NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The McCann Tech baseball team Monday won its 21st game, and Robert Matte III picked up his seventh, a complete game gem, as the Hornets beat Westfield Tech, 5-1, in the quarter-finals of the Western Massachusetts Division 4 tournament.
“As a high school coach, dealing with young players, it's always nerve-wracking knowing it depends who is going to show up which day,” McCann Tech coach Pat Ryan said. :And Robert has been with me three years solid and has been doing a tremendous job for us.
“This year, he hasn't had a bad moment yet, knock on wood, but he came out today and said, 'Coach, I've got it, I've got it.' He was definitely confident.”
Matte took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before surrendering a leadoff single to right and a double down the left-field line that produced the lone run for No. 7 WTA (12-8).
Even though the second-seeded Hornets (21-2) were looking at a quick turnaround for Wednesday’s sectional semi-final at Westfield State against St. Mary (14-7), Ryan said he was not tempted to pull Matte in the late innings after McCann Tech’s four-run fourth to take a 5-0 lead.
“No,” Ryan said. “We've got to win Wednesday with our bats. Pitching is going to be pitching. We've got to play defense and hit the ball. Because we're going to need Robert for the championship if we get to that point.”
The Hornets’ bats were a little “slow coming out of the gate,” on Monday afternoon at Joe Wolfe Field, Ryan said.
The Hornets used their speed to produce the game’s first run in the bottom of the second. Matte reached on the game’s first hit and proceeded to steal second. He went to third on a wild pitch and came home when the throw to third missed the mark.
McCann’s bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth, when the hosts also cashed in on a couple of Westfield Tech errors to score four times.
Caleb Rondeau hit a leadoff single, and Logan Tower followed with a single to left to put men on first and second. Jacob Field then reached on a two-base error that allowed both men to score.
After a fly ball out, Jeremy Beaney singled to move Field over to third. Field came home on a sac bunt by Jette, and Beany scored the Hornets’ final run on a double by No. 9 hitter James Hamilton.
“It's always nice to see the bottom of the order getting some big hits for us in big games,” Ryan said. “I was happy that happened.”
In the field, McCann Tech committed just one error, a fourth-inning passed ball that did not produce a run.
“We've been playing solid,” Ryan said. “I think sometimes when Robert's on the mound the kids play too lackadaisical and comfortable. I've got to keep them on their toes.”