Drury Advances on Rumbolt's Walkoff Double
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The collegians are going to play a lot of baseball at Joe Wolfe Field over the next couple of months.
None of them will have a bigger moment than Drury High School sophomore Logan Rumbolt had on Sunday night.
Rumbolt ripped a one-out double deep to left in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Blue Devils a 3-2 win over Mount Greylock in the quarter-finals of the Western Massachusetts Division 3 tournament.
Rumbolt worked a full count with runners on second and third before ending a wild night in front of a packed house under the lights.
“What timely hitting by Logan Rumbolt,” Drury coach Pat Boulger said of the shortstop’s heroics. “That’s what we’ve needed the last few games. We haven’t had that big hit, that moment when someone steps up and puts that ball in the air. And for a sophomore ... what a big spot. What a big spot.
“Great at-bat. Fabulous at-bat. One of the best at-bats of the game, probably one of the best at-bats we’ve had this year. In that pressure situation? A sophomore? He’s a seasoned sophomore. He’s a two-year starter in our program. He’s just a guy we have a lot of confidence in.”
Second-seeded Drury (15-6) will meet the winner of Monday’s game between No 6 Greenfield (15-6) and No. 3 Southwick (16-2).
The Mounties (15-7) see their season come to an end after a game in which they fell behind in the fourth and rallied to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh.
It was a game that kept hundreds of fans on the edge of their seats and featured plenty of heroes on both sides.
Going into the seventh, none was bigger than Mount Greylock senior pitcher Robbie Buffis, who did not allow a hit through six innings but still trailed until the top of the seventh.
Nick DiSanti and Jake Benzinger hit RBI singles in the top of the seventh to spoil a sterling performance by Drury starter Tyler Cote and give Mount Greylock an improbable 2-1 lead.
After Tyler Briggs came on to get the last out in the top of the seventh, Buffis struggled to find the strike zone in the bottom of the frame.
“I think he was more amped than anything else," Mount Greylock coach Steve Messina said. “I think he was so ... He’s such an emotional kid, and he was just pumped up and had a hard time harnessing it. And that’s normal for an 18-year-old kid."
After five straight balls, including two that sailed high above the outstretched glove of DiSanti, Buffis gave the ball to sophomore Adam Hall.
Hall proceeded to get the first out by fielding a bunt attempt and gunning down the runner at second. But then Briggs’ fly ball to the outfield was lost in the lights, giving Drury runners at first and second with one out.
With his team down one and just one runner in scoring position, Rumbolt had no thoughts of being a hero.
“All I wanted to do was move them to second and third so whoever’s coming up after me can at least get a tying run and go into extras,” Rumbolt said.
But a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position and opened the door for Rumbolt to win the game with Drury’s second hit of the night.
The Blue Devils got their first run courtesy of a couple of Mount Greylock errors in the fourth. Jake Tatro got things started by reaching on a one-out infield error. He then stole second and came home on a throwing error to give Drury a 1-0 lead.
For a while, it looked like that would be all the support Cote needed.
“I’ve said from Day One that Tyler is and could be one of the best pitchers in Berkshire County,” Boulger said. “I think we just found out why he is. ... He went out there, and he gritted and he battled, and wasn’t going to let this game go away.”
Cote stranded eight runners through the first six innings. He left the bases loaded in the top of the six by getting a called third strike for his sixth K of the evening.
In the top of the seventh, Delaney Pudvar worked a one-out walk to start the go-ahead rally for the Mounties. He moved into scoring position on a comebacker to Cote and went to third when Ian Brink reached on an infield single.
Brink’s grounder down the right field line kicked off the bag, but the Blue Devils’ Shane Garvey was able to make a play on it, and half the crowd and Boulger thought for sure the game was over before Brink was ruled safe at first.
After things settled down, DiSanti hit a clean single to left to drive in Pudvar, and Benzinger singled to right to bring home Brink.
Briggs came in from center field for a five-pitch strikeout that eventually would make him the winner in the scorebook.
“That call in the top of the seventh, it was a tough call for anybody,” Briggs said. “He might have gotten it wrong. He might have gotten it right. But we looked past that.
“Ty [Cote] pitched a helluva game. I wanted to come in and pick him up, and that’s exactly what our team did. It’s an overall great feeling, great feeling.”
And a great night for high school sports in North Berkshire.
“It was a great atmosphere," Boulger said. “The stands were packed. This is something that Drury baseball should be all about. We’re very proud of it. We’re happy the community has come and supported us, and we hope they continue to do so, wherever we head.
“We want to do this for the community. ... I think the city needs something to get behind right now. And these kids, I’ll tell you -- there’s not a better story or a better group of kids to get behind. I’m so proud of them. I’m so proud to be their coach. It’s the greatest honor of my teaching and coaching career -- to be the coach of this program.
“Games like this make it all that much more special.”