The Western Mass. baseball seeds and pairings will be released this evening, and 11 of 12 Berkshire County teams have earned postseason berths.
Monument Mountain, Drury, Pittsfield, Taconic and Wahconah represent the North Division. Mount Greylock, Hoosac Valley, Lenox, St. Joseph and Lee are representing the South Division. McCann Tech made Western Mass. out of the Tri-County League.
The baseball and softball seed meetings for Western Mass. are being held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Northampton High School.
The Generals enter the tournament as winners of 10 of their last 11 games. Their wins over Division III and IV Berkshire County opponents won't help their seed on paper, but Bob Moynihan said his team is as battle-tested as any other Division I school.
"Any team in the county is capable of making a run," Moynihan said. "A home game would be nice, but where you're seeded doesn't really matter. A team's got to get hot for two weeks."
When the seeds are released, Division I teams like Pittsfield and Taconic may be under-seeded, because the Walker system does not weigh wins against Division III and IV opponents as heavily as Division I wins.
Moynihan said the rigid calculations of the Walker system don't factor in how tough Berkshire County teams really are, relying only on the size of the division. He points to his team's 15-5 record and its 5-1 record against non-league Division I teams (highlighted by a 4-3 win over defending Western Mass. champion Westfield) as reasons his team deserves a high rank.
Monument Mountain enters the Division III tournament coming off a tough final tune-up against Division I West Springfield on Monday, falling 4-3. Monument coach Tom Hankey said he doesn't feel that his team had anything to prove against West Springfield, and with a strong field of Division III teams, his sole focus is his own division.
"We looked at it as we went up there to win, so we're disappointed," he said. "The competition we played during the season will prepare us for the tournament. We'll put it behind us and get ready for [Western Mass.]."
In a tournament setting, Moynihan said a strong starting pitcher can be the equalizer. Drury ended strong under coach Pat Boulger, winning five of its last six, and pitcher Schuyler Robinson's shown the ability to get on a roll from the mound. The same can be said about Taconic's Joey Dewey or Lenox's Dillon Benham.
Greylock coach Steve Messina said the strong Berkshire County representation in the postseason speaks for itself in terms of the quality of the baseball played in the area.
"I'll put Berkshire County baseball against anybody in the state," Messina said. "We're tested in every game we play and it's a good baseball area.
"The coaches that we have are guys that have been around for a long time. We understand and take pride in how we represent our county. I couldn't be prouder of the baseball played here."
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