GREAT BARRINGTON -- The Drury baseball team didn’t go down easily, fighting to the last pitch. But go down the Blue Devils did and with it, a chance for a tournament berth.
Drury needed to beat Monument Mountain and Lee today in order to qualify for the Western Massachusetts Division II tournament. They came up a little short as the Spartans scored a 6-5 win on Wednesday afternoon.
"We battled and for whatever reason this year, the baseball gods did not like us," Drury coach Al Marceau said shortly after addressing his team. "We don’t get the bloopers to fall in. We don’t get the ball down the line or in the gap. We hit balls at people. It’s a tough situation."
Wilson Flower, who was 2 for 3 with five runs batted in, pitched the final three innings in relief of Christian Callahan. Drury put the go-ahead run on second with two outs but Flower pitched out of the jam of his own making by getting Kareen Beckett on a fly ball to Tyler Barry in right to end the game.
"I was yelling ‘Catch it, catch it.’ I knew [Barry] would get there. He’s a tough kid," said Flower. "I was nervous. [Beckett] definitely hit it."
Flower also gave the Spartans a 6-4 lead with a two-run single off pitcher Max Quinn in the bottom of the fifth.
Monument nearly put this game out of reach in the first inning. Flower hit a three-run double as the Spartans scored four runs on three hits. Bobby Kinne worked a four-pitch walk to start the inning.
"When you know you have to win, it’s even different than a tournament game," said Marceau. "In a tournament, you hope you win. When you know you have to win, I think we were a little bit tense in the beginning."
The Blue Devils and Quinn settled down after the first inning. The senior right-hander retired 10 straight batters until Barry’s one-out single in the fifth. Drury meanwhile had chipped into the lead with a run in the second and two in the third.
Drury tied the game in the fourth inning when Kodey Brice walked with one out. After Joel Giorgi popped out, Ryan Ouimet singled. A double steal put runners on second and third and Brice scored on Quinn’s single. Callahan got Robert Jutras on a grounder to Bobby Kinne at short to end the threat.
Monument took the lead back in the home fifth with two unearned runs on three hits and a costly error. Flower’s two-run single plated Barry and Kinne to make it
"I knew I was going to go in and pitch the next inning. I was going to feel a lot more comfortable with some run support," said Flower. "I figured I had to do it for myself there."
Drury parlayed two hits, a sacrifice and a sacrifice fly by Ouimet into a sixth-inning run off of Flower, to make it 6-5. The tying run was stranded at third when Quinn grounded back to the pitcher to end the game.
"If we played like this all year" the Blue Devils would have had a better record, said Quinn. "We didn’t kick it into gear in time. We have to look at this with heads up. It’s always a bummer."
Drury 012 101 0 -- 5 11 1
Monument 400 020 x -- 6 6 0
Max Quinn and Slayter Aubin. Christian Callahan (4), Wilson Flower (3) and Nick Greenleaf. W -- Flower. L -- Quinn. 2B -- MM 1 (Flower).