Photo Gallery | Pittsfield Suns fall to Seacoast
PITTSFIELD — Sometimes, a day off after a losing skid is helpful. Tuesday night, it didn't seem to help the Pittsfield Suns at all.
The Suns, who came into Tuesday's game with Seacoast having lost two in a row, extended that streak to three games as the Mavericks scored a 7-0 win in a rain-shortened game. Umpires stopped play before the Mavericks came out in the seventh.
Seacoast, who arrived in Pittsfield with a 15-7 record and a spot atop the Futures League's East Division, took the lead for keeps with a pair of unearned runs on one hit in the second inning. The visitors broke the game open with four runs in the fourth.
"I talked to these guys about coming in [after] and off-day, and that just can't happen, that type of effort," said Suns manager Tom Conley. "Guys are trying to get hits, I understand that. Mentally, I don't think we were there tonight, for whatever reason."
For the first inning and two-thirds, Pittsfield starter Austin Hanson looked like he was going to barrel through the Seacoast lineup. The right-hander from Oklahoma gave up an infield single in the first inning and then struck out the first two batters of the second. Hanson gave up a single to Elias Macias and then walked Alvin Swoope and Christian Khawly to load the bases.
The next hitter was Kyle Vesnesky, who grounded to third. Suns third baseman Eric Hamilton could not come up with the ball for an error that brought Macias and Swoope home.
After retiring Marshall Gei to end the second, Hanson retired the side in order in the third. He struck out two to end the inning and things seemed back on track. Sometimes, however, things are not always what they seem.
The Mavericks scored four runs on four hits in the fourth. Hanson walked Macias with one out, hit Swoope and loaded the bases on Khawly's single. Vesnesky drove home two runs with a double down the right field line and Gei followed with a two-run single. All of a sudden it was 6-0, and the Suns were in trouble.
"[Hanson] worked on some stuff after his last start. It was good to see him make an adjustment in some areas," said Conley. "I think what gave him a little bit of trouble was once the base runners got on, just a couple of things in his delivery and tempo with runners on that kind of hurt him."
Hanson gave up six runs, four earned, on six hits and three walks in four innings. He struck out seven — getting Kyle Pangallo and Brandon Fox three times each.
Once again, the Suns were slow getting started. Dartmouth pitcher Clayton Chatman set the Suns down 1-2-3 in the first inning.
Pittsfield did get a golden opportunity in the second when Chatman walked Colin Gimblet and Brian Moskey to lead off the frame. The Suns left the inning without scoring as Jake Goodreau struck out, Moskey was picked off of first and Chris Cimmino grounded out to end the inning.
Pittsfield didn't get its first hit until Hamilton hit a leadoff single in the fourth, but it was quickly erased on a double play. The Suns did get runners on in the fifth and sixth, accounting for nothing. Then the rains came, and the Suns had to get ready for Wachusett Wednesday night.
After winning three straight, the Suns have now lost three in a row.
"I think we still have 8 of 12 at home. We had that three-game winning streak, and we talked about that and that felt nice thinking you were going to gain some momentum," said Conley. "Then something like this happens.
"Hopefully, we can re-ignite that and get another winning streak going."
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.