Hoosac Valley baseball tops McCann Tech in Wahconah Tournament consolation game
DALTON >> It turned out to be a pretty good day after all.
Matt Koperniak got his milestone 100th career hit in Hoosac Valley's nine-inning win over McCann Tech in the consolation game of the Wahconah baseball tournament. It was the second extra-inning game of the day, which forced organizers to move the championship game to Sunday at 2 p.m.
Noah Tarjick, who had struck out in his first two at-bats, hit an 0-1 pitch into left field, plating J.P. Levesque from third and giving Hoosac a 11-10 win over the Hornets in the tournament's consolation game.
Hoosac fell into the consolation game after losing to Monument Mountain 4-3 in eight innings.
Wahconah won the other game of the first round, rolling over McCann 11-1.
But when you take into consideration a 11-run game and two extra-inning games, it was decided not to risk starting the championship game. It was nearly 5:30 when Wahconah athletic director Jared Shannon consulted with umpires Bill Gregory and Don Singleton to postpone the game. And when Monument coach Tom Hankey told them his team could get a Sunday bus, the decision was final.
The decision wasn't really that hard either.
"We want the teams to play a complete game for a championship game. That was the problem last year," said Shannon. "Both coaches agreed."
Shannon cited about a five-minute warm-up period that could have brought injuries into play. Wahconah hadn't played since about 11 in the morning and Monument hadn't played since 1:30 or so.
Besides, Shannon said that Hoosac's 9-4, five-inning win over Monument Mountain in last year's title game proved to be the difference between the Spartans making the Western Massachusetts Division III tournament or staying home.
It wasn't like the preliminaries to the championship game weren't without some drama of their own. Koperniak walked Tyler Wade with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, bringing home Graham Herrick from third with the winning run.
Koperniak made amends in the second game, going 4 for 5 and scoring three runs. He almost ended the game in the seventh inning when he hit a towering fly ball to right, but right fielder Ryan Meehan caught it just short of the fence.
Koperniak's day was made, however, in the second inning. He hit a 1-2 pitch from Mike Ferrara to right for a single. It was the senior's 100th career hit.
"It feels great. We got our first win," said Koperniak, "and I'm happy for our whole team."
Hit No. 999 came in the first inning when the senior singled and came around to score on an RBI double by Jake Swistak, the first of three runs scored. Then with one out in the second, Jack Sniezek doubled, moved to third on Koperniak's milestone hit and came home on Dahandray Sistrunk's RBI single — the first of three more runs. Swistak was 3 for 4 with three runs batted in.
"It's kind of hard to wrap my head around" the milestone, Koperniak said, after posing for a few photographs. "I'm just so thankful for the accomplishment, and hoping we can get some wins."
McCann reliever Robert Matte III issued a leadoff walk to Levesque in the ninth. Chris Larabee dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but an overthrow by Matte moved the runners to second and third. Then, after flailing at the first pitch, Tarjick hit a solid single to left, plating the winning run.
The day started out with the host Warriors giving up a first-inning run to the Hornets. Wahconah responded with 11 unanswered tallies. Pitcher Gage Frazier did the rest. Frazier scattered nine hits and struck out eight. Robert Pecor took the loss.
In the second game, Monument's Joe Aberdale launched a three-run home run in the fourth to tie the game at 3. Neither team scored until the eighth, when Monument got two walks and a single to load the bases with two outs. Wade looked at four pitches and forced in the winning run.
No outs when winning run scored
Mike Ferrara (5+), Robert Matte III (3+) and Charlie Bohl. Dahandray Sistrunk (2/3), John Krol (2 1/3) Devin Kagut (3 1/3), Noah Matrigali (1 2/3), J.P. Levesque (1) and Jake Swistak. W—Levesque. L—Matte. 2B—MT 2 (Bohl, Connor Guyette). HV (Swistak 2, Krol, Jack Sniezek). 3B—MT 2 (Mike Ferrara, Noah Miller).
Two outs when winning run scored.
Matt Koperniak and Jake Swistak. Dominic DeFelice (4), Jared Henry (3 2/3) and Branden Perry. W—Henry. L—Koperniak. 2B—HV (Jack Sniezek).
Rob Pecor (1/3), Mason Field (4 2/3), Logan Tower (1) and Charlie Bohl. Gage Frazier and Matt Schneider. W—Frazier. L—Pecor. 2B—W 2 (Andrew Beaudoin, Schneider). 3B—MT (Tower).
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.