Pittsfield Post 68 opens Legion baseball postseason Wednesday at Clapp Park
PITTSFIELD -- Pittsfield Post 68 opens postseason American Legion baseball play Wednesday afternoon at Clapp Park.
"I think we'll hold our own," Post 68 coach Pat Bassi said. "Having been a [high school baseball] coach in the Valley, I got to know a lot of teams.
"I think we're right up there in talent."
Post 68, which wrapped up its regular season 11-1, will begin play against Longmeadow. The game will be played at 5:30.
Post 68 will be at home again on Thursday, whatever the result Wednesday. If Post wins, it'll play the winner of East Springfield and Westfield, and would play an elimination-round game with a first-game loss.
Post 68's players consist of current Taconic players, some who graduated in June and some who graduated a year ago.
Alex Carusotto will pitch for Post 68 Wednesday and Liam Nolan will go on Thursday.
It's been a long season for the Post 68 players. Many of them got to a Western Massachusetts Division I championship game against Springfield Cathedral, and all of them have summer jobs, too. But there's no baseball burnout among the players on this team.
"That's the farthest thing from the truth," said Bassi. "These kids love to play baseball."
Bassi said he has a good four-man pitching staff in Carusotto, Nolan, Steve Witkowski and Kyle Card. He is especially happy with the performance of Nolan, who is recovered from Tommy John surgery.
"Right now, he's close to 90 percent of what he was," said Bassi. "He's throwing harder than he was before his injury."
Bassi and assistants Gildo DeSanctis and Paul Procopio use the same pitching system Jim Mazzer and Bassi developed with Post 68 -- two pitchers work each game, with one going four innings and the other three.
"Jimmy and I have done this the last five or six years. We're doing it to preserve their arms," said Bassi. "It's worked out really well for us."
Post 68's only loss came in early June, a 3-2 loss to North Adams Post 125 on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh inning.
"The next time we played North Adams, we beat them 12-1. I wasn't happy [after the first game]," said Bassi. "We left 12 on base and we ended up walking in the winning run."
To reach Howard Herman:
or (413) 496-6253.
On Twitter: @howardherman.
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