Thursday July 12, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Fresh off a brief regular season, Berkshire County American Legion champion Post 68 will face Greenfield in a District 1 first-round tournament game today at 4:30 p.m. at Clapp Park.

Post 68 (13-3) is the second seed in the District 1 playoffs. Wilbraham Post 286 (14-2) is the top seed, while Greenfield Post 81 (12-3-1) is the No. 3 seed in the three-team field.

If Pittsfield wins tonight, it will head out to Wilbraham for the District 1 championship on Monday night at 4 p.m.

All the games at this level are single-elimination, said coach Jim Mazzer, who added that Post 68 played 16 games in about a month.

"Yeah, we usually played four, sometimes five games in a week," he said. "If we had had a lot of rainouts, I think we would have been in trouble."

The good news is this: The truncated schedule helped Mazzer build a pretty good pitching staff. The not-so-good news: Two of his best pitchers, Liam Nolan and Peter Gregory, won't be available tonight.

Nolan is a member of the West scholastic team in the Bay State Games. On Tuesday night, he pitched four innings of relief as the West shut out Central, 2-0.

Gregory will be attending a college orientation session tonight.

However, Mazzer does have other options. Mike Mancivalano, a right-hander who pitched this year for MCLA, will be the starter.

"We've used four or five guys on the mound this year," said Mazzer. "We'll make do with what we have."

Tonight's contest will be a nine-inning game, as opposed to the county regular-season contests, which lasted seven innings.

Mazzer said he didn't have a lot of information on the Greenfield team.

"But our strength this year has been scoring runs," he said. "We've been hitting the ball well. If we win [tonight], we'll have our whole pitching staff ready to go on Monday."

Gregory, Andrew Ringie, Zach Neary, Cory Decker and Rory Slattery have been Mazzer's most consistent hitters this year. But, he added, the team has gotten contributions form several players.