Tigers capture league title

Westfield Voc-Tech starting pitcher Jake Parsons delivers during a regular season game at Bullens Field. Parsons and the Tigers captured the Tri-County League Crown on Saturday. (Photo by Frederick Gore/

Westfield Voc-Tech starting pitcher Jake Parsons delivers during a regular season game at Bullens Field. Parsons and the Tigers captured the Tri-County League crown on Saturday. (Photo by Frederick Gore/

WESTFIELD – The Westfield Vocational-Technical baseball team just hit one out of the park.
Westfield Voc-Tech senior Jake Parsons hit a two-out, walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Tigers to a 4-3 win over Putnam Saturday at Bullens Field.
The victory delivered Voc-Tech only its second Tri-County League title in school history, and first since 1996.
“Hopefully for Westfield Voke, it will legitimize that the students there do work hard and can be successful,” Tigers coach Kyle Dulude said. “This is a huge accomplishment.”
“These kids hard work paid off this season,” he added. “Being a first-year head coach, and not knowing my coaching style – such long practices, all of the additional batting sessions … We had hoped to win the Tri-County League, but until it becomes a reality you don’t understand all the hard work that needs to be put in to win it.”
Parsons may earn the accolades for delivering the final piece to the title, but Dulude said every one of the team’s 13 players contributed to the victory, and to the 12 other wins enjoyed this past season.
A perfect example is junior Jordan Nelson, who the team named the Most Valuable Player. Nelson was often used as a pinch runner or defensive substitution, but no matter the outcome, Dulude said, the Tigers’ player motivated teammates by displaying good character, commitment, hard work, and, most importantly, enthusiasm for the game.
“Jordan works as hard as anyone,” Dulude said, “and when it mattered most, he came through and made plays.”
The new head coach – “new” to baseball as Dulude made the move over from being the school’s longtime softball coach (he also coaches boys’ basketball) – also credited the previous regime and his current staff for the team’s newfound success.
“This is a credit to 28 years from Clem Fucci,” Dulude said. “We have five seniors that played three years for him … For 28 years he kept that program together. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have had that experience today.”
Dulude said his job was made much easier thanks to two local baseball gurus and assistant-volunteers, first base coach Bruce Hastings, and Emmet Morill.
Westfield Voc-Tech finished the regular season 13-5 overall, 13-3 in league play. While the Tigers will not participate in the state vocational tournament, they will begin postseason play in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 tournament, beginning this week. The entire baseball postseason field will be revealed late Tuesday evening.
“You need have luck and some experience (to win WMass),” Dulude said. “That’s what we’ll go for. We’ll take it one game at a time and see what happens.”
EMASS SHUT OUT OF “SUPER 8”: The state’s new “Super Eight” Division 1 baseball tournament will be a bit one-sided.
The eight-team field was announced late Monday, and all eight teams were selected from Eastern Massachusetts. Western Massachusetts will get its chance to make some noise when the west sectionals get under way this week.
Westfield, the two-time defending Division 1 champs, was considered one of the leading contenders to draw the region’s lone berths in the field, but was shot down 6-3 according to ESPNBoston.
BOMBERS TO TAKE FLIGHT: The Westfield High softball team has flown high all season, compiling an unbeaten mark of 20-0. The Bombers will look to extend that streak, and more, when the D1 softball tourney begins this week.
POSTSEASON NOTES: Westfield will open tournament play in the boys’ volleyball Division 1 West Section quarterfinal Tuesday, May 27 against No. 5 Belchertown (13-6) at home at 6:30 p.m. The Bombers (10-6) are seeded fourth … Fans hoping to catch a double-header can watch No. 4 Westfield (14-3) take on No. 13 Wachusett (11-9), the visitor, in a boys’ lacrosse Division 2 West Sectional opening round game at 4.

To Top