Junior Legion: Post 81 falls to Wilbraham in District 3 finals (PHOTOS)

  • Greenfield Post 81 pitcher Caleb Thomas throws against Wilbraham Post 286 in the top of the fifth inning during the Junior Legion championship game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield Post 81 catcher Trevor Kuchieski throws down to second base against Wilbraham Post 286 in the top of the fifth inning during the Junior Legion championship game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield Post 81 batter Johnny Marchefka hits against Wilbraham Post 286 in the bottom of the fourth inning during the Junior Legion championship game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield Post 81 baserunner Jake Petrin slides safely into third base before heading home to score on a wild throw against Wilbraham Post 286 in the bottom of the fourth inning during the Junior Legion championship game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield Post 81 batter Jake Lavin lays down a bunt against Wilbraham Post 286 in the bottom of the fourth inning during the Junior Legion championship game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield Post 81 baserunner Johnny Marchefka crosses home plate to score against Wilbraham Post 286 in the bottom of the fourth inning during the Junior Legion championship game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield Post 81 pitcher Caleb Thomas throws against Wilbraham Post 286 in the top of the third inning during the Junior Legion championship game Tuesday night at Vets Field in Greenfield. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 7/26/2022 10:08:59 PM

GREENFIELD — It all came apart for the Greenfield Post 81 Junior Legion team in the sixth inning on Tuesday night.

Greenfield led Wilbraham Post 286 by a 2-1 margin going into the frame, but Wilbraham’s bats came to life and knocked five hits to put four runs on the board and take a 5-2 lead. 

Post 81 got a run back in the sixth but that was all it could muster in the final two innings, falling 6-3 in the championship game of the American Legion District 3 tournament at Vets Field in Greenfield. 

Wilbraham advanced to the state tournament in Natick, which begins on Saturday.

“It was a roller coaster of a season,” Greenfield coach Colin Cloutier said. “We started off 1-4 and turned that into a 10-5 regular season record. We turned it on when we needed to. We came out firing in the playoffs and it came down to [Wilbraham]. They’re a good baseball team and we fell three runs short.” 

Caleb Thomas pitched well for Post 81 and held the Wilbraham bats down through five innings, striking out five and allowing just three hits along the way. 

Wilbraham was finally able to crack him in the sixth. Vincent Chiarizo got things going with a single before Keegan Duke blasted a double to deep center to put runners on second and third. 

Ben Langone came to the plate and knocked a single, scoring Chiarizo and tying the game, 2-2. A balk on the ensuing at bat brought Duke home from third, giving Wilbraham the lead. 

Langone stole third and made it home on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 4-2. John Fitzgerald then hit a single and Ben Daniels drove him in with a double to give Wilbraham a 5-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth. 

“That was their third time seeing Caleb and they finally figured something out,” Cloutier said. “They put some good wood on the ball all day. I was proud of how Caleb threw. He battled out there and threw great.” 

John Marchefka opened the bottom of the sixth with a single. Ethan Mauthe was hit by a pitch and Ben Werner drew a walk to load the bases when Jake Lavin grounded out to score Marchefka, cutting the deficit to 5-3. 

Dylen Richardson reached first after the ball hit the umpire at short, but the ruling didn’t allow Mauthe or Werner, who were on third and second respectively, to advance. 

Wilbraham pitcher Jack Strout got a strikeout to end the inning with the bases loaded and prevent any further damage. 

Werner came on to pitch the seventh for Post 81. Chiarizo drew a walk and scored from first after Langone ripped a double that was about an inch away from hitting the foul line down left field, extending the lead to 6-3. 

Greenfield was unable to get a run off Strout in the seventh.

Competing with only nine players — something all too familiar to Post 81 — Cloutier said he was proud of the fight his team showed all season. 

“We were calling ourselves the Mudville Nine all season because we were showing up to games left and right with nine guys and coming out on top,” Cloutier said. “We liked to instill some nastiness and have a chip on our shoulder and go out and win a baseball game. That’s been our summer.” 

Wilbraham opened the scoring in the third, with Daniels reaching on a single, stealing second and scoring on a Ryan Adkin single. 

Greenfield answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead. Jake Petrin opened the frame with a single and Marchefka followed it up with a single of his own. Petrin took third on the Marchefka hit, but the throw sailed over the third baseman’s head, allowing Petrin to score and tie the game, 1-1. 

Marchefka ended up on third following the error and scored on a Werner ground out to give Post 81 the lead. 

Marchefka and Petrin each finished the game with two hits for Greenfield. 

F.C. Babe Ruth

Sovann Noeun knocked a double, Brandon Engelke-Aiken cracked three hits and Aiden Barilone tallied a pair of hits to lift Akey Insurance past Brattleboro Post 5, 14-4, on Monday in the second round of the Franklin County Babe Ruth Playoffs. 

Julian Kaiser brought in a pair of runs with a double, Juleyen Laughran-Carter drove in two runs with a single, Quenton Washington had an RBI single and Braeden Talbot hit safely in the win. Laughran-Carter struck out seven in four innings on the hill while Engelke-Aiken recorded three strikeouts in two innings for Akey’s. 

Eric Kunkle and Luke Harrison had hits for Brattleboro while Sean Cozza struck out six on the mound in the loss. 

Adult softball

Greenfield Co-ed League

The bats were alive for Thayer Street Builders on Tuesday, as the club outslugged RG Penfield, 10-8, in a Greenfield Adult Co-ed League contest.

Andy Craver, Jay Sadler and Tom Anderson all went 4-for-4 in the victory, while Kelly Sadler added a pair of hits for Thayer Street Builders.

Penfield’s Tyler Leroux (two hits) and Ainslee Penfield each had a home run for their side.

Golf

Edge Hill Men’s League

Mark Eaton paced the A Division field at Tuesday’s Edge Hill Men’s League, posting a plus-6 point quota to nab first place ahead of second-place finishers Junior Rivera and Ronnie Parker (plus-4).

Eaton shot 34 to score low gross honors, and Rivera’s 32 was the low net.

In the B Division, Roland Carantit’s plus-5 topped the point quota field, followed by Jim Small and Tom Miner (plus-3). Paul Champigny shot 43 for low gross and Paul Hill’s 30 was the low net.

Closest to the pin winners were Bill Green (No. 10, 6-7) and John Walsh (No. 16, 9 inches).

Basketball

DRIVE League

Ben Sledge scored 15 points and James McNally put in 14 points in Northampton’s 59-38 win over Turners on Monday in a boys varsity contest of the DRIVE League at Greenfield High School. 

Cameron Burnett finished with eight points for the Thunder. 

The second game of the night saw Jake Redmond drop 25 points to lead Easthampton past Hadley, 97-46. Owen Earle had 15 points and Chace Earle scored 14 points in the loss. 

To finish out the night, Caleb Murray poured in 26 points and Jon Breor added 20 points in Greenfield’s 79-34 win over Hinsdale. Brayden Eastman tallied 15 points in the loss. 

Miscellany

Soccer officiating course

The Connecticut Valley Soccer Officials Association is conducting an instructional course during August for those interested to referee scholastic soccer matches. The CVSOA membership serves all of the public and private school teams in Hampshire and Franklin counties. Matches are played during September, October and the first week of November.  

The instructional course consists of five two-hour classes conducted during convenient weekday evening hours at the Deerfield Inn. The fee for the course is $50. All CVSOA members must register with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and pass a background check. Email Artie Burke at AEBurke11@verizon.net if you are interested in joining the local scholastic soccer referees' group.


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