GREAT BARRINGTON -- Twelve mon ths ago, Monument Mountain’s last home baseball game of the season didn’t go too well. The 2014 Spartans weren’t about to let history repeat itself.
The top-seeded Spartans scored seven runs in the first inning and then went cold, but it was enough to beat No. 8 Wahconah 7-3 on Tuesday afternoon and advance to a Western Mass. Division III semifinal on Thursday. Last year, the Spartans were also the top seed, but lost to ninth-seeded Southwick as Monument was one and done.
"I don’t know about the other guys, but it was in the back of my mind because I pitched that game last year," said Monument pitcher Peter Oggiani. "I think it was important for us to get that first big inning and we just kind of cruised from there.
"It was in the back of my mind, so I made sure that even though we had a pretty good lead, to not let up."
Oggiani pitched a workman-like six innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out nine. James Allentuck pitched the seventh and had the potential tying run in the on-deck circle before ending the game.
At this stage of the season, artistic successes might be nice, but the idea in the postseason is win and move on.
"It was kind of a letdown how we played the last six innings. The first inning, we were up and happy, and then we kind of fell apart toward the end," said Monument catcher T.J. Shumsky. "We got the win and that’s all that matters.
The Spartans sent 13 batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring seven runs on two hits and three costly errors. Five of the seven runs were unearned.
It all started badly for the Warriors as Trevor McFarland was hit by a Kyle Kirchner pitch, Brandon Perry reached on an infield single deep in the hole at shortstop and Bobby Kinne reached on an error by shortstop Ethan Wells. Oggiani singled in a run and after Shumsky reached on a run-scoring error by third baseman Andrew Beaudoin, Dominic DeFelice belted a two-run single to right.
The sixth and seventh runs scored when McFarland and Perry were both hit by Kirchner pitches with the bases loaded. When Perry was hit, Wahconah coach Jared Shannon came out and took the ball. Freshman Ethan Forfa came on and pitched 4 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball.
That enabled the Warriors to inch their way back in. They scored a run on a double steal in the fifth and Marco Anastasio hit a two-run single in the sixth, making it 7-3. The Warriors got two on with two outs in the seventh against Allentuck, but he retired the side without further damage.
Monument shortstop Bobby Kinne was shaken up on a fourth-inning collision at first with Anastasio, beating out an infield single. Kinne did not return.
The Spartans will play 12th-seeded Athol in Thursday’s semifinal. The Red Raiders upset No. 4 Palmer 7-2.
Wahconah 000 012 0 -- 3 8 4
Monument 700 000 x -- 7 7 0
Kyle Kirchner (2/3), Ethan Forfa (4 1/3), Ethan Wells 1 and Matt Schneider. Peter Oggiani (6), James Allentuck (1) and T.J. Shumsky. W--Oggiani. L--Kirchner. S--Allentuck.
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On Twitter: @howardherman.