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Gateway Holds on To Drop McCann Baseball


By Stephen Dravis
iBerkshires.com Sports
10:05PM / Saturday, May 31, 2014


HUNTINGTON, Mass. -- The McCann Tech baseball team's season ended on Saturday the way too many of their games ended this spring -- with the Hornets coming up just short on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
 
The second-seeded Gateway Gators (13-8) knocked McCann out of the Western Massachusetts Division 4 tournament with a 4-2 win on Saturday as the teams completed a game begun on Friday afternoon but interrupted by a field-drenching downpour.
 
"[Before the season] I had us more of a 13- or 14-win team," McCann coach Pat Ryan said of his squad, which finished 11-10.
 
"We had a lot of tough losses, a lot of one-run losses that were similar to today, that could have gone either way and were decided by one bad inning.
 
"I thought we had a good season. We got to the tournament. That's the most important thing. It's just unfortunate we're not there on Monday."
 
McCann beat Pioneer Valley Christian on the last day of the regular season to ensure itself a winning season. But down the stretch, the Hornets suffered four one-run losses in their last eight games, a stretch in which they went 3-5.
 
The one bad inning that led to Saturday's loss actually came on Friday, when a one-out error sparked a two-run second for Gateway that gave the Gators a 3-0 lead when play was suspended.
 
The Gators finished the interrupted third inning on Saturday by scoring another unearned run against McCann's Sean Davis, who went the distance, striking out six and allowing just five hits and one earned run.
 
McCann's offense managed just one hit through the first four innings -- a flare to right by Joe Gwozdz with two outs in the top of the third on Friday.
 
But in the fifth inning, Dalton Nicholas jump-started the Hornets with a towering one-out double to left-center. Tim DeBlois followed with a single up the middle, and Collin Racette drew 3-2 walk to load the bases for the top of the order.
 
Gwozdz got Nicholas home with a ground ball that was booted, keeping the bases loaded, and after a pop-up back to the pitcher, another error allowed DeBlois to score and Charlie Bohl to reach base.
 
But Gateway freshman Brett Turban closed the door, getting a strikeout to end the threat.
 
"Brett's our main guy that can throw strikes," Gateway coach Gary St. Peter said. "If we need somebody to hit the zone and keep us in the game, it's going to be Brett, even though he's young, as a freshman. He's proven to myself and the team that we can rely on him in big games, that he'll battle. He'll throw stikes. And the best part, as a young guy, is that he's level-headed."
 
Turban did not panic during the two-error fifth, and he did not panic when another error and Racette's infield single put the tying run on base with two out in the top of the seventh.
 
Instead of knuckling under, the freshman buckled down and got his sixth strikeout of the game to end it.
 
For McCann, Saturday marked the final game for three seniors: Nicholas, Dylan Carr and Justin Schneider.
 
"They play hard," Ryan said. "They come and they want it. They've been playing for me since they were sophomores. And they gave me a great three years.
 
"Next year, we'll come back as solid as can be."
 
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