North Adams Babe Ruth Wins Convincingly
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Eight was more than enough for North Adams' Hayden Bird on Thursday night.
The Drury High School rising sophomore pitched a complete-game four-hitter in leading the North Adams 15-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars to an 8-0 win over Joe Schwartz in state tournament play at Alcombright Field.
North Adams improved to 1-1 in pool play with one game left -- Saturday afternoon on the road against Worcester's West Side.
On Thursday, North Adams was in a must-win situation after losing, 3-0, in its tournament opener two nights earlier.
Coach Dan Harrison said there was no doubt in his mind who would take the hill against Joe Schwartz.
"Pretty much after that loss Tuesday night, as soon as that game ended, I had in my mind that he was my guy," Harrison said of Bird. "He's been solid for me all year.
"He has a way of finding ways to get outs. he's done that all year. He's our go-to guy."
Bird struck out three, walked three and left at least one runner on base in each inning.
He was spotted a big lead after North Adams' offense, which had just one infield hit in Tuesday's loss, scored four runs in the bottom of the first on Thursday.
McCann Tech's Collin Racette hit an RBI double to drive in Brandon Condon with the game's first run, and Connor Guyette drove in two runs with a single up the middle in the rally.
"These guys bounced back after Tuesday, which was nice to see," Harrison said. "The middle of the lineup was pretty solid tonight."
It stayed 4-0 until the fifth, when Racette drilled his second double of the game and scored his second run on Thaylen Harrison's double to right. Harrison moved up on a ground ball and scored on a passed ball to make it 6-0.
In the sixth, North Adams scored two more without the use of a hit. Three walks, a couple of wild pitches and a delayed double steal with men on first and third did the damage.
The most serious trouble for Bird came in the fourth, when the visitors loaded the bases with two out thanks to a couple of hit batters and North Adams' only error of the game.
But catcher Charlie Bohl fielded a swinging bunt and threw to first to end the threat.
Bohl also caught a runner stealing second -- one of many solid defensive plays for North Adams on the night.
"We played great defense Tuesday night, too," Dan Harrison said. "That's kind of been our strength over the years.
"This team has been together a good seven years now, and they've definitely always been solid. If we keep the mistakes to a minimum, we should do well in this tournament."