Story by Mark Carpenter –
Photo by Timothy Daulton –
After dropping their first two outings of the spring, Coach Rob Meade and his North Adams baseball squad bounced back to even their record at 2-2 on Saturday as they swept a doubleheader from Northwest, taking the first game 9-2, then winning the nightcap in extra innings 4-3. The Devils have had a difficult time getting their home playing field in shape, so Saturday’s games were moved to the VA Stadium in Chillicothe and played in beautiful bright sunshine.
“We played really well today,” said Coach Meade. “At the plate, only three strikeouts in 16 innings and only three total errors on the defensive side.”
For game one with the Mohawks, Meade chose southpaw Seth Daulton as his starter and that move paid off, as Daulton pitched a complete game, just one fly ball lost in the sun away from a no-hitter. The Green Devil offense struck first, picking up a run in the bottom of the first when Bryant Lung led off with a double and later scored on a wild pitch.
That lead increased to 3-0 in the bottom of the third when Daulton helped his own cause with a two-bagger to left that brought home both Ryan Shupert and Elijah Young. North Adams added two more in their half of the fifth when a Noah Lung base hit scored Nolan Newman and Dalton Gardner to make it 5-0.
The Devils busted it wide open with a four-spot in the bottom of the sixth when Bryant Lung singled, Shupert doubled, Young singled, and Austin Parks doubled, followed by an RBI ground out by Daulton, and a run-scoring hit by Gardner.
The Mohawks got their only hit and their only two runs of the game in the top of the seventh, but Daulton closed out his complete game, getting the final out on a pop up to the catcher in a 9-2 North Adams triumph.
“We had a much better approach at the plate all day long,” said Coach Meade. “Our situational hitting was a big key. Seth threw the ball very well and pitched to contact, only using 79 pitches in a complete game.”
Game two turned out to be a thriller, going extra innings before a Shupert walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth gave the Devils a 4-3 win. Meade used four pitchers in the second game victory, with Shupert starting, followed by Noah Lung, Parks, and Colt Shumaker, who picked up the win in relief.
The Devils picked up a run in the bottom of the third, but single runs by the Mohawks in the fifth, sixth, and seventh gave them a 3-1 advantage, just three outs from the win, but North Adams tied the game in the bottom half. Layne Williams drew a one-out walk and scored on a double to left by Bryant Lung. A later single by Young brought home Lung to send the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the ninth, Bryant Lung continued his big day at the plate with a one-out double and came home with the winning run when Shupert lined a double to left, giving the Devils the twinbill sweep and their second win of the season.
“Ryan Shupert had a big day at the plate from the two-spot in the line-up,” added Coach Meade. “Bryant had a great day defensively behind the plate with a diving catch on a foul pop-up to end game one and a diving tag at the plate to complete an outfield assist from Layne Williams in game two.”