Monument Mountain baseball takes victory from Lenox at War Memorial

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LENOX — Ask Monument Mountain coach Tom Hankey and Lenox coach Kevin Downer about their teams, both will say they are works in progress.

The Spartans, however, are much farther along.

Monument scored eight runs on two hits and two errors in the top of the second inning, sending 13 batters to the plate, en route to a 13-2 win over the Millionaires on Tuesday at War Memorial Field.

The Spartans (2-1, 1-0 Berkshire South) had only six hits through six innings, and were helped out by eight walks.

"We never want to be satisfied," Monument first baseman Sean Dupont said. "We're always looking to get better, both on offense and defense. What we're working on right now is driving more runs in and throwing more strikes."

Dupont drove in four of Monument's 13 runs. He finished up 3 for 3, hitting a two-run double in that second inning, and adding RBI singles in the fifth and seventh innings. He was the only Spartan to have more than one hit.

The line score, 13 runs on 10 hits, looks good on paper. The Spartans, however, left 14 runners on base in the game. Monument left the bases loaded in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings.

"It turned out pretty good in the end," said Dupont, "but it definitely is frustrating to leave runs on second and third, especially. We have to get better at-bats, and I know we can as a team."

Hankey was pleased with the result, but not as pleased about some of the numbers in the scorebook.

"I'm kind of more concerned with our pitchers throwing strikes," Hankey said. "[Eight walks, three hit-by-pitch], we're just making the game a little bit harder than it is for us, by giving teams extra base runners.

"The hitting will come, it's still early on."

On the Lenox side, Downer lamented his team's lack of production at the plate. The Millionaires were held hitless until Josh Hunter legged out an infield single in the bottom of the fourth. The Millionaires ended up with six hits, but stranded 11 runners. They left runners on in scoring position in five innings, leaving the bases loaded in the third. Lenox loaded the bases on three walks, but Monument starter Jackson Smith struck John Fielding out with two down to end the threat.

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"Mount Everett, twice, we left too many men on base. What did we have today, six hits? That's better than we've been doing," Downer said. "These guys have to start hitting the ball or it's going to be a long season. I told them at the beginning of the season, that the difference between you guys having a good season or not having a good season is timely hitting and hitting better as a team."

Leadoff walks, in baseball lore, can really come back to bite a team. That's what happened to the Millionaires.

Monument got a run in the first inning on a leadoff walk, a single and a one-out RBI fielder's choice by Sam Cormier.

In the second inning, Dupont walked to lead off the frame. After Rayford Mueller struck out, Smith walked, Jackson Blanchard was hit by a James Martragano pitch and Kyle Gochey worked a walk on 3-2 to force in a run. That was just the start of things in the second as Frank Kardinoff hit a two-run single and Dupont followed with a two-run double. Those were the only two hits of the inning as the Spartans scored eight runs (six earned) with two errors, four walks and a hit-batter.

After a rough first inning, where he gave up an unearned run thanks to a walk and a pair of errors, Smith settled in for Monument. The sophomore right-hander held the Millionaires hitless until Hunter hit a 3-1 pitch down the third-base line. The ball never rolled foul, and Hunter ended up on first. Cooper Shepardson followed it with a single to left, but the Millionaires could not score as Ricky Armstrong flied to Marco Buffoni in left to end the inning.

"Jackson's a sophomore. It was his second varsity start. He was a nervous wreck," Hankey said. "He'll try as hard as he can to do the best he can for his team. He's going to grow and he's going to be real good. His pitch count was getting up there because of so many walks. He was at about 85, and I didn't want to go too much more."

Jett Steinman and Hunter each had two hits for the Millionaires. Dylan Tyer drove in Lenox's final run with a seventh-inning single.

———

Monument Mountain     180     010     3     —     13     10     2

Lenox     100     000     1     —     2     6     3

Jackson Smith (4), Kyle Gochey (1), Sam Cormier (1), Jackson Blanchard (1) and Max Joyner. James Martragano (1 1/3), John Fielding (3), Luke Patella (2 2/3) and Cooper Shepardson. W — Smith. L — Martragano. 2B — MM (Sean Dupont, Cade Groeber).

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.

Lenox     100     000     1     —     2     6     3

Jackson Smith (4), Kyle Gochey (1), Sam Cormier (1), Jackson Blanchard (1) and Max Joyner. James Martragano (1 1/3), John Fielding (3), Luke Patella (2 2/3) and Cooper Shepardson. W — Smith. L — Martragano. 2B — MM (Sean Dupont, Cade Groeber).

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.

Jackson Smith (4), Kyle Gochey (1), Sam Cormier (1), Jackson Blanchard (1) and Max Joyner. James Martragano (1 1/3), John Fielding (3), Luke Patella (2 2/3) and Cooper Shepardson. W — Smith. L — Martragano. 2B — MM (Sean Dupont, Cade Groeber).

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.


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