Legion: Greenfield advances to championship game with win over Belchertown

  • Greenfield Post 81 baserunner Kyle Barnes (6) beats the force out from Belchertown Post 239 pitcher Ryan Gaughan (11) on a close play in the bottom of the fourth inning during a Senior American Legion game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield Post 81 batter Kyle Barnes hits an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning against Belchertown Post 239 during a Senior American Legion game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Belchertown Post 239 pitcher Ryan Gaughan throws against Greenfield Post 81 in the bottom of the fourth inning during a Senior American Legion game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield Post 81 pitcher Shawn Davenport throws against Belchertown Post 239 in the top of the fourth inning during a Senior American Legion game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield Post 81 batter David Carey hits a single in the bottom of the third inning against Belchertown Post 239 during a Senior American Legion game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Belchertown Post 239 batter Nolan Sullivan hits an RBI single in the top of the third inning against Greenfield Post 81 during a Senior American Legion game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Belchertown Post 239 catcher Evan Hu grabs a pop-up in foul territory for an out in the bottom of the second inning against Greenfield Post 81 during a Senior American Legion game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • MJ Paulin and the Greenfield Post 81 dugout watch the game as the sun sets in the bottom of the fifth inning against Belchertown Post 239 during a Senior American Legion game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield Post 81 players come off the field after the top of the second inning against Belchertown Post 239 during a Senior American Legion game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 8/3/2021 10:13:00 PM

GREENFIELD — A pair of Mohawk Trail High School pitchers came up large under the bright lights for the Greenfield Post 81 Senior Legion team on Tuesday. 

Taking on Belchertown Post 239 with a spot in the Senior Legion District 3 championship game on the line, Shawn Davenport got the start for Post 81 and tossed five innings, striking out four, surrendering five hits and giving up just one run to keep Greenfield alive in a low-scoring affair. 

Cam Lococo came on in relief in the top of the sixth with Greenfield leading 2-1 and tossed two scoreless innings to send Post 81 to the finals with a 2-1 victory at Vets Field. 

“They stepped up,” Greenfield coach Kevin Luippold said of his pitchers. “They haven’t had the most opportunities but they showed out tonight. Beating a team who already beat us earlier in the year feels good. Our pitching keeps amazing me. We have an ERA of 2.24 throughout the whole season. It speaks for itself. Sometimes you only need two runs to win a game like this. As a first year coach, making it to the championship game is an amazing feeling. The kids make it so fun.” 

Post 81 moves on to play Westfield Post 124 in the finals on Wednesday, with first pitch set for 5:15 at Vets Field.

With it being a double-elimination tournament — and Westfield being undefeated while Greenfield lost to Westfield 5-3 on Sunday — Post 81 will need to beat Westfield twice to take home the title. If Greenfield wins the first game on Wednesday, the second game will follow as a double-header. 

“I’m excited,” Luippold said. “They’re a great ball club. They hit a couple shots off the wall when we went down there. We really have to bear down and get key hits when we need them. We didn’t leave as many runners on base today — we left nine on base the other day — and we’ll have to do the same thing.” 

Belchertown got on the board first on Tuesday. Evan Hu got on with a walk in the top of the third, stole second and was brought home with an RBI single from Nolan Sullivan to put Post 239 ahead, 1-0. 

The lead didn’t last long, with Greenfield getting on the bases in the fourth inning after having trouble solving Belchertown pitcher Ryan Gaughan. 

Ben Martino walked and Kevin Baumann reached on an error. Gaughan got a pair of strikeouts but Jake Sak hit a two-out single to load the bases for Kyle Barnes, who sent Martino home with a bouncing single up the middle to the tie game, 1-1. 

Post 81 kept the momentum at the plate going into the fifth. Jacob Quinn and Martino opened the inning with singles and Kevin Baumann smacked a single himself to score Quinn for what would be the game-winning run. 

Belchertown loaded the bases in the top of the seventh, but Lococo got Nate Mills to fly out to seal the victory. 

“All playoffs we’ve had kids step up,” Luippold said. “The rotation has been different and the lineup has been different every game but every single person I put in has stepped up and done whatever we needed them to.” 

Sak finished with a pair of hits in the win, with Brody Baird and David Carey joining Barnes, Quinn, Martino and Baumann in the hit column. 

Sullivan and Logan Dapprich each had a pair of hits in the loss while Ty Gladu and J.B. Mills both hit safely for Belchertown. Gaughan went all six innings on the hill, striking out nine. 




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