy’s Cooper Beckwith makes contact against Greenfield at Veterans Field on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

Hopkins Academy’s Beau Elson pitches against Greenfield at Veterans Field on Tuesday.

Hopkins Academy’s Beau Elson pitches against Greenfield at Veterans Field on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

Greenfield’s Arthur Fitzpatrick waits for the throw  as Hopkins Academy’s Chace Earle takes second at Veterans Field on Tuesday.

Greenfield’s Arthur Fitzpatrick waits for the throw as Hopkins Academy’s Chace Earle takes second at Veterans Field on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL Franz

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Staff Writer

Published: 04-09-2024 7:17 PM

GREENFIELD — Welcome back to western Mass. baseball, Beau Elson. 

The Fordham commit who returned to Hopkins Academy from Phillips Exeter this year, made his first start on the mound this season for the Golden Hawks against Greenfield on Tuesday.

The left-handed senior certainly looked the part. 

Elson tossed the opening five innings for Hopkins and gave up just two hits — a single to Deven Dubie and an infield base hit by Caleb Thomas — while striking out 14 batters and walking just three. He struck out 10 of the first 12 Green Wave batters he faced. 

On the other side, Michael Pierce and Arthur Fitzpatrick held the Golden Hawks lineup down, but a five-run fourth inning from Hopkins was enough to get the job done, as the visitors walked away with a 5-1 Suburban League West victory at Vets Field. 

“We have things to work on on all sides of the ball but from a pitching standpoint, that was the position I was most comfortable with going into the season,” Hopkins coach Dan Vreeland said. “We have a lot of good arms and a lot of different kids who can throw. Beau went out there today and showed why he’s as dangerous as he is. I’m really happy from the pitching side but we have plenty of things to work on to make sure this goes in the right direction all the time.” 

After exploding for 14 runs in its opener against Granby on Monday, Greenfield was held to four hits one day later against Hopkins. 

“The kid from Hopkins pitched well,” Green Wave coach Tom Suchanek said. “He’s tough. There’s no two ways about it. We made some mistakes and had one bad inning. That was the name of the game.” 

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The Golden Hawks were knocking on the door of breaking the game open during the second and third innings, but Pierce was able to get out of a pair of jams. 

Hopkins loaded the bases following a trio of walks in the second, but Pierce was able to get Jack Dyjach to fly out to left to end the inning without any damage done.

The Golden Hawks (1-1) loaded the bases again in the third following a hit by pitch and a pair of walks, but Pierce got a strikeout and Alex West grounded out to close the inning with the game still scoreless. 

When Hopkins loaded the bases for a third time in the fourth, it was finally able to cash in. 

Yuuki Ishida drew a walk before Dyjach and Cooper Beckwith cracked singles to load the bases. Liam Flynn was walked by Pierce to force Ishida home for the opening run of the game, and Elson was walked on the ensuing at bat, plating Beckwith. 

With the bases loaded up, James Fitzgibbons cracked a ball to the right center gap and a miscommunication in the outfield led to the ball dropping. Beckwith, Flynn and Elson all crossed home plate, giving Hopkins a 5-0 lead. 

“The biggest problem to me was maybe a little too much patience,” Vreeland said. “[Pierce] was walking some guys and throwing a lot of pitches and we got comfortable looking for that stuff. That means we weren't attacking the pitches we liked and the pitches we wanted to attack. When they do stuff like that, we wind up a little behind. I wish we changed the approach and jumped on the pitches we liked. Second game in, it’s about getting better.” 

Pierce tossed the opening four innings, striking out seven while giving up just the two hits. Fitzpatrick came on for the final three innings and retired all nine batters he faced, three via strikeout. 

Greenfield’s run came in the sixth, after Elson departed the game. 

John Marchefka got on with a single, moved to second on a passed ball and took third after Thomas cracked an infield single. Luca Siano hit a shot to right field that was caught, but Marchefka tagged and scored to get the Green Wave (1-1) on the board. 

Chace Earle pitched the final two innings for Hopkins, striking out three and getting a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh to close out the win. 

“When [Earle] came in we started putting the ball in play,” Suchanek said. “I don’t think there’s going to be too many teams who hit [Elson] consistently. Any plays they had behind their pitchers, they made them. Their defense didn’t have to make many plays.”