Senators put squeeze on Panthers

  • Jason Quinn, of Pioneer Valley Regional, pitches against Mahar Regional, Wednesday in Orange. FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Will Peredina, of Mahar Regional, makes contact against Pioneer Valley Regional, Wednesday in Orange. FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Logan Dodge, of Mahar Regional, makes a catch in centerfield against Pioneer Valley Regional, Wednesday in Orange. FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Joey Brozell, of Mahar Regional, makes a catch in right field against Pioneer Valley Regional, Wednesday in Orange.  FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

Staff Writer
Published: 5/15/2019 9:07:36 PM

ORANGE — It took three comebacks and a walk-off safety squeeze for the Mahar Regional School baseball team to get a 6-5 win over Pioneer Valley on Wednesday.

The Senators will take it. 

“Hopefully, this will ignite us a little bit,” Mahar coach Art Billings said.

Mahar (7-7 overall, 2-4 Hampshire League East) went into the final half of the seventh down 5-4 to the Panthers (8-7, 3-3).

Andrew Herk’s RBI single brought home Charlie Barnes to tie the game. 

“I knew I had to get a base hit to get it rolling,” Herk said. “I was just going in looking to advance the runner. We play them tomorrow. Hopefully we come in with the same energy.”

After stealing a bag, Herk moved to third on a single by Logan Dodge.

This brought Noaha Chabot to the plate with the winning run 90 feet away.

During a pitching change, there were whispers of a squeeze play in the Mahar huddle down the third baseline. 

“I gave my batter (Chabot) the first strike,” Billings said. “If you can get one out there, get it out there. I was very happy he got it out there.”

Chabot got the bunt down and Herk darted for the plate, scoring the game-winning run.

“When I saw the sign, I was actually worried,” Chabot said. “You have to get the right timing of the pitcher and catch the defense off guard. It feels great; we needed this one. We were in a slump. We need every win we can get at this point.”

Pioneer got a quality start out of Jason Quinn, who struck out seven hitters and gave up two earned runs in five innings.

But eight players left on base for the Panthers gave the Senators a chance in the final inning.

“We had runners on base in almost every inning,” Pioneer coach Jordan Branson. “We missed several opportunities. We didn’t execute in the right situations and let them have a chance to win.”

Barnes pitched seven innings for Mahar, giving up 10 hits, two earned runs with five strikeouts.

“We needed that,” Billings said. “I wasn’t sure how many innings he was telling me at the beginning. As the game went on, he got loose and was hitting his spots beautifully.”

Pioneer jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second.

Jacob Quinn had one of his three hits to open the inning before Troy Emond singled to put runners at first and second.

Cam Dresser knocked in both runners after a groundout moved both runners into scoring position.

Herk led off the single with a triple and eventually scored on an error to cut the Panther lead to 2-1.

In the fourth, Herk’s RBI groundout scored Barnes, who had doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch. 

Emond and Ryan Potter both knocked in runs in the fifth to give Pioneer a 4-2 lead.

In the sixth inning, Dodge, Chabot and Joey Brozell all singled to load the bases.

The Senators got two runs after Todd Chiasson’s RBI groundout and a wild pitch tied the game at four. 

Jacob Quinn knocked in another run in the seventh for Pioneer to give the Panthers the 5-4 lead going into the bottom half of the inning.

The Panthers and the Senators turn around quickly for a rematch in primetime in Northfield tonight at 6 p.m. 

Mahar 6, Pioneer 5

Pioneer ....... 020 020 1— 5  10  3

Mahar.............. 010 102 2 — 6  9  2

Hits: (P) Hubbard, Loud, Jacob Quinn 3, Emond 2, Potter, Dresser 2 . (M)  Peredina, Barnes 2, Herk 2, Dodge 2, Chabot, Brozell.

2B: (P) Hubbard, Potter, Emond. (M) Barnes .

3B: (M) Herk.

RBI: (P) Jacob Quinn, Emond, Dresser 2, Potter. (M) Herk 2, Chabot, Chaisson

SB: (P) Jacob Quinn. (M) Dodge, Herk, Barnes

WP:  Barnes (7 ip, 5k, 2bb).

LP:  Jason Quinn(5 ip,7 k, 3bb); Loud (1.1 ip, 0k 0bb); Jacob Quinn (0 ip 0k 0bb)

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