PITTSFIELD — There were a lot of numbers flying around the baseball diamond at Taconic High School Friday afternoon. In the end, the only number that mattered was 400.
Taconic coach Kevin Stannard got his 400th career victory against Hoosac. The final score was 32-0, in a game stopped after four innings. The magic 400, however, was the only real topic of postgame conversation.
“It’s a big accomplishment,” said Taconic senior catcher Leo Arace, who has been a four-year varsity player. “Coach has been dedicated to the program. It means a lot, to him and all of us.”
Taconic senior third baseman Brendan Stannard, the coach’s nephew, has been a part of the program for four years as well. But the Williams College-bound infielder has been around the program for much longer.
“Growing up and being a part of Taconic baseball is something I’ve dreamed about all along,” Brendan Stannard said. “To be here when he gets his 400th win, it’s amazing. It’s an amazing feeling and I’m proud of him.”
Taconic popped the balloon of suspense in the second inning, when the Green and Gold scored 11 runs on only two hits. The hits were a three-run triple to right-center field by Arace, and a two-run home run by Bo Bramer, when his sinking liner skipped behind Hoosac right fielder Eric Rougeau.
It’s the 28th year for Stannard as the Taconic coach, and the milestone win was something he never anticipated reaching.
“Obviously, you know as coaches reach other milestones, it’s not something you really think about. You take each year as it is,” the Taconic coach said. “I think this year, I’m hoping it’s as special as the last few have been. It’s a really good group. I’ve had a lot of great players throughout this program when I first started and all through the 28 years.
“It’s been an honor to coach here.”
When the game ended, Coach Stannard — as usual — meets the opposing coach and the umpires at home plate. While that was going on, a couple of Taconic players ducked behind the home dugout to fill a couple of paper plates with shaving cream. When Stannard went to talk to his players, he earned a couple of shaving cream pies. One of them wielded by his nephew.
The newest member of the 400-win club joins a pretty small group. Since the 1960s, only Drury’s Tom McGrath and Pittsfield’s Bob Moynihan cracked the 400-win mark.
“I’m honored” to be in that group, the newest member said. “I think my first win was against Coach McGrath up at Drury, at Joe Wolfe Field 28 years ago. You always remember certain games. To be in their company is an honor for me.”
What might have been lost a bit amidst all of the arithmetic, both in the win column and on the scoreboard, was a combined four-inning no-hitter for Anton Lazits and Evan Blake. Lazits went three innings and got the win. He struck out seven and walked one, giving out a two-out pass to Hoosac’s Lucas Rylander on a 3-2 pitch. In three frames, only Hoosac’s Will Hakes reached the outfield, flying out to right fielder Matt Lee in the first inning.
Dating back to the end of his first start against Pittsfield in the season opener, Lazits has pitched 11 2/3 hitless innings of baseball. He has also pitched 11 consecutive scoreless innings.
“My fastball is jumping. My off-speed is breaking well,” Lazits said. “I feel like I’m locating really well. I’ve got a great catcher behind the plate, and the combination of all that results in what I’m doing right now.”
Taconic pounded out 12 hits, 10 in the final two innings, against six different Hoosac pitchers. The Hurricane pitchers also walked 19 in the game.
Taconic also got a grand slam off the bat of Nick Guachione in the third inning. It was on the first pitch he saw and it went over the new fence in center field. Guachione was 2 for 3 with four runs scored and four runs batted in. Bramer was 2 for 2 with six runs scored and four RBI, while Michael Britten and Nick Harrington both had two hits each. Christian Salzarulo’s infield single in the fourth inning was his first varsity hit.
“We don’t even talk about any of that,” Kevin Stannard said of the milestone. “I don’t know if any of them even knew right off the bat. We don’t even talk about it as coaches. But like I say, we share in all the accolades and goals that we’ve set.
“It’s a number that obviously, some day I’ll look back on and say I’m just an old guy that had a lot of wins.”
Hoosac 000 0 — 0 0 3
Taconic 2(11)(12) 7 — 32 12 0
Lucas Rylander 1 1/3, Corben Craig 2/3, Gabe Bishop 1/3, Jack Dolan 13, Matt Witek 1 1/3, Ryan Holland 0 and Logan Davis. Anton Lazits 3, Evan Blake 1 and Leo Arace, Antonio Scalise (2). W — Lazits. L — Rylander. 3B — T: Leo Arace. HR — T: Bo Bramer, Nick Guachione.