PITTSFIELD — Pittsfield Post 68 pitcher Patrick Colvin faced the minimum through four innings, and the offense took care of the rest, batting around in two out of the four innings en route to a 14-0 win over Wilbraham Post 286 on Wednesday at Clapp Park.
The win sets up a winner's bracket match against Longmeadow at Clapp Thursday at 6 p.m.
Heading into the game, Colvin knew he needed to change his routine after a rough outing against South Hadley two weeks ago. After a long postgame chat with coach Pat Bassi, the former Millionaire said he made sure to get extra rest before the game. He didn't miss many bats, but he kept the hard-hit balls to a minimum, allowing only one hit and striking out one.
"I just wanted to help the team out any way I could," he said. "They told me yesterday I was going to get the ball, so I went to bed early, changed up the routine a bit and I think that helped me a lot."
After a 1-2-3 top half of the first, Post 68 scored four runs in their half of the inning. Matt Koperniak had an RBI triple. Matt Schneider followed with a RBI single and scored on an error. Simon Nassif scored on a ground out for the final run.
The host sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run second. They added four more runs on four hits in the third, taking a 14-0 lead. Cooney led the offense with three hits, three runs scored and one RBI. Koperniak went 2 for 2 with three RBI. Nassif had three hits and three RBI. The heart of the order did a majority of the damage going 11 of 13 with 10 RBI and two walks before being subbed out in the fourth. Cooney stayed in the middle of the action out of the No. 2 spot.
"Honestly it is," Cooney said when asked if hitting was really contagious. "It gives the batter the confidence. He knows the guy before him just got a hit, so he keeps it rolling and we just kept it going every inning.
"It's important to get runs every inning and it helps Colv out on the mound. ... Good team win."
Bassi said Cooney's maturity allows him to excel out of the No. 2 spot, where situational hitting is key.
In addition to strong offense, Post 68 flashed their leather as well. Mike Downer made a heads-up play at third base in the fourth, catching a hard line drive and doubling off the runner at first. The team did not commit an error.
With the team's offense firing on all cylinders, Bassi said his team is looking to avenge a 3-1 loss to Longmeadow during the regular season. After scoring four runs against Wilbraham and three runs against Aldenville, during on doubleheader June 26, the team followed that with its loss to Longmeadow. Since the loss however, Post 68's sparked a eight-game winning streak, scoring an average of 10 runs.
Patrick Colvin (4), Michael Hurley (1) and Matt Schneider (4), Nate Stump. W — Colvin. 2B — P 1 (Jack Cooney). 3B — P 2 (Matt Koperniak, Simon Nassif),
Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252