Saturday June 8, 2013

PITTSFIELD -- Great Barrington's John Kinne drove in the first run of 2013 for the Pittsfield Suns on Thursday night. He won't get credit for it for a while.

Kinne's ground out to deep shortstop in the third inning plated Rob McLam with the first run of Friday's opener at Wahconah Park. While the rain stopped the game with the score 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh, it didn't take any of the excitement out of Kinne's return to Berkshire County.

Kinne started at shortstop for the Suns, a position he played with great skill at Monument Mountain High School. He lost his senior year at Monument due to an elbow injury and Tommy John surgery.

He is a freshman at Columbia, where he has played in the infield and outfield, but not at short.

"It was incredible just to be out there, to run onto the field and to know that my home area is behind me," he said. "Getting to play for them and represent them is just an awesome feeling."

The Great Barrington resident's next chance at starting could come tonight. Friday's game with North Shore was rained out, and a makeup date was not announced. The Suns will be in Torrington tonight.

The shortstop led the Suns on the field Friday night, a feeling he said he won't soon forget.

"It was the best. It was awesome," he said. "I couldn't believe it. It's a gift to be able to come back here after I thought I lost the opportunity to play here."

Kinne was one of two players with Berkshire County ties to be in the opening night starting lineup. Brenden Geary, the grandson of Paul Dowd, started at first base.

The Berkshire connection will grow over the weekend when Mike Geannelis of Williamstown joins the roster. Geannelis graduated Friday from the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He'll be attending the University of Massachusetts in the fall.

To reach Howard Herman:
hherman@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6253.
On Twitter: @howardherman