Suns win first-ever playoff game, open series with Worcester Sunday
BROCKTON -- Luke Reynolds' fifth inning home run broke a tie and helped the Pittsfield Suns win their first-ever Futures League playoff game.
The sixth-seeded Suns beat second-seeded Brockton 8-3 Saturday night. With the win, the Suns will begin a best-of-three series today against the West Division champion Worcester Bravehearts. The series will start at Wahconah Park at 4 p.m. The other games in the series will be played in Worcester.
Reynolds was the offensive catalyst for the Suns, coming up a triple short of hitting for the cycle. He singled and doubled in addition to his home run. Reynolds scored two runs and drove in three.
Pittsfield and Worcester split their season series 3-3. The most recent game was played on Thursday, with the Suns beating the Bravehearts 9-7.
The Rox tied the game 1-1 when Jake Willsey led off the home third inning with a single and eventually scored as Suns starter Mitch Holt balked the run in.
Then in the top of the fifth, Reynolds hit a 2-1 pitch from Brockton starter Simon Mathews out of Campanelli Stadium, giving the Suns a 2-1 lead.
The Suns made it 3-1 in the sixth as Dan Palazzo reached on a one-out, ground-rule double. Palazzo took third on Brenden Geary's ground out to first and scored on a single by Derek Gardella. Reynolds then hit a one-out double in the seventh and came home on a Gary Tesch single. The Suns could have broken the game open that inning, but they left two on.
They did break the game open one inning later, scoring four runs on two hits. Zach Tower belted a two-run double and Reynolds followed with a two-run single.
Holt, who was 0-2 since joining Pittsfield a month ago, gave up two runs on seven hits to pick up his first win. Oliver Collette pitched two shutout innings and Nate Spielvogel closed the game out with two innings of work. He gave up a ninth-inning home run to pinch hitter Cale Giddings with two outs, but came back and got Apolinar De La Cruz on a comebacker to end the game.
The Suns struck first, scoring a run in the top of the second inning. Gardella hit a two-out single to center and went to second on a wild pitch by Mathews. Mathews then walked Dan Donahue.
Tower reached on an infield single and the runners moved up on a throwing error by Mathews. Gardella came home, Donahue was at third and Tower took second. But Mathews got Luke Reynolds on an inning-ending ground out.