Pittsfield baseball victorious in Berkshire Classic
LENOX >> The scoreboard read the same for both teams on Saturday. But it was how you read what happened on the field between Pittsfield and Lenox that made a difference.
Pittsfield's Sam Fick tossed a three-hitter and retired the final seven hitters he faced, as the Generals knocked off the host Millionaires 6-1. The senior right-hander helped his cause with run-scoring singles in the fifth and the seventh innings.
"We expected to come in and play this just like a Western Mass. [tournament] game," said Fick. "This team over there wants to beat us, and we knew we had to get more runs on the board."
The game meant little to Pittsfield (12-7) as far as its potential seeding in the Western Massachusetts Division I tournament. But head coach Seamus Morrison got just what he wanted out of Saturday's encounter with the Millionaires (13-6).
"It's always good to pick up another win. It's always good to have that momentum going into the tournament," said Morrison. "We dropped that one against Monument. We kept the momentum going.
"Sam walked the first batter of the game, which came around to hurt us, but I think he walked one other guy."
While a win over Lenox would probably do little to change Pittsfield's Division I seed, a win by Lenox over the Generals would certainly have boosted the Millionaires standing in the Division IV tournament.
"We're playing good. We had a little hiccup there in one inning, and that was the difference in the game," said Lenox coach Kevin Downer.
That hiccup came in the Pittsfield fifth inning, when the Generals scored three runs with two outs to break a 1-1 tie.
Lenox starter Connor Hanson had given up an unearned run on two hits over the first four innings and retired the first two batters in the fifth. But Shane Tierney couldn't get out of the way of an inside pitch, and went down to first.
The Generals, who stole three bases in the game, got the first of those three when Tierney ran on the first pitch to Quinn Matthews. Two pitches later, Matthews singled to left and Tierney came home with the tying run. Matthews took second on the throw home.
Jordan Nassif hit the next pitch to right for an RBI single. After Austin Houghtaling reached on an error, Fick drove Nassif home with a single to left. What had been a 1-1 tie became a 4-1 Pittsfield lead.
That turned out to be more than enough of a margin for Fick. The Millionaires did get a runner in scoring position with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, stranding Patrick Colvin at second base. Fick retired the final seven batters in the game, and when Mike Hurley grounded to Jordan Nassif at third for the game's final out, Lenox's regular season came to an end.
The lone Lenox run came in the first inning when Fick walked Colvin, who moved around to third on a pair of ground outs and scored on a wild pitch.
Other than that, the Millionaires had runners in scoring position three times, while Fick struck out four hitters.
"I was able to spot my fastball down in the corners and paint it on the edges," he said. "When I needed my slider to keep them off balance, I was able to throw that along with my curveball.
"For the most part, it was the right amount of mixing it up."
Lenox pitchers Connor Hanson and Tyler Coon combined to give up six runs on seven hits. Three of the runs charged to Hanson were unearned. Jordan Nassif and Fick each had two hits for Pittsfield.
"We'll see what happens and see where our seeding is," said Morrison. "It's good to have the win."
The Millionaires still have a game today — a makeup contest against Hoosac Valley — before waiting to find out where they'll fall in the Division IV tournament.
On Saturday, Fick only threw 87 pitches, and that might be the biggest thing Downer says he wants his Millionaires to fix as they head into the tourney.
"We've got to be more disciplined at the plate," said the Lenox coach. "Two or three times, we had 2-0 counts, and you've got to make him throw a strike before you hit the ball. We didn't do that today.
"That's something we've got to work on."
Sam Fick and Austin Houghtaling. Connor Hanson (5+), Tyler Coon and Mike Downer. W—Fick. L—Hanson. 2B—L (Noah Hunter).
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.