NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- It was McCann Tech sophomore Mike Ferrara’s birthday on Tuesday, and the best gift came from his Uncle Charlie.
Ferrara’s curve ball was the key to his complete-game, seven-strikeout, 4-1 win over Franklin Tech.
“The best it’s been so far this year,” Ferrara said of the curve, which kept Franklin Tech hitters guessing most of the game.
Ferrara said he knew during warm-ups that the pitch was working for him, and his coach said the right-hander had a different look going to the mound.
“I saw a different Mike today,” Pat Ryan said. “A lot of smiles, confidence, and about the third inning, he came back and said, ‘Coach, my curve ball worked that inning.’ And it sure did.”
The third inning was the turning point for Ferrara.
After the Hornets (6-4) scratched out a 3-1 lead over the first two, Franklin Tech got a single and a double with one out to put two runners in scoring position for its No. 4 and No. 5 hitter. Ferrara got the cleanup man swinging and got the third out when second baseman Collin Racette made a great play going back on a ball to short right field.
Those two outs were the first of 10 in a row for Ferrara, a streak that ended with two out in the sixth and McCann up, 4-1.
He stranded that runner at second and left two more on base in the top of the seventh to preserve the win.
The visiting Eagles (4-6) drew first blood when Mitch Mailloux singled to center to drive in a run with two out in the top of the first.
But McCann struck back in bottom of the inning.
Ferrara drew a leadoff walk, and Racette traded places on a fielder’s choice. Then, after a wild pitch sent Racette to second, Charlie Bohl singled to make it 1-1. Bohl stole second and came home when Connor Guyette reached on a two-base error.
In the second, Ryan Meehan and Robert Matte singled to start the inning. A ground ball erased Meehan but allowed Matte to move up. Ferrra drew a walk to load the bases, and Racette hit a sac fly to center field to make it 3-1.
The Hornets added another insurance run in the third. This time, Bohl led off with a single, stole second, moved up on Rob Pecor’s single and scored on Meehan’s single to right.
Besides Ferrara’s pitching and some clutch hitting, the other key for McCann was defense. The lone blemish was a bobble at second while trying to turn a double play in the top of the seventh. Other than that, the Hornets played error-free ball.
“It’s our third game now where we’ve attacked and scored in the first few innings to get us ahead, to get us some breathing room,” Ryan said. “And on the defensive end, I think our outfield … we’ve been a little shaky out there, but I think today they came out and positioned themselves well.”
McCann hosts Westfield Tech on Wednesday.