Local roundup: North Adams SteepleCats eliminated from NECBL playoffs
HOLYOKE &mdash The North Adams SteepleCats were eliminated from the NECBL playoffs when a passed ball in the ninth inning allowed the Valley Blue Sox to win 4-3 on Saturday night.
North Adams entered the bottom of the ninth of the decisive third game of the Northern Division semifinals with a 3-2 advantage, but the Blue Sox scored twice to win.
With one out, Valley's Brodie Leftridge advanced to first on an error. Kipp Moore then singled, as Leftridge moved to third as the tying run. SteepleCats' pitcher Josh Simpson, who got the final two outs of the eighth and the first out of the ninth, was replaced by Tanner Bird.
CJ Stubbs, the first batter Bird faced, singled to tie the game. Leftridge scored as Moore moved to third and Stubbs took second. Then, with a 2-2 count and Mark Grunberg at the dish, Bird's passed ball scored Moore to end it.
Peter Lannoo got the start for North Adams, pitching six innings while allowing two runs on five hits. He struck out two and walked two. Andrew Camiolo pitched a scoreless seventh before Brian Stepniak pitched to one batter in the eighth, recording an out. He then gave way to Simpson, who was charged with both runs in the ninth, one earned.
Dustin Shirley and Noah Vaughan each had two hits for the SteepleCats. North Adams took a 3-0 lead through three innings, with one run in each of the first three frames. But Valley answered with two runs in the sixth and two more in the ninth to win.
The Blue Sox, which won the first and third games at home while losing the middle game in North Adams, moved on to the North Division final against the Sanford Mainers.
SUNS WIN FINALE
NASHUA, N.H. >> Kevin Donati went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, two walks and an RBI to lead the Pittsfield Suns to an 11-5 victory over the Nashua Silver Knights in the season finale on Saturday night.
Colin Gimblet was 2 for 4 with two runs for the Suns. Gage Feeney pitched the final five innings, allowing two hits and no runs while striking out three and walking none. He picked up the win.
Pittsfield finished the 2016 campaign with a 22-31 mark.