School Baseball: Turners Falls upsets Hopkins, 5-1

  • Turners Falls winning pitcher Hadyn Patenaude throws in the top of the third inning against Hopkins Monday in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Turners Falls shortstop Kyle Dodge jumps up to field a throw for an out at second base in the top of the first inning against Hopkins Monday in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Turners Falls’ Hadyn Patenaude hits in the bottom of the second inning against Hopkins Monday in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Turners Falls’ Riley Watroba (12) hits in the bottom of the second inning against Hopkins Monday in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Above, Turners Falls’ Jaden Whiting (18) hits a two-run single up the middle in the bottom of the second inning against Hopkins Monday in Turners Falls. Below, Turners Falls’ Jake Dodge fields a play at second base in the top of the third inning. Recorder Staff photos/Dan Little

  • Turners Falls’ Jake Dodge fields a play at second base in the top of the third inning against Hopkins Monday in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

Recorder Staff
Published: 5/21/2018 11:19:38 PM

Never underestimate the unpredictability of high school sports.

Turners Falls High School threw a monkey wrench into the Hampshire League West Division baseball race Monday night, contributing a candidate for upset of the year under the lights at the Bourdeau Fields Complex. The Thunder rumbled to an early 4-0 lead and held on, knocking off league-leading Hopkins Academy, 5-1, on Senior Night.

The victory makes things quite interesting in the HL West, where Hopkins (11-3 overall, 7-1 HL) fell out of sole possession of first place with the loss. Frontier Regional School (16-2, 8-1) has a half-game lead after its win Monday, and the two teams have a huge matchup Wednesday that will likely determine the league champion.

Senior Hadyn Patenaude put it all together to power Turners (3-12, 1-7) to its first HL West victory of the season. Patenaude struck out two and walked just one in 6⅓ innings, limiting Hopkins to just six hits and one run before Kyle Dodge got the final two outs to seal the deal.

“Hadyn came out and threw strikes,” Turners Falls coach Scott Minckler of Patenaude. “The defense this year has let him down quite a bit. But tonight he threw strikes and the guys played defense behind him. It was one of those Senior Night-type magic performances.”

The Thunder committed just one error all night. Defensive issues have plagued Turners throughout the season.

“We’ve been preaching and saying all year that we’re a good ballclub but the errors have killed us,” explained Minckler. “If we can keep it to two or less errors, we’re going to win ballgames. It was a prime example tonight.”

Turners scored four runs in the second inning, using just one hit to do so. The hosts took advantage of four walks, as seven batters in a row reached base to help the squad take a 4-0 lead. Jaden Whiting’s RBI single was the lone hit of the frame.

The Powertown tacked on one more in the fifth when Jake Burnett singled home Jake Dodge to make it 5-0.

Hopkins threatened in the seventh, pushing its lone run across, but Kyle Dodge came on and got a ground out and a strikeout to seal the deal.

“Every year we play Hopkins tough,” said Minckler, whose team rebounded in a big way after falling to the Golden Hawks, 23-3, in the first meeting this spring. “They owed them one. The kids had a bad taste in their mouths after that first loss. They came out and played one of their best games of the year.”

The Turners revenge tour now makes for a very interesting week. The squad travels to play Franklin County Technical School today before a night game at Greenfield High School Wednesday as it looks to avenge three losses to three rivals from earlier in the year. Monday made for quite an opening statement.

“If you ask the kids what games they can get up for, it’s Hopkins, Tech and Greenfield,” Minckler said. “I think they’ll be ready to go again (today).”

Belchertown 1, Greenfield 0 — Ryan French delivered a walk-off single through a drawn-in infield, lifting Belchertown High School to a 1-0 victory over Greenfield High School in a Hampshire League West contest Monday in Belchertown.

Aidan Baceski led off the bottom of the seventh with a double, and eventually Belchertown (9-7, 3-5) loaded the bases with no outs. After Greenfield gunned down one run at the plate to keep the game scoreless, French smacked a single through the infield that plated Chris Tilton for the 1-0 win.

Joel Peabody went six innings and took the loss for Greenfield (9-7, 3-5), walking six with no strikeouts. Hunter Campbell walked two and got one out before Belchertown scored the game-winner.

“He didn’t have his best stuff today but he kept us in the game,” Greenfield coach Tom Suchanek said of Peabody. “We had opportunities and just didn’t capitalize.”

Owen Phelps had two hits, including a double, for the Green Wave, which outhit Belchertown, 8-6. Campbell also doubled in the loss.

Jack Mankowsky tossed a complete-game to pick up the win for the Orioles. He struck out four and walked four in seven innings of work.

Greenfield hosts Turners Falls Wednesday night.

Athol 3, Mahar 2 (9) — Mark Ferrari hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth inning and Athol High School continued its late-season pursuit of a postseason berth with a huge victory Monday.

The Red Raiders shook off a 2-0 deficit, tied the game in the fifth and rode Ferrari’s RBI double that scored Maysin Tarbell with the winning run in a 3-2 Hampshire League East baseball victory over rival Mahar Regional School in Athol.

Athol’s Dakota Williams drew a lead-off walk in the bottom of the ninth with the teams tied, 2-2. Pinch runner Tarbell came all the way around on the two-bagger from Ferrari, who pinch hit in the ninth.

The run made a winner of ace Nick Bousquet, who threw all nine innings and struck out 11. Bousquet walked just one and scattered four hits. He outlasted Mahar’s Jake Berry, who threw the ball well in defeat with nine strikeouts, four walks and four hits in a complete-game outing.

Mahar (5-10, 2-6) led 2-0 with single runs in the second and fifth innings. Berry reached on an error and scored on an error in the second, while Todd Chiasson hit a sacrifice fly to plate Sam Paul in the fifth.

Athol (7-8, 4-3), which won for the fifth time in its last seven tries, tied the game with a pair in the home half of the fifth. Bousquet singled home Keegan Lutz (walk) to make it 2-1, and James Laford singled and eventually scored on an error to even the score.

Charlie Barnes had two of Mahar’s four hits, while Andrew Herk and Berry also had singles.

Athol, which completed the season-sweep of the Senators with the win, heads to Pioneer Valley Regional School Wednesday while Mahar visits Easthampton High School today.

Mohawk 6, Smith Academy 5 — The postseason hunt continues for Mohawk Trail Regional High School.

With no margin for error and their backs against the walls, the Warriors picked up a must-win Monday. Visiting Mohawk took a 6-1 lead and held on, stranding the tying and potential game-winning runs in scoring position in the seventh inning to edge Smith Academy, 6-5, in an HL East game in Hatfield.

Needing four wins in their final four games to qualify for the postseason, Mohawk (7-10, 3-5) got victory No. 1 to keep its hopes alive. Luke Viens hit a solo home run and Rueben Bassett had two hits and drove in three runs for the winners. Iain Sanislo also had two hits, and the Warriors held a 9-6 edge in hits.

Jordan Grenier earned the win after tossing 4⅓ innings with four strikeouts and four walks. Jackson Hicks came on in relief and stranded runners at second and third in the seventh with Mohawk clinging to a 6-5 lead. The final out came on a ground ball to shortstop.

Mohawk, which survived six errors in the field to get the win, hosts Easthampton on Wednesday.

Frontier 5, South Hadley 0 — Ben Arnold and Connor Waitkus combined on a two-hit shutout as Frontier moved into a first-place tie with Hopkins following a 5-0 victory over South Hadley High School in a HL West baseball game Monday afternoon at G.T. Valiton Field in South Deerfield.

Arnold struck out five and allowed two hits and three walks in six innings before Waitkus came on and retired the side in the seventh to complete the shutout.

Frontier took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Kiernan Freeman worked a two-out walk, stole second and scored on Dylan Apanell’s single to left-center. The score remained that way until the fifth when Frontier (16-1, 8-1) plated four runs. Jacob Bryant singled with one out and Bryan Baumann was hit by a pitch. Freeman hit an RBI single in the frame, and later scored on a passed ball. Alec Jordan added a pinch-hit RBI single later in the inning.

Apanell finished with two hits, and Matt Hildreth had one hit.

Jarrett Sudyka had both hits for the Tigers (5-11, 3-6), who were eliminated from postseason play.

FC Tech 6, Smith Voke 0 — Sam Bobala struck out 17 in a two-hit shutout and Franklin Tech dumped Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School, 6-0, in a Tri-County League South Division baseball game Monday afternoon at Arcanum Field in Florence.

The win was the sixth straight for the Eagles (11-6) and moved them into first place in the TCL South. Bobala allowed just two hits and two walks in the shutout, and finished with the career-high in strikeouts, which included four in the seventh inning after a passed ball on a called third strike allowed a runner to score.

“Sam was really good today,” Franklin Tech coach Brian Winslow said. “He was dialed in, really focused. He threw strikes and got outs.”

Franklin Tech scored twice in the third inning to stake Bobala to a lead. Travis Cutting walked and stole second before Bobala reached on an error. Dan Momaney knocked in Cutting on a groundout, and Bobala scored on the play on an errant throw home.

The Eagles added to the lead in the top of the seventh. Hunter Sessions singled and scored on a Spencer Telega double. After Seth Aldrich worked a walk, Cutting stepped to the plate and unloaded a three-run bomb past the foul pole in right.

Cutting finished with two hits and three RBIs, while Max Charest added a triple.

Franklin Tech hosts Turners Falls today at 4.

Easthampton 9, Pioneer 0 — Dawson Wolcott struck out 10 and allowed two hits and one walk to pitch Easthampton High School past Pioneer Valley Regional School, 9-0, in a HL East baesball game Monday in Easthampton.

Pioneer (8-8) must win two of its final four games or finish no worse than second in a very crowded HL East race to qualify for the postseason.

Justin Colpack had three hits and one RBI in the win, while Mike Ryan singled and tripled, and Austin Kuenzel had two RBIs.

Jared Ackerman and Jacob Quinn each had a hit for the Panthers. Cody Letourneau suffered the loss.

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