Post 124 eliminated

GREENFIELD – Westfield Post 124’s run at a first-ever American Legion Baseball departmental championship title is over.
Greenfield built a 4-1 lead in Game 2 of the state sectionals best-of-3 championship round, and staved off Westfield for a 5-4 win Thursday night at Veterans Field. Post 81 earned a two-game sweep to advance.
The game was originally scheduled to be played Wednesday night, but severe weather forced the suspension of the game after one batter in the bottom of the first inning of a scoreless tie.
Greenfield resumed with Mark Buck on first base, courtesy of a walk a day prior. Buck eventually came around to score on a Liam Datres Del La Blotier RBI single to left field late Thursday afternoon. A two-out error and a Samuel Downes infield single put Post 81 out front 2-0.
Westfield recouped one run in the top of the third, also scoring after a two-out error. Colin Dunn was the recipient of the good fortune, reaching on an error by the Greenfield shortstop, advancing on a wild pitch, and coming around to score on the bat of Chris Riga.
Greenfield would not back down.
In the bottom of the third inning, Greenfield loaded the bases. Luke Bakkar led off the inning with a single, Samuel Downes walked. Tyler Charboneau reached on a fielder’s choice. With one out, Jake Elwell belted a two-run single to center field for a 4-1 advantage.
Westfield slowly chipped away at Greenfield’s lead.
In the fifth, Matt Irzyk led off with a walk. Nate Barnes blasted a double to deep right center field. Matt Plasse followed with a hot shot off the glove of the shortstop. The ball sailed into the outfield. Two runs scored to pull Post 124 within 4-3.
Westfield pulled even with some small ball.
Connor Sas was hit by a pitch to begin the sixth. Sam Blake moved him over with a sac-bunt. With two outs, Barnes roped a rocket down the first base side. The ball took a high hop over the first baseman’s head, resulting in an RBI single.
Greenfield scored the game-winner in the sixth. With one out and one on, Bakkar laced a run-scoring blooper to left field.
Greenfield’s reliever, Downes, retired the side – Westfield’s Nos. 1-3 batters – and a green wave of celebration engulfed the infield diamond.
NOTES: The past four department champions have been Milford (2013), Barnstable (201), Worcester-East Side (2011), and East Longmeadow (2010).

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