Photo Gallery | Pittsfield Post 68 rolls to win at Wahconah Park
PITTSFIELD >> It was a pretty hot Saturday afternoon at Wahconah Park, without a lot of cloud cover for the sun. Maybe that's why Post 68 made quick work of its foe from East Longmeadow.
Post 68 pounded out 11 hits against two pitchers from Post 293, and when Mike Hurley tripled home Jake Flynn in the fifth inning, Post 68 (8-1) had itself a 12-0, mercy-rule win.
"We're getting there. We've been kind of flat the last few games. Today, I think we were a little more upbeat and cheering for each other," Post 68 left fielder Jack Cooney said. "We're in a good spot for [Sunday].
"We've been sharpening up the last few games and I think everyone is starting to jell."
Post 68 scored multiple runs in every inning, except the fourth — when Pittsfield was shut out. Matt Schneider had two hits and two runs batted in during his four innings of work, while Simon Nassif and Abdiel Cotto-Hernandez also had two hits each. The aforementioned Cooney didn't get a hit until his last at-bat, but scored three runs, as a leadoff hitter should do.
"I think we're rounding into form," Post 68 coach Pat Bassi said. "[Sunday] is a big game with Aldenville and then Longmeadow on Monday.
"That'll define where we stand with the big boys."
The Aldenville game is the second game of a doubleheader Sunday at Clapp Park. Post 68 will play Wilbraham at 1 p.m., with the Aldenville game at 4.
On Saturday, Ross Omelenchuck and Mike Hurley combined to pitch a three-hit shutout. Omelenchuck went the first four.
"He did really well. This is his third outing and every game he's pitched, his pitch count has been way down," said Bassi. "He's really pounding the zone and making good pitches."
In his four innings, Omelenchuck gave up two hits to East Longmeadow's Joey Mack. Omelenchuck did not walk a batter and struck out four. On three of those four strikeouts, the ball dove on the batter that catcher Nate Stump had to throw the hitter out at first base.
As efficient as Post 68 was offensively, Omelenchuck was efficient on the bump. The right-hander had only one 2-2 count in the game, and never pitched with a full count.
"My fastball was working a lot. I only really threw my fastball and curve. I don't think I threw one change the whole game," said Omelenchuck. "It was just hitting the strike zone and trying to keep them off balance."
Post 68 got all the runs it needed in the first, scoring four times on three hits and two East Longmeadow errors. Simon Nassif drove in Cooney, who reached on a leadoff error, with a double to left-center. Mike Downer drove in a run with a single to center, while the other two runs scored on a wild pitch and an error, respectively.
Post 68 added two runs in the second and sent nine hitters to the plate in a four-run, three-hit third inning. After Shane Tierney belted an RBI double to left, East Longmeadow starter Tommaso Tolis was done for the day. He went 2 1/3 innings, giving up 10 runs (eight earned) on seven hits.
Game stopped in fifth inning by 12-run rule.
Tommaso Tolis (2 1/3), Tristan Longmore (1 2/3) and Martin Ryan. Ross Omelenchuck (4), Mike Hurley (1) and Nate Stump. W—Omelenchuck. L—Tolis. 2B—P (Matt Schneider, Simon Nassif, Shane Tierney). 3B—P (Hurley).
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.