WESTFIELD – Post 124 suffered its first loss in six games, 11-8 to two-time defending Western Mass American Legion baseball champ Pittsfield Post 68 on Sunday. But it wasn’t your “typical” 11-8 game.
Pittsfield took a quick 3-0 lead in the first without a hit and stretched it to 6-0 in the second on four singles. By the time the bottom of the third was done, Pittsfield led 7-1. Next it was Westfield’s turn, scoring five runs in the fourth. Two big hits in the inning, from Stefan Krol and Adam Kearing, combined with two Pittsfield errors to make it a one-run game.
In the bottom of the fifth, after Pittsfield had added a single run in the top of the inning to make it 8-6, Post 124 tied the game, scoring twice with two ours. Brian Campbell, who had led off the inning with a single, scored from second on Nick Clegg’s triple to deep center. He quickly scored on a wild pitch.
Three Pittsfield runs in the sixth gave them back the lead, and Westfield never threatened after that.
Ari Schwartz, Cam Niemiec and Matt Hastings threw for Westfield, combining for 10 strikeouts while allowing 13 hits and a season-high seven walks.
Westfield next plays on Tuesday at Mittneague Park against West Springfield Post 207. Start time is 5:45 p.m.
Westfield overwhelms Monson
Westfield 14, Monson 2
It was right around the inning change in the fourth, with Westfield leading 13-0 in a game that would be shortened by the American Legion baseball mercy rule, that a voice somewhere on the Monson bench announced, “Alright boys, we’ve got them right where we want them!” Monson Post 241 showed its fight right to the very end, but ultimately was no match for Westfield Post 124 on Saturday.
Leading 1-0 after an inning, Westfield (5-0) batted around and then-some in the second, scoring eight runs and putting an end to any idea of a competitive afternoon. Every Westfield player scored in the inning except Anthony Riga, and he had a sacrifice fly that scored a run. Two walks and a pair of hit batsmen pushed across a run without the benefit of a ball getting out of the infield. Matt Hastings had his second infield hit in as many innings, Riga lofted his fly ball to right and Stefan Krol took a rare walk to make it 5-0. Jack Blake tripled to deep right-center to drive in two runs, and Steve McKenna reached on an error, scoring Blake, before eventually scoring on a wild pitch.
Krol, Blake and McKenna added RBIs in the four-run third, with Blake and McKenna driving in runs with hard singles and Krol getting his on a bases-loaded walk. Adam Kearing drove in the inning’s fourth run. Westfield scored once more in the fourth.
On the mound, Krol struck out seven in four innings before handing it off to Hastings, who was pitching for the first time this season. Monson had three batters reach second base against Krol. The first came on a leadoff single and wild pitch in the second, but Krol struck out the final two batters to get out of the inning. In the third, it was a double play that put an end to the inning, and in the fourth he had two more strikeouts to leave a lead-off walk stranded. Krol only gave up two singles over his four innings of work. – Courtesy of Westfield Post 124