High schools: Big fifth inning powers Pioneer baseball past Greenfield

Pioneer’s Ethan Mauthe puts the bat on the ball against Frontier earlier this week in South Deerfield. 

Pioneer’s Ethan Mauthe puts the bat on the ball against Frontier earlier this week in South Deerfield.  STAFF PHOTO/THOMAS JOHNSTON

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Staff Writer

Published: 04-12-2024 8:40 PM

Modified: 04-12-2024 9:06 PM


NORTHFIELD — Not even the pouring rain could slow down the Pioneer bats in the fifth inning on Friday against Greenfield. 

It was the Green Wave that kicked off the scoring in the fifth, putting three runs on the board in the top of the frame to take a 4-2 lead. The Panthers more than returned the favor in the bottom of the inning, knocking six hits to score seven runs before rain put the game in a delay. 

When play resumed, Pioneer added three runs to close out what was a 10-run fifth, giving the hosts a 12-4 lead. That big inning allowed the Panthers to walk away with a 14-5 Suburban League West victory. 

“After our first time through the lineup I had a feeling Greenfield would score first,” Pioneer coach Kevin Luippold said. “They were swinging the bats well, putting the ball in play and we made some errors. They made some big hits to put some runs across. I’m just proud of my guys for adjusting throughout the game. Even the second time through [the lineup] we didn't hit the ball well but they talk about what to look for, what to attack and strung together that big fifth to put 10 runs on the board.” 

The Green Wave (1-2) battled throughout, with Caleb Thomas surrendering just three hits through four innings before the Panthers broke things open in the fifth. 

“We gave up that one big inning,” Suchanek said. “The weather got crappy and I’ll be honest with you, the game should not have been played to begin with. Pioneer is a good team. There’s no two ways about it.”

Alex McClelland opened the bottom of the fifth with a walk before Braeden Tsipenyuk and Hugh Cyhowski cracked back-to-back singles. An error in the driving rain put Ethan Mauthe on and scored McClelland before Evan Tsipenyuk singled to drive in Braeden Tsipenyuk, tying the game at 4.

Pioneer (5-0) wasn’t done there. Following a strikeout and Cyhowski being thrown out on a fielder’s choice at home, Ben Werner cracked a single that brought Mauthe and Evan Tsipenyuk in to score. Jackson Campbell knocked a single to right that drove in Tsipenyuk before McClelland got up for the second time in the inning and singled to plate Jackson Glazier and Werner, giving the Panthers a 9-4 advantage. 

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The game was the halted for about 20 minutes due to the rain, and when it picked up again Braeden Tsipenyuk drew a walk. Cyhowski singled to knock Campbell in and Mauthe blasted a triple to the centerfield fence to score McClelland and Braeden Tsipenyuk, and suddenly Pioneer held a 12-4 lead going into the sixth. 

Greenfield got one run back in the top of the sixth, with Deven Dubie cracking a sacrifice fly that scored Arthur Fitzpatrick, cutting the lead to 12-5.

The Panthers responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Glazier got things started with a double, Werner and McClelland drew walks before Braeden Tsipenyuk was walked, bringing Glazier home. Cyhowski hit a sac fly to drive in Werner, helping close out the win for the Panthers. 

The win was the fourth in five days for Pioneer, which got its season going on the right foot.  

“I’m very happy,” Luippold said. “The guys were talking about how it’s Friday and we have the whole weekend to rest. Give us two hours of your time and they worked hard for it. You can’t ask for more from your team when they start the year with four games in week one.”

Following two scoreless innings to open the contest, the Green Wave put the first run on the board in the top of the third. Dubie drew a walk and eighth grader Chase Zraunig knocked his second base hit of the game before John Marchefka drilled a single that drove in Dubie to give Greenfield the lead. 

The Panthers answered in the bottom of the third with some crafty base running. McClelland reached on a walk and stole second. He went to steal third, got a good jump and when the pitch sailed over the catcher’s head, McClelland raced home to tie the game at one. 

Pioneer took the lead in the fourth when Glazier reached on a fielder’s choice and Werner blasted a triple to knock him in, putting the Panthers ahead 2-1. 

The Green Wave bats came alive in the fifth. Dubie started it with a single, stole second and used his speed to score from second on a fielder’s choice after Marchefka was thrown out at first. 

Michael Pierce doubled to score Zraunig, who was walked earlier in the frame. An error brought Pierce in to score, giving Greenfield its 4-2 lead. 

Werner tossed the first five innings for Pioneer, striking out three. Glazier  pitched the final two innings and tacked on three strikeouts. 

“Benny fought through a lot on the mound,” Luippold said. “He only gave up four runs in those five innings. Jack came in and closed it out for us.” 

Thomas struck out five while Fitzpatrick added a strikeout for Greenfield. 

Softball

Pioneer 14, Mahar 13 — Tied 13-13 in the bottom of the seventh, Giulia Stark came to the plate and knocked a base hit to drive in a run to propel the Panthers to a Franklin County League East victory in Northfield on Friday. 

Layla Goulston cracked a triple, Kelly Baird knocked a single and a triple, Kiara Gruszkowski doubled and singled while Abbie Ray and Allie Clary both tallied two hits for Pioneer. 

Alivia Patch blasted a double and a triple while Avery Savage hit a single for Mahar. 

Ultimate

Four Rivers 15, Amherst 4 — Caleb Bird Richa rds scored five goals and assisted on two others, as the Oters improved to 7-0 with a victory over the Hurricanes in Amherst Friday. 

Russell Herbert scored and added three assists in the win.