WESTFIELD – It’s not too often that you get to rewrite the ending to your own story, but that’s just what the Westfield Technical Academy High School baseball team will get a chance to do.
One week ago, McCann Tech narrowly edged Westfield Tech 4-3 in the MVADA Vocational Small School Baseball Tournament championship. The Tigers will get the opportunity to avenge that loss.
No. 7 Westfield Tech (12-7) jumped out to an early lead in a West Division 4 baseball tournament opener Friday and eventually outlasted No. 10 Smith Vocational 8-6 at Westfield State University’s spacious Bud and Jim Hagan Field to advance to a quarterfinals rematch of sorts against second-seeded McCann (18-2).
The rematch will be played at Joe Wolfe Stadium Monday in North Adams at 2 p.m.
Westfield Tech’s advancement can be attributed to a nice start from starting pitcher Andy Daniels, and a patient approach at the plate from the Tigers’ batters.
“I’m happy about our pitch selection and discipline at the plate,” Westfield Tech coach Bob Eak said, following Friday’s victory. “We strike out a lot at times and today there weren’t a lot of strikeouts.”
Westfield Tech struck out just five times as a team against Smith Voke (9-10), but even more importantly, drew eight walks and had seven hits.
“We hit strikes and took balls,” coach Eak said.
Westfield Tech walked four times in the first inning, including three consecutive base-on-balls to begin the game, and scored five runs on one hit, also thanks in large part to a couple of misplayed balls.
“That’s why it’s important to find the plate and find the strike zone,” Eak said.
Andy Daniels found the strike zone early and often on the mound for Westfield Tech. Daniels scattered five hits over 5 1/3rd innings, allowing just three earned runs while striking out four batters and walking two.
Westfield Tech freshman Brody Zabielski provided 1 2/3rd innings of relief after Daniels tired. Zabielski allowed two hits, one walk, no runs, and struck out two.
Chris Boyden finished 2-for-3 for Westfield Tech with a double, 2 RBIs, and three runs scored. Tigers’ freshman Riley Sullivan had a hit and two RBIs, designated hitter Trent Adam went 2-for-4, and Dante Bongiovanni had a hit and RBI.
Rams edge Red Raiders
No. 6 Southwick 1, No. 11 Athol 0 (8 inn.)
Southwick (14-7) escaped an extra-inning affair at Whalley Park late Friday night with a narrow victory. The sixth-seeded Rams advance to take on No. 3 Monument Mountain (16-4) on the road in the quarterfinals. The game will be played Monday at 4 p.m.
Josh Sylvia hit a ball to shallow left-center that got lost in the lights and resulted in a double. Sam Mizanoglu struck out on the ensuing at-bat, dropped third strike. Sylvia advanced Dalton Bissette (3-for-4) drives a ball into right-center field.
Nick Kavarakis tossed a gem, allowing just three hits while striking out nine batters and walking one through seven innings. Bart Shea picked up the win with an inning of no-hit ball. He struck out three batters and walked one.
Josh Lis, Nick Kavarakis and Dan Burnett each had a hit.
WEST D3 SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
Ryan, Auclair hit bases-clearing triples; Gamble shuts down Tigers
No. 7 Gateway 14, No. 10 Westfield Technical Academy 2 (6 inn.)
Gateway seventh grader Lilyan Ryan hit a two-out bases-loaded triple in the fourth inning to help the Gators blow the doors wide open, and Ava Auclair launched a bases-loaded triple in the sixth to close it.
Audrey Gamble went 2-for-3 at the plate for Gateway (15-6). She also delivered on the mound, scattering five hits and striking out eight.
Westfield Tech’s Cheyenne Slack came up with some big defensive plays, and Jordyn Sanders made a nice diving catch in the fifth to rob Gateway’s Angela Wright of an extra base hit.
Gateway now faces an uphill battle against Mount Everett (13-6), the tournament’s overall No. 2 seed.
Said Gateway coach Matt Bonenfant: “We’re playing with house money.”