Rumbolt's double gives Drury baseball Western Mass. tourney win over Greylock
NORTH ADAMS -- Logan Rumbolt's seventh-inning at-bat would hit the cutting room floor in a how-to video. But to Rumbolt and his Drury baseball teammates, it looked just fine.
Rumbolt ripped a 2-2 pitch from Mount Greylock reliever Adam Hall to left, plating the tying and the winning run as the second-seeded Blue Devils rallied to beat Berkshire County rival and No. 7 seed Mount Greylock 3-2 in a Western Massachusetts Division III quarterfinal Sunday night at Joe Wolfe Field.
"I swung at a pitch over my head. It's still up there," said the sophomore shortstop. "I don't want to take it back now."
Rumbolt's double off of Greylock reliever Adam Hall was only the second hit of the game for the Blue Devils. None were given up by Greylock starter Robby Buffis, who held the Blue Devils in check for six innings before walking Tyler Cote to lead off the seventh. Buffis threw five straight balls, none close to the strike zone, and Greylock coach Steve Messina went to the bullpen. Three hitters later, the Mounties could only watch as the Drury players mobbed Rumbolt.
"Oh, my God. That was pretty fun high school baseball, huh?" Drury coach Pat Boulger said.
The visiting Mounties had stranded eight over the first six innings before they broke through with two runs on RBI singles by Nick DiSanti and Jake Benzinger in the top of the seventh inning. That set the stage for the dramatic final half-inning.
The Blue Devils advance to their first semifinal since 2011, as they'll play the winner of today's game between No. 3 Southwick and No. 6 Greenfield.
Tyler Briggs, who relieved Cote with two on in a 2-1 game in the seventh, got Dan Flynn looking to end the threat and set up the Blue Devils.
"All I'm thinking about is getting through the inning," said Briggs, the starting center fielder. "My teammate Tyler Cote struggled. I had to pick him up. He picked me up early in the season, so I want to come out and help him out."
Up until the home seventh, the spotlight was on Buffis. The Greylock right-hander had given up an unearned run on two errors and a walk in the fourth inning, but was otherwise in control. He struck out six and walked two, striking out the side in order in the bottom of the sixth.
But in the seventh, Buffis walked Cote on four pitches and threw a high pitch to pinch-hitter Thaylen Harrison to end his night.
"I think he was more amped than anything else," Greylock coach Steve Messina said. "He's a very emotional kid and he was so pumped up, he had a hard time harnessing it -- which is normal for a 18-year old kid. He did a great job.
"I feel bad for him. I feel bad for everybody but I really feel bad for him. You pitch that well, you should get a win."
Harrison put down a bunt that Hall fielded and threw to force Cote at second. Briggs hit a 1-1 pitch to right that right fielder Eric Hirsch lost in the lights and fell in for a base hit. Hall's first pitch to Rumbolt was in the dirt, and the wild pitch moved the winning run into scoring position. Four pitches later, Rumbolt ripped the double, scoring Harrison with the tying run and Briggs with the winning run.
"I did not want to strike out. Even if I popped up, it might have been enough to get the tying run home," Rumbolt said. "I knew it was going. I didn't want [the left fielder] to catch it. It felt nice off the bat. I don't know, it's crazy."
Like Buffis, Cote was cruising for Drury. He had given up the one unearned run through six innings. Cote walked Delaney Pudvar with one out in the seventh and Pudvar moved to second on Jack Thistle's ground out. Ian Brink beat out a grounder to Shayne Garvey at first, getting there on a bang-bang play. DiSanti followed with an RBI single to left and Benzinger made it 2-1 with a run-scoring single to center.
"We decided this was going to be a ‘small ball' game," Boulger said. "We just did one more small thing than them. They are a hell of a ballclub, one hell of a ballclub.
"I have the utmost respect for Coach Messina. That team plays with emotion, pride, everything you want in a program. I hope our program is getting there."
Greylock 000 000 2 -- 2 7 2
Drury 000 100 2 -- 3 2 3
One out when winning run scored.
Robby Buffis (6+), Adam Hall (1/3) and Nick DiSanti. Tyler Cote (6 2/3), Tyler Briggs (1/3) and Kody Crosier. W--Briggs. L--Hall. 2B--D 1 (Logan Rumbolt).
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