Crosier Hits Walkoff Single, Drury Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Kody Crosier got the pitch he wanted.
The Drury High baseball team got the win it desperately needed.
Crosier hit a one-out, walk-off single to right on Wednesday to give the Blue Devils a 3-2 victory over Monument Mountain at Joe Wolfe Field.
With one mighty swing of the bat, the Drury catcher snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and kept his team alive in its quest to reach the Western Massachusetts tournament.
The bases were loaded when he stepped into the box to face Nate Cormier, who just took the hill as Monument’s third pitcher of the day.
Crosier said he had never faced Cormier before Wednesday, but he had a chance to take a long look at the reliever during his warm-up throws.
“It looked like he had a good curveball, so I was just hoping he threw me first-pitch fastball,” Crosier said. “And that’s what I got.”
He turned that heater around for Drury’s fourth hit of the day, bringing home Ryan Dubie with the tying run and Nate Hillard with the winning run as Drury snapped a nine-game losing streak and improved to 7-10 with three games left.
The Blue Devils will continue their quest for the post-season with games at Lenox, at Monument and at St. Joseph over the next three days. A loss in any of those games, and the Blue Devils will miss the tournament after starting the season 6-1.
On Wednesday afternoon, Drury coach Pat Boulger was already thinking about how his pitching lined up for the rest of a five-game-in-six-days stretch. But he also was taking a moment to enjoy a win that was long in coming.
“They took care of business in the seventh, and that’s all that matters,” Boulger said. “It’s not how you draw it up. It’s not pretty. It’s not whatever.
“People will call it lucky. People will call it this or that. I don’t care. It’s a win. We’ve had good wins, we’ve had lucky wins, we’ve had ugly wins, we’ve had pretty wins. I don’t care. We’ll take wins any we can get right now, because we want to go to the tournament and see what we can do there.”
Before scoring the tying and winning runs in its last at-bat, Drury scored the first man it sent to the plate way back in the bottom of the first. Logan Rumbolt doubled and then stole third and scored on a wild pitch to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
Monument tied it on Ben Wyatt’s RBI single to left in the top of the second, and it stayed a 1-1 game through three tense innings.
Drury’s Connor Clark and the combination of Wyatt and Graham Herrick kept runners out of scoring position - with help from baserunning miscues by both teams. Boulger sent a runner around third on a single to short left field in the fourth; Monument ran into two double plays on balls that were caught in the air on the right side when a runner ranged too far off first.
In the sixth, the Spartans got the go-ahead run thanks to a leadoff error that put Branden Perry on first. He came all the way around when Herrick tripled to right with one out.
Clark settled down and did not allow Herrick to score. He ended up stranding two runners to keep it 2-1 heading to the bottom of the sixth.
Hayden Bird came on to pitch a 1-2-3 top of the seventh, setting the stage for Drury’s comeback.
After Herrick got the first man on a called third strike, Dubie reached on an error. Hillard followed with a walk, and Rumbolt was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Crosier.
“As an entire team, we’ve just been so frustrated,” Crosier said. “Even today, we left the bases loaded in the first inning. And we had a guy thrown out at the plate, too.
“It’s just such a relief to finally come through for once.”