Red Hawks bats come alive

  • Frontier catcher Garrett Deforest (2), left, stretches to get the force out at home plate against Mahar's Todd Chaisson (8) in the top of the fifth inning Tuesday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier shortstop Kalen Evans (4) makes a running grab for an out against Mahar in the top of the third inning Tuesday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier's Jacob Bryant (23) hits a single against Mahar in the bottom of the fifth inning Tuesday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier's Kiernan Freeman (7) slides safely into home for a run against Mahar in the bottom of the third inning Tuesday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mahar's Noaha Chabot (13) fields a grounder at second base for an out against Frontier in the bottom of the fourth inning Tuesday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mahar's Charlie Barnes (5) makes an over-the-shoulder grab in center field against Frontier in the bottom of the second inning Tuesday. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier's Kalen Evans (4) hits against Mahar Tuesday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier shortstop Kalen Evans (4) makes a throw to first for an out against Mahar in the top of the fourth inning Tuesday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mahar's Todd Chaisson (8), right, tags out Frontier's Kalen Evans (4) at third base in the bottom of the fourth inning Tuesday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier's Xavier Santiago (45) throws against Mahar in the top of the sixth inning Tuesday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Mahar's Joey Brozell (2) puts the ball in play against Frontier in the top of the sixth inning Tuesday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Frontier baseball plays against Mahar on Tuesday in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

Recorder Intern
Published: 4/23/2019 9:15:28 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Frontier Regional School continued its strong start to the season, defeating Mahar Regional School, 8-1, in an independent baseball game Tuesday at G.T. Valiton Field in South Deerfield.

After a scoreless two and a half innings, the Frontier bats came alive in the third. Kyle Barnes got things started by reaching on an error, and Zach Renaud followed with a walk. Barnes stole third, and an errant pickoff throw by Mahar pitcher Andrew Herk brought him in for the first run of the game. Bryan Baumann then singled to bring Renaud in from second.

The Red Hawks weren’t done there. After a single from Kiernan Freeman put runners on first and second, sophomore Jacob Bryant hit a laser that went through the legs of Senator shortstop Will Peridina, bringing in Barnes and Freeman to give Frontier an early, four-run cushion.

“We had met right before that inning and decided we had to find a way to step it up and barrel up the baseball,” Red Hawks coach Chris Williams said. “We got some guys on base and Bryan Baumann stepped up with a big knock for us.”

Mahar coach Art Billings felt his team struggled with the basics, allowing Frontier to take control of the game.

“Fundamentals,” Billings said. “I don’t think we got in front of the ball. I don’t know if you want to call it bad bounces or not, but we work on it all the time, getting the glove down. We let them go.”

The Red Hawks tacked on two more runs in the fourth, with Matt Hildreth driving in a run on a single, and Baumann picking up his second RBI on the next bat.

While it took a few innings for Frontier to get its bats going against Herk – who was making his starting debut on the mound – the lineup was clicking on all cylinders once they developed a rhythm.

“Facing a lefty might have caught us off guard a little bit,” Williams said. “Beautiful, sunny day, it’s the first or second time out on our home field, just a lot of nerves going. It took us a little time to settle in against the big lefty who was hitting his spots all game.”

Junior Gabe Gochinski got the start on the mound for the Red Hawks, allowing just four hits, while striking out five in five innings of work.

No strikeout was bigger than his final pitch of the game. Mahar had loaded the bases, and Charles Barnes hit into a fielder’s choice, with Frontier throwing home to prevent a run.

With the bases still loaded and needing one more out to get out of a jam, Gochinski brought his best stuff, striking out Senator cleanup hitter Logan Dodge to end the inning without a run surrendered.

“We were in some sticky situations early on in the game,” Williams said. “Gabe did a tremendous job staying focused, hitting his spots and relying on our defense, who stepped up big and made the plays when it counted.”

Billings was disappointed his team was unable to capitalize when they had runners on base.

“I have to give it to their pitcher, he kept us off balance and threw very well,” Billings said. “That was the story of the game. If we don’t make the mistakes early and give them a four run lead, I think we’re right in this game.”

Frontier added two runs in the sixth, one off a bases loaded walk and Bryant hitting a sacrifice fly.

In relief of Gochinski, senior Xavier Santiago came in and preserved the Red Hawks lead, allowing two hits and giving up one run off the bat of Herk. It was the first run Frontier has allowed all season.

Mahar will look to get back in the win column Wednesday against Greenfield High School, while Frontier looks to continue its win streak Wednesday, taking on Easthampton High School.

Frontier 8, Mahar 1

Mahar ................... 000 000 1 — 1  6  4

Frontier ................  004 202 x — 8  7  2

Hits: (M) Barnes 2, Peredina 2, Herk, Chabot. (F) Hildreth, Baumann 2, Freeman, Bryant, Evans, Barnes.

2B: (M) Barnes.

RBI: (M) Herk. (F) Hildreth, Baumann 2, Bryant.

WP: Gochinski (5ip, 5k, 2bb), Santiago (2ip, 0k, 2bb).

LP: Herk (5ip, 4k, 3bb), Dodge (⅓ip, 0k, 1bb), Peredina (⅔ip, 0k, 1bb).




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