LEOMINSTER -- The Pittsfield Suns came limping into Wednesday night's game against Wachusett. But the Suns -- 1-7 in their last eight games -- left historic Doyle Field riding high, as a back-breaking eighth inning paved the way for a much needed, 17-9 Futures Collegiate Baseball League victory over the Dirt Dawgs. The Suns scored eight times in the inning.
But the Suns -- 1-7 in their last eight games -- left historic Doyle Field riding high, as a back-breaking eighth inning paved the way for a much needed, 17-9 Futures Collegiate Baseball League victory over the Dirt Dawgs. The Suns scored eight times in the inning.
"We'll take it any way we can," said Pittsfield manager Tom Conley. "The worst thing happened to us getting down early, but they did a good job of coming back and the bats were really alive tonight."
Knotted at 9-9 into the eighth, Wachusett (8-15) committed two straight errors to open the inning. Ryan Olmo smoked a single past the third baseman to plate one run, and three batters later John Kinne flicked a two-run double down the right-field line as the Suns led 12-9.
Wachusett's third miscue of the inning brought home another run, and Frank Crinella's RBI single to center put the Suns (11-14) well out in front, 14-9. Steve Dill tacked on a little insurance with a two-run double to right field and Kyle Singleton (4 for 6, 2 RBI) added an RBI infield single.
"Offensively, you put up nine runs a game you should win 100 percent of the time," Dirt Dawgs manager Nick Barese said.
In all, the Suns sent 13 batters to the plate and registered five hits to blow the game wide open.
"We got some help [with the] kind of tough conditions out here and we took advantage of it," Conley said. "That was huge for us because we've been the ones getting the beating on us with the six-run inning, five-run inning, so it was good to be the one doing it."
Both teams kept trading the lead throughout, but Wachusett, which entered 5-5 in its last 10 contests, tied it up 9-9 on Austin Mock's mammoth solo homer to left field with one out in the seventh inning.
The Dirt Dawgs launched four homers on the evening.
Trailing 8-7, the Suns rallied back with two runs in the seventh on Derek Gardella's two-run homer over the Nichols College sign in center field for a 9-8 lead.
Olmo's sacrifice fly plated Pittsfield designated hitter Dill to knot the score at 7-all in the fifth.
But Wachusett came back to take back the lead, 8-7, on Austin Sistrunk's RBI fielder's choice.
The Dirt Dawgs regained the lead 7-6, in the fourth, as Jamill Moquete walked and scored on Josh Raymond's two-run homer that barely snuck over the left-field fence.
Wachusett pulled to within a run at 6-5 on John Boyd's RBI line-drive single to left and Joe Coyne's RBI fielder's choice.
Both starters in the game -- Wachusett's Joey Gaouette and Pittsfield's Alex Basso -- lasted only 21 3 innings.
Wachusett led early, but the third inning was a tough one as Pittsfield batted through the order, taking advantage of an error and four straight walks, to fuel a six-run inning and 6-3 lead.
Brenden Geary led off by reaching on an error and Gaouette, who cruised through two perfect frames to open the game, walked four straight to bring in two runs.
The Suns' Singleton then lined an RBI single to center and Ryan Olmo followed with a two-run double to right-center. David Montiverdi replaced Gaouette and allowed an RBI groundout to Derek Gardella to cap the inning.
Wachusett came out swinging in the first inning and showcased its power in the lineup with two solo homers for a 2-0 lead after one.
Sistrunk led off the inning with solo homer to center, and two batters later the ever-dangerous Moquete launched a long solo shot to center off Basso.
Tyler McVicar and Nate Pajka each singled, but Basso got a big strikeout to avoid further damage in rocky first for the Suns right-hander.