Arnold pitches Post 81 to win

Recorder Intern
Published: 6/17/2019 10:45:11 PM

GREENFIELD — Ben Arnold pitched a complete-game shutout to lead his team to victory on Monday night, as Greenfield Post 81 beat Belchertown Post 239, 4-0, in American Legion Senior Division Zone 1/2 action under the lights at Vets Field.

“I felt good about it. I mean…all and all, it was a good team win and I’m content,” said Arnold of his performance.

The reliever turned starter had 11 strikeouts and just one walk in his two-hit shutout against visiting Post 239. When asked about the transition, Arnold saw clear differences between his time coming out of the bullpen at Springfield College and his American Legion play. 

“I didn’t start in college. It was a lot of relief pitching, so seven innings is a lot on my arm today… I’m gassed,” said Arnold. 

Garrett DeForest broke the game open for Post 81 (2-1) in the third inning, when he blasted a triple into right field. He scored thanks to a Kiernan Freeman sacrifice fly. After a single from Connor Waitkus, Belchertown starting pitcher Ryan French walked two batters before an error at third base from Michael White scored Waitkus to make it 2-0. 

“We had some timely hitting. We had guys step up with good at bats. French was tough, but Ben dulled him out. (Arnold) was throwing some heat,” said Post 81 head coach Kyle Phelps. 

Jacob Bryant put the game out of reach in the fifth inning for Post 81, as he cleared two men from the bases with a two-run double to make it a 4-0 game. 

“Every game is a tough game, there are no bad teams in this league,” said Phelps. “Belchertown has a heck of a team. It’s not like some of the teams in the past, this is a legitimate team.”

For Post 81, Cloutier went 2-for-3 with two singles and a run scored. Bryant had two RBIs and Waitkus and Freeman each had one. 

“I think we played our best game yet. We had a great game against Northampton (a 2-1 win on Saturday), but all and all, it was a good team win,” said Phelps. 

French took the loss for Belchertown Post 239, giving up four runs (three earned) and four walks to go with one strikeout over four innings of work. Both Judah Katz and Carter Matthews pitched hitless innings in relief, with striking out one.

Greenfield plays next Thursday night at 7 p.m. back at Vets Field against East Longmeadow Post 293.

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