Something had to give on Saturday night, June 13 in Manchester as two unbeaten Class “A” baseball squads met for the first time this summer as the Greyhounds played host to the North Adams Green Devils with both teams coming into the game with perfect 3-0 records. Though the game was played in Manchester, the Devils were considered the home team as the game was a makeup for an earlier contest scheduled to be played in Seaman.
All of the runs in this Saturday night affair were scored within the first three innings as North Adams pitcher Mikey Sheeley returned to the mound after an arm injury that had sidelined him during the recent high school season. Sheeley showed no signs of rust as he fired a seven-inning complete game on a very warm evening to lead the Devils to a 5-1 victory. The winners were helped by some sloppy Manchester defense as the Hounds gave up four unearned runs and on offense left 11 runners on base.
Being the visitors on their home field brought the Hounds to the plate in the top of the first and they drew first blood, scoring what turned out to be their only run of the game. With one out, Jordan Carpenter drew a walk from Sheeley and one-out later with Carpenter on the move, Cole Meade drove a double to left center that brought Carpenter all the way around to make it 1-0 Manchester.
That lead didn’t last long as Kaulen Cox took the mound as the starter for the Hounds as the Devils came to bat in the bottom half of the first. Lead off man Sheeley reached on an error, but was forced at second on a ground ball off the bat of Ben Figgins. Cole Roades reached on a Manchester throwing error that brought Figgins home and a base hit by Kenny Branch gave North Adams the lead. Branch was forced at second on a Nathan Davis ground ball to short, but Davis stole second and came home when Noah Bunn grounded a base hit to right, giving the Devils a 3-1 advantage.
In the top of the second, the Greyhounds loaded the bases with two outs after an Applegate single, a double to left by Jalen James, and a walk to Brendon Kessler. With the sacks jammed, Sheeley got out of trouble when Rickey Deatley hit a long drive to center but is was flagged down by Roades for the third out.
North Adams added another unearned run in the bottom of the second when Patrick England singled and eventually came around to score on another Manchester error, putting the Devils up 4-1.
In the bottom of the third, the Devils added their final run of the game off of Cox, this one finally of the earned variety when Sheeley singled with one out, stole second, and scored on a base hit by Roades to increase the lead to 5-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Devils threatened to turn the game into a blowout when they loaded the bases with no outs against Cox. England, Seth Daulton, and Christian Barnes all reached safely, bringing Tyler Horsley to the plate. Horsley hit a one-hopper back to Cox, who threw to catcher Nick Hoskins to force England at home and Hoskins turned and fired to first base to nail Horsley for the 1-2-3 double play. Cox then struck out Randall Hayslip to get out of the jam and keep the Hounds’ deficit at just four runs.
Manchester again loaded the bases in the top of the sixth when Carpenter led off with a long double to right center. Sheeley retired the next two hitters, but Cox reached on a missed third strike and Hoskins drew a base on balls. That brought Applegate to the plate and he made solid contact with a hard hit ground ball but it was right at the shortstop who flipped to second for the force that ended the inning.
Cole Meade came to the mound in relief for the Hounds in the bottom of the sixth and he held the Devils scoreless, giving his offense one more shot. With one away in the bottom of the seventh, James singled and Ryan Dryden coaxed a walk. After Kessler was caught looking for the second out, DeAtley blooped a hit down the right field line. James rounded third but was held up, but Dryden didn’t see that and when Sheeley cut off the relay throw from right, he had Dryden dead to rights and flipped to the shortstop who made the tag to end the game and clinch a North Adams win.
The story of the game for the victorious Devils was the work of Sheeley on the mound, who tossed a complete game even in some sweltering temperatures. The North Adams righty threw seven innings, walked three, struck out 11, and allowed just one run. The winning pitcher also contributed two hits at the plate and scored a run.
Kaulen Cox took the loss for Manchester, going five innings and striking out six, though he deserved a much better fate as his defense let him down, as four of the five runs scored off of Cox were unearned. The Hounds got two hits each from Cole Meade, Mason Applegate, and Jalen James, but couldn’t get that big hit with runners in scoring position with their 11 runners left stranded.
The two teams turned right around and met again on Monday night, June 15 in Seaman. Look for a full report on that game in the upcoming weekend edition of The People’s Defender.
MANCHESTER 100 000 0 —1
NORTH ADAMS 311 000 x —5
Manchester Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): DeAtley 4-0-1-0, Carpenter 2-1-1-0, Thatcher 3-0-0-0, Meade 3-0-2-1, Kaulen Cox 3-0-0-0, Hoskins 2-0-0-0, Applegate 3-0-2-0, Kaige Cox 3-0-0-0, James 3-0-2-0, Dryden 2-0-0-0, Kessler 2-0-0-0, Team 30-1-8-1.
Extra Base Hits: Carpenter 2B, Meade 2B, James 2B
N. Adams Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Sheeley 3-1-2-0, Figgins 3-1-0-0, Roades 1-1-1-1, Branch 2-0-1-1, Davis 2-1-0-0, Bunn 2-0-1-1, Shumaker 2-0-0-0, England 2-1-1-0, Daulton 1-0-0-0, Barnes 2-0-0-0, Horsley 2-0-0-0, Hayslip 2-0-0-0, Team 24-5-6-3.
Manchester Pitching: Kaulen Cox (L) 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
Meade 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB
N. Adams Pitching: Sheeley (W) 7 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 K