WESTFIELD – There was more at play Tuesday night than your typical regular season high school showdown.
Tuesday’s Westfield Technical Academy-Gateway high school baseball game featured a soaring rendition of The Star Spangled Banner (thanks to Westfield native Keri Paton), two first pitches, a true dedication for a good cause, and a wild ending.
On Suicide Prevention Awareness night, Westfield Tech rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Gateway 13-12.
Chris Boyden (2-for-3, 3 RBIs, 4 runs) hit a walk-off sacrifice fly, scoring Andy Daniels (2-for-4, 2 runs) from third base to complete the comeback.
It was an amazing game with Gateway rallying for eight runs of its own in the top of the seventh inning.
“It was a fun game – it really was,” Westfield Tech baseball coach Bob Eak. “And there was some personal meaning.”
Bob’s wife, Lisa Darlington, was personally affected by tragedy in 1995 when her brother Keith committed suicide.
Lisa and Judi Bongiovanni, whose sister Susan also committed suicide some four years ago, threw out the ceremonial first pitcher at Tuesday’s Suicide Prevention Awareness night. Judi’s son, Dante, is the Westfield Tech first baseman.
According to coach Eak, Dante suggested the theme of the night (suicide prevention) earlier this season.
Last year, Westfield Tech raised more than $2,000 for Alzheimer’s awareness.
“It’s good for the school, good for the community,” coach Eak said. “Between teachers at the school buying bracelets, parents volunteering their time, and the Baseball Booster Club, they did a super job.”
Others who did a super job in the game included Westfield Tech batters Mike Durkee (2-for-4, 4 RBIs), Dante Bongiovanni (single, run scored), and Cade Bradley (double, 2 runs).
Daniels also struck out 10 batters in 6 1/3rd innings on the mound. Trent Adam provided two-thirds of an inning of relief to earn the victory.
Wyatt Heeter (2-for-4), Ryan Orr (double, 3 RBIs), and Anthony Diquette (double, 2 RBIs) led Gateway.
Westfield Tech improved to 4-2, 2-0 league.
Extra, extra: Terriers seeing red (Bombers)
Westfield 6, West Springfield 3 (8 inn.)
Westfield rallied for three runs in the eighth inning to escape West Springfield with a narrow victory.
Jack Yvon (2-for-4, double, run), Aidan Dunn (2-for-4, run), and Mitchell Longley (2-for-4, run, RBI) provided multi-hit efforts for Westfield. Bombers’ Steve McKenna had a hit and two runs, Ryan Paro had a hit and two RBIs, and Zachary Culver doubled.
Westfield pitcher Kyle Roberts tossed a three-hitter over six innings. He allowed three runs (one earned), struck out two batters and walked three.
Jimmy Hagan closed it out for the Bombers, tossing two shutout innings of no-hit relief. He had three Ks.
Slack, Tigers slam door shut on Pioneers
Westfield Technical Academy 19, Pathfinder 2 (5 inn.)
Cheyenne Slack blasted a grand slam and a three-run homer in leading Westfield Tech to a mercy-shortened, five-inning victory.
Westfield Tech sophomore Ari Levere had three hits, a double and three RBIs. Tigers’ Emily Dorval, Caitlyn Murphy, and Jordan Sanders collected two hits apiece.
Leilani Marsh earned the victory on the mound for Westfield Tech. She retired four of the 21 batters she faced.
“It was an excellent team effort and a much-needed win after not playing for almost a week,” Westfield Tech coach Deborah Falcetti said.
Gateway 20, Renaissance 1 (5 inn.)
Allison Manos, Ava Auclair, Autumn Marchetto, Grace Van Buren, and Angela Wright all had multiple hits for Gateway in a runaway victory.
Gateway pitcher Audrey Gamble dominated, recording nine strikeouts and retiring the final 12 batters of the game.
Bombers soar past Hurricanes
Westfield 15, Amherst 9
Westfield improved to 6-1 overall, 2-0 league with stellar efforts from Hannah Jarvis (3 goals, 3 assists), Kylie Buchanan (2 goals, 2 assists), Jordan Kowalski (3 goals), and McKenzie Liptak (2 goals).
Saints win close one
St. Mary 3, Renaissance 2
St. Mary’s Jessica Crosby won at first singles, and the Saints swept doubles competition to come away with a thrilling victory.
Crosby battled back from an early 3-0 deficit to win the first set, 6-3. She won the next set 6-1 to defeat Renaissance’s Nicole Schabot.
St. Mary’s Maura O’Neill and Gina Mulvenna downed Renaissance’s Madeline Nowak and Angis Martinez at first doubles, 6-1, 6-4. At second doubles, Saints’ Abigail Shennahan and Ally Fougemont topped Danielle Dorn and Dianna Osamoah, 6-4, 6-3.
Alexis Shedd and Erin Olearcek lost hard-fought matches at second and third singles, respectively, for St. Mary’s.
Bombers overwhelm Purple Knights
Westfield 4, Holyoke 1
Westfield’s top two singles players, Jaylen Bodendorf and Lyle Libanon; and, doubles pairs’ Jimmy Knapik and Sean Mitchell, and, Joey Burzinski and Donald Chang won in dominating fashion.
Southwick 11, St. Mary 0
Zach Karetka pitched a complete game, recording four strikeouts; and Nick Michaels and Brennan Vinesett each went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs to lead Southwick to a shutout victory.
Southwick’s JV squad was coming off a 6-4 loss to Pittsfield that saw Pat Corrigan go 2-for-2 with 2 RBIs and Nate Goodwin double and knock in a run. Rams’ Frank Wyglarz yielded three earned runs over five innings. He struck out four, and drove in a run as well.