Lenox baseball tops Turners Falls in season opener

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LENOX — One could call Lenox's baseball opener with Turners Falls a measuring-stick game. One can also call it a win.

The Millionaires got a complete-game, six-hitter from Tyler Coon and backed him up with a five-run third inning in a 12-1 win over the Indians Wednesday afternoon at War Memorial Field.

"Absolutely," said Coon, when asked if he looked at this game as a measuring stick. "Obviously, we're very happy with the results and I think we can go into the rest of the season with a lot of confidence based on today."

The Millionaires were playing their first game of the year, while Turners was playing its second. On Sunday, Turners Falls beat defending Western Massachusetts Division IV champion Smith Academy 1-0 on a solo home run by James Fritz. Fritz had one of Turners Falls' six hits and drove in Kyle Bergman in the fourth inning. But that was all the visitors could muster.

For their part, the Millionaires pounded out 16 hits against three different Turners Falls pitchers, including 12 against starter John Obuchowski. Lenox scored 10 runs, eight earned in Obuchowski's 3 2/3 innings of work. Mike Downer was 3 for 4 and was one of six Millionaires to record multi-hit days.

Lenox sent nine batters to the plate in the third inning, scoring five runs on six hits and a costly Turners Falls error. John Fontaine (2 for 3, 3 runs batted in) had a two-run single in the inning.

"Like I said earlier, we have speed, we have power and we have pitching," said Lenox coach Kevin Downer. "This team can go a long ways.

"I just told them, this team is going to be tough to beat. That was our No. 4 pitcher there, and he just shut those guys down."

Coon threw 64 pitches, and admitted he had done that in a game before — but through three or four innings. Turners left runners on base in three of seven innings and stranded only one runner in scoring position. Coon threw first-pitch strikes to 16 of the 26 hitters he faced, and had only one full count in the game.

"This year we have [assistant coach John] Grady calling our pitches now. He's really on me to hit my spots and that made a big difference today," said Coon, who did not strike out or walk anyone. "I don't have to overpower anyone, because I don't throw the hardest. If I hit my spots, I can make them hit it to us."

Only 10 balls got through the Lenox infield in the game.

"We swung at a lot of first pitches today and it didn't go well for us," said Turners Falls coach Scott Minckler. "He was keeping our guys off balance. We had a lot of guys lunging for that first pitch and popping up or grounding out."

Defensively, the Millionaires played errorless baseball. One highlight came in the first inning when Turners Falls' Jalen Sanders tried to stretch a single into a double, but right fielder Joe Bouvier threw a strike to shortstop Patrick Colvin, and Sanders was out easily.

"It's always nice to win. We finally got outside," said Colvin. "The first win is a big one. It'll give us some momentum for the rest of the year hopefully."

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Josh Obuchowski (3 2/3), Tyler Lavin (1 1/3), Nick Croteau (1) and Tahner Jones. Tyler Coon and Noah Johnson, Mike Downer (7). W—Coon. L—Obuchowski. 2B—L: Connor Hanson, Jake Corcoran.

Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.


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