Suns walk off with win over Wachusett to end skid
PITTSFIELD -- With only four games left in the Futures League regular season and a playoff spot hanging by a thread for the Pittsfield Suns, Wednesday night was a much-needed tonic for the home team.
"Something's happening in Pittsfield, man," said Suns reliever Alex Lagos. "We're going to try and break out and maybe put a couple [of wins] together."
Lagos, the Suns' closer, pitched a scoreless ninth inning, and when Brenden Geary's base hit plated pinch runner Luke Reynolds, the Suns had themselves a walk-off 5-4 win over the Wachusett Dirt Dogs.
"It's absolutely huge and it says a lot about the team as a whole," said Geary, the grandson of the late Paul Dowd, for whom Wahconah Park's field is named. "It's not like we've not been trying the last seven games. We've been trying hard. The pitching's not there some days and the hitting's not there some days. We put it together tonight."
With the win, the Suns are now 1 1/2 games ahead of Wachusett in the battle for the final playoff spot, and 1 1/2 games behind Wild Card leaders Brockton and Nashua. The Suns have three games remaining.
For a while, it looked like this would be another one of those nights when the hitting wasn't going to be there. The Suns managed one run on three hits against Wachusett starter Steve Colella and reliever Jason Harper. The Suns finally got to Harper with two runs in the eighth inning. One scored on Derek Gardella's sacrifice fly and Jeff McGarry came home on a wild pitch by reliever Ryan Vendetti, who came on after Harper walked Tyler Bell and McGarry to open the inning.
That led to the fateful ninth.
After Lagos pitched a scoreless ninth, the Suns got a couple of huge breaks as Gary Tesch and Steve Dill both reached on errors by Dirt Dawgs third baseman Mattingly Romanin. With runners on second and third, McGarry was issued an intentional pass and McGarry forced Bell at short. Tesch scored easily and the ball was hit too slowly to get a double play.
Up came Geary, who singled in the eighth -- the first hit for the Suns since the second inning.
Facing Ben White of Holy Cross, Geary asked Suns pitchers Phil Reese and Justin Finan for a quick scouting report. White threw three balls to Geary and then got a strike. Geary got a pitch he liked and drove it to center past a diving Brendan Skidmore at shortstop. Reynolds scored easily and Geary was mobbed by his teammates and received quite an ovation from the remainder of the announced 2,746 fans at the park.
"Once you get a strike and you're sitting 3-1, you're hoping you get the fastball. That's what I got," said Geary.
Suns starter Phil Reese made two bad pitches in his six innings of work. He gave up a three-run home run to Skidmore in the fifth and a leadoff homer to Sam Goodwin-Boyd in the seventh. But Dave Egloff pitched two scoreless innings and Lagos wrapped it up for the Suns.
Wachusett 000 030 100 -- 4 5 2
Pittsfield 100 000 022 -- 5 5 0
One out when winning run scored
Colella (5), Harper (2), Venditti (1), White (2/3) and Buroni. Reese (6), Egeland (2), Lagos (1) and Gardella. W--Lagos (1-2). L--White (2-1). HR--W 2 (Goodwin-Boyd , Brown .
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