H.S. Baseball: Frontier rallies for 4-3 victory over Hopkins Academy

  • Hopkins Academy junior shortstop Andrew Ciaglo can’t quite reach the throw from home allowing Frontier Regional junior Kevin Baumann to steal second base in the third inning of the Golden Hawks’ road 4-3 loss to the Redhawks on Wednesday in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Frontier Regional senior first baseman Jacob Bryant, left, applies a late glove to Hopkins Academy senior Braeden Tudryn tagging back safely in the third inning of the Redhawks’ 4-3 win over the visiting Golden Hawks on Wednesday in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Frontier Regional pitcher Tyler Baranowski just misses a grounder by Hopkins Academy’s Jacob Smith in the second inning of the Redhawks’ 4-3 win over the visiting Golden Hawks on Wednesday in South Deerfield. Frontier second baseman Ben Martino made the stop and throw to first for the second out of the inning. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hopkins Academy senior pitcher Jack Feltovic delivers to a Frontier Regional batter in the third inning of the Golden Hawks’ 4-3 road loss to the Red Hawks on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 5/19/2021 10:50:23 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Tyler Baranowski cracked but didn’t break. Frontier Regional’s apex predator pitcher allowed three Hopkins Academy runs in the fourth inning Wednesday at home then silenced the Golden Hawks as his offense rallied to a 4-3 victory. He struck out seven batters and allowed six hits, none over the final three innings. Baranowski retired seven of the final eight batters he faced.

“I’ve just got to stay calm and trust my defense. My defense is great,” Baranowski said. “I have a lot of faith in them, and they’ll make big plays when we need it.”

But first they made some mistakes. Hopkins pitcher Jack Feltovic led off the fourth inning by reaching on an error. A Patrick Fitzgibbons double moved him to third. Then Andrew Ciaglo got to first on an error. Freshman catcher Jack Smith singled two runs in to break a scoreless deadlock. Liam Flynn drove Ciaglo across home with a single, but Frontier’s defense recovered to stop the bleeding.

“When the other team makes mistakes or gives us opportunities to get an infield hit or move up a base, we’ve done a good job of taking advantage of that. That’s what we did here, too,” Hopkins coach Dan Vreeland said. “That kid didn’t throw bad enough to let up three runs. Baranowski looked phenomenal in there.”

Even after the shaky inning, Frontier coach Chris Williams didn’t waver on his commitment to Baranowski. He was sticking to his ace.

“When it comes to pitching, Tyler is our alpha. Fourth win of the season,” Williams said. “There was no question of any time whether we were going to make a pitching change at any point.”

The Redhawks offense, which only mustered two baserunners in the first three innings against Feltovic, gained some traction in the fourth. Ben Martino led off with a walk, then Jacob Bryant singled to move him to third. He was thrown out trying to steal second, but Martino ran home on the throw to make it 3-1. Kevin Baumann walked and was eventually brought home by a Chris Gochinski single that cut Hopkins’ lead to a single run.

“This isn’t something that’s new to us. We’re talented enough that any given inning we can explode,” Williams said.

Frontier loaded the bases in the fifth inning thanks to two errors and a walk, bringing up Kevin Baumann. He drew a walk that tied the game at 3.

“Our bench is the greatest. They’re staying behind us the whole game,” Sam Schreiber said. “When we get down we know we can rely on them to keep us up.”

In the bottom of the sixth, the Redhawks went up on the scoreboard, too. Gochinski reached on an error then stole second. After a strikeout, Schreiber, Frontier’s No. 9 hitter, stepped into the box. Feltovic put his back to the wall with two strikes, then Schreiber choked up and slapped a go-ahead RBI triple into right-center field.

“I’m shortened up trying to get the ball in play, and it just happened to be a great pitch for me to hit,” he said.

Baranowski and the defense finished the job against the top of the Hopkins order. Braeden Tudryn grounded out to second base, then Kouji Ishida popped out to second. Feltovic walked to put the tying runner on base, bringing up Patrick Fitzgibbons with two outs. He drove a pitch to deep center field, but Frontier’s Jake Dodge snagged it laid out after a full horizontal dive to end the game. The Redhawks’ entire bench raced out to him and chest bumped him, hollering the whole way to the outfield.

“We love it,” Baranowski said. “To see that kid excel and make that crazy catch is a perfect way to end the game.”

It was Baranowski’s fourth win of the season and kept the Redhawks undefeated. Hopkins Academy fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, but Vreeland finds value in testing the Golden Hawks during the regular season.

“I’d rather play the Frontiers and the tough teams like that. They always give us a good one,” he said. “I always appreciate playing them because when we see teams in the playoffs, you don’t see too many that look like this.”

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter


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