Photo Gallery | McCann Tech vs. Smith Academy in W.Mass Div. IV baseball
PITTSFIELD — McCann Tech only needed three hits to advance to the Western Mass. Division IV final, as the Hornets defeated Smith Acadamy 4-2 at Wahconah Park on Thursday.
McCann (18-5) advances to the Western Mass. final for the first time since 1987. The fifth-seeded Hornets will face No. 3 Lenox for the championship on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at UMass-Amherst.
While there were nine hits between the two teams, each squad had opportunities to break the game open as McCann and eighth-seeded Smith combined to leave 15 men on base, with 11 of them in scoring position.
Robert Matte got the start for the Hornets and had to fight for every out. Eleven of the 28 batters Matte faced saw at least five pitches.
"I wasn't worried, I know I have a good defense," Matte said. "When I got behind in the count, I just tried to get the ball over the plate and let them take care of the rest."
Smith was able to get on the board in the top of the first inning when Kevin Banas hit a triple to deep left field, which scored Liam Pitrat to make the score 1-0 in favor of the Falcons.
McCann went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first against Pitrat, who started the game for Smith Academy. The Hornets were able to take advantage of a couple of errors in the bottom of the second as Rob Pecor hit a double that scored Charlie Bohl, who reached on an error, to tie the game at one.
McCann went on to manufacture three more runs in the second inning, while only getting one more hit in the inning.
Banas then took over for Pitrat on the mound and went on to pitch well for the Falcons. Smith relied on their pitching as Banas only allowed two baserunners for the remainder of the game.
"We didn't have any bad innings pitching-wise," Falcon coach Jeff Pluta said. "When we make errors, they are going to score runs, that is just how it is."
Smith cut McCann's lead to two in the top of the fifth inning on a sac fly from Banas, which scored John Ferrara. Matte was able to settle in, though, as he got out of a bases loaded-jam.
With the two-run lead going into the 7th, senior Austin Miller took over on the mound for McCann.
"Our number two was getting tired, and while he pitched the other day, Miller is a senior leader and I know what he can do," McCann coach Pat Ryan said. "We brought him in to seal the deal and he did a great job."
Miller started the inning by walking Pitrat. Then, a Banas single had Smith Acadamy threatening with runners on first and second and nobody out. But Miller got the next two batters out before walking Thomas Hammond to load the bases with two outs.
With the bases loaded and a two-run lead, Miller sealed the deal for the Hornets as the next hitter popped out to end the game.
Liam Pitrat (2), Kevin Banas (4) and Jack Hession. Robert Matte (6) and Austin Miller (1) and Charlie Bohl. W — Matte. L — Pitrat. S — Miller. 2B — S 2 (Matt Bouley, John Ferrara), M 2 (Rob Pecor, Bohl). 3B — S 1 (Banas).