Reese pitches Suns to rain-shortened win over Seacoast
PITTSFIELD -- Not even a thunderstorm could cool off the Pittsfield Suns.
Suns starter Phil Reese gave up a run on three hits and made a two-run cushion stand up in a 2-1 victory over Sea coast Tuesday night at Wahconah Park. The game was stopped after six innings by the heavy rain and lightning in the vicinity of the park.
"As you can tell, these guys are playing great," Reese said. "We have great defense. Our hitters are starting to step up and our pitching staff has been unbelievable lately."
With the win, the Suns improved to 20-14 and are a half-game behind West Division-leading Worcester. The teams are even in the win column.
Reese improved his record to 3-1 with a very efficient six innings. The right-hander from Holy Cross retired the first 12 hitters he faced, gave up one run on three hits in the top of the fifth inning and then tossed a scoreless sixth.
"Everything was working. [Catcher] Steve [Dill] called a great game," said Reese, who needed 29 pitches to get through the first three innings. "Some times, my first innings are kind of rough. I felt great going out there and was just able to pound the strike zone."
Reese struck out Martin Tavares and Ryan Gendron to open the first inning. By the time the tarp was pulled onto the Wahconah diamond, he had struck out four and walked one to go with the three hits.
Reese faced 22 Seacoast hitters and threw first-pitch strikes to 12 of them.
"You could tell he had it going on. He had a little hiccup there in the fifth, but for the most part he was spot on," Suns manager Tom Conley said. "Other than the first outing for Phil, he's been great for us.
"He's been 1-B, with Jamin [McCann] being 1-A [in the rotation]."
Seacoast right-hander Zarif Pajazetovic made his Futures League debut on the mound for the Mavericks. He pitched out of a first inning jam, retired the Suns in order in the second, and then got in trouble in the third.
With one out, Pajazetovic hit Gary Tesch with a pitch and Tesch went to third on Luke Reynolds' double inside the bag at first base. Jeff McGarry's ground out to second scored Tesch with the first run and after Derek Gardella walked, Dill blooped a single the other way that fell between first baseman Dalton Davis, second baseman David Hopkins and right fielder Ryan Gendron. The RBI single plated Reynolds, making it 2-0.
"Phil came out and gave us six strong innings. We just tried to push across a couple of runs across for him," said Dill. "We knew two would be enough."
Seacoast 000 000 -- 1 3 0
Pittsfield 002 000 -- 2 7 0
Pajazetovic (5 1/3), Jacques (2/3) and Oren. Reese and Dill. W--Reese (3-1). L--Pajazetovic (0-1). 2B--P 2 (Reynolds, Geary).
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