Mount Greylock baseball coach Steve Messina wins 300th game
WILLIAMSTOWN >> Ask any coach about a wins milestone and he or she usually says that it's a factor of how long the coach has been coaching. So when Mount Greylock coach Steve Messina came off the field Wednesday after picking up his 300th win, he was quick to credit his 25 years in the dugout at Greylock.
"Twenty-five years is a long time to coach," said the Greylock mentor. "I've coached a lot of really special kids over the years, a lot of great kids and a lot of great memories.
"It reminds me of all the time I've been able to spend up here coaching. It's been a great time."
Messina's Mounties remained unbeaten with a 25-0 Southern Division win over St. Joseph. The game was stopped after 4 1/2 innings by the 15-run rule.
So while the game itself wasn't competitive, there wasn't much of a reason to sweat, and the wettest Messina got was a post-game water bucket shower. The veteran head coach was still smiling in the moments after the win.
"It means a lot, it really does," Messina said. "Especially to do it with the group that we have this year. It's a great group of kids."
Messina's Mounties started the season 3-0 after finishing 21-4 a year ago. That Greylock team won the school's first Western Massachusetts title since winning the Division II title back in 2009.
Greylock has been in the tournament ever year since missing in 2007. In that time, Messina's teams went 120-60. Greylock was 2-1 in Western Mass. finals, losing in 2013. Before 2015, the Mounties made their last state semifinal appearance in 2009, losing to Auburn 3-2 in a game that spanned two days because of rain. The Mounties lost to right-hander Tyler Beede in that game. Beede is now one of the top pitching prospects in the San Francisco Giants organization.
Greylock shortstop Brodie Altiere is the lone returning starting field player from the 2015 state finalists, and he smiled when asked about being on the field for Messina's milestone win.
"It's awesome," said Altiere. "After all these years he's been here with the team, a lot of those wins have been important wins. I think it's good to be a part of his 300th."
The 300th career win didn't have a lot of suspense. The Mounties scored 13 runs in the first inning and 12 in the third. In the first, Greylock went through its order twice.
Phil Guest led the 23-hit Greylock attack, going 4 for 5 with three runs scored and two runs batted in. Brandon Condon was 3 for 5 with three runs scored and a game-best three RBI, Nick Rondeau had three hits while Cal Messina and Jack Milne had two each.
Greylock pitchers Adam Petricca and Guest combined to no-hit the Crusaders. Petricca struck out five and walked three in two innings, while Guest struck out two and walked none in three innings.
There wasn't a lot of talk from Messina or among his players about the upcoming milestone. In fact, had one assistant coach not sent out an email alert, it might have passed unnoticed.
The same could be said for the Messina household in Lanesborough.
"He hasn't even brought it up [at home] actually. He hasn't talked about it at all," said Steve Messina's son Cal, a freshman on the Greylock varsity. "He's kind of kept it to himself. It shows that he's humble about it."
The younger Messina has been around the program practically forever, so he's seen most of his father's milestones.
"I've been around all the players since I was really young. In fact [junior varsity coach Andrew] Agostini knew me when I was just a little baby," Cal Messina said. "I've grown up around it and matured in a baseball manner as the years have gone by."
Agostini has seen Messina and Greylock baseball from two points of view. A decade ago, he played for Messina in Williamstown, and now is the JV baseball coach.
"I graduated 10 years ago and played four years for him," said Agostini. "He's the best coach I've ever had. I think that most of the players that had him would agree."
Cam Winters (2), Robert Paterson (2). Adam Petricca (2), Phil Guest (3) and Hunter Abriel. W—Guest. L—Winters. 2B—Jack Milne, Abriel. 3B—Zach Condon.
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.
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