WILLIAMSTOWN — Pittsfield starting pitcher Chris Tracy took one for the team on Thursday afternoon. Then he turned around and finished up a big win for the Generals.
Tracy was sitting in the dugout when he was hit by a foul ball. PHS interim coach Seamus Morrison thought about taking the junior righty out of the game. Turns out it was a good thing he didn't.
Having been staked to a big lead, Tracy shut host Mount Greylock down over the final two innings to preserve a 12-4 win.
"Never on the bench, always on the field," said Tracy, when asked about being hit. "Ground balls that are thrown are the worst.
"I didn't see it coming."
Tracy had one bad inning for Pittsfield, giving up three runs on a bases-loaded triple by Greylock's Hunter Abriel in the fourth inning. In the seventh, Tracy walked leadoff hitter Brandon Condon, but Cal Messina grounded into a double play and Brodie Altiere popped to second baseman Shane Tierney to end the game.
"Even after he got hit with the foul ball in the bottom of the fifth, he gutted it out," said Morrison, "and came back in a big way for us, which was great."
Tracy finished the day having given up seven hits and two walks, striking out four against a Greylock team that is always good offensively.
The win was the third straight for Pittsfield (9-6), and their second consecutive game reaching the double-figure mark. Pittsfield got that rolling with a six-run third inning. The Generals batted around, sending 11 batters to the plate against the Mounties (9-6). They scored six runs on three hits, and error, a couple of walks and a hit-batter.
"It's definitely been a struggle to get things going sometimes," said Tierney. "We're glad we could today."
The inning started when Greylock starter Josh Jezouit walked the No. 8 and 9 hitters, Matt Newton and Gabe Coyne, to lead things off. The first run scored when Quinn Matthews hit a slow roller that Greylock third baseman Brodie Altiere charged, but Matt Newton scored when catcher Abriel couldn't keep his foot on the plate. The big hit of the inning was a two-run single by Austin Houghtaling.
"[Wednesday], the bats woke up against Agawam. We put 10 hits on the board, and it carried over to today," said Morrison.
The day actually started badly for Pittsfield. Tierney reached on an error to lead off the game, stole second and took third when Matthews beat out a sacrifice bunt attempt for a single.
But both Tierney and Matthews were caught in the middle of a bollixed up potential double steal. Matthews was tagged out in a run down and Greylock second baseman Zach Condon's heads-up play got Tierney between third and home to complete a very rare no-pitch double play.
That was a highlight for the Mounties, who committed four errors in the game, leading to three unearned runs.
"You have to play perfect against teams like [Pittsfield]," said Greylock coach Steve Messina. "They're a good team, but when you make mistakes at this level — we don't have guys who will hit the ball 500 feet to make up for that. We don't have guys who can start driving the ball in the gap.
"We're a team, and most teams are like this for the most part, we can't make mistakes and expect to do well."
When the day was done, Pittsfield had scored 12 runs on 12 hits. Both teams now need one win to qualify for their respective Western Massachusetts baseball tournaments.
"We're on our way up," said Tierney. "We still have some work to do, but it's good progress."
Chris Tracy and Austin Houghtaling. Josh Jezouit (6), Nick Rondeau and Hunter Abriel. W—Tracy. L—Jezouit. 2B—P (Gabe Coyne), MG (Phil Guest). 3B—MG (Hunter Abriel)
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.