Davis Walks Off Senior Day Win, Keeps Hope Alive for Drury
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – Playing for their playoff lives on Senior Day and against a county rival, all the Drury Blue Devils wanted to get the win on Saturday afternoon at Joe Wolfe Field.
Logan Davis might have wanted to end it more than most.
“It’s so hot out here,” the Drury catcher said after wearing the tools of ignorance for 10 innings in a blazing sun. “It was brutal today. I mean, playing 10 innings in, I don’t know, 85, 88 degree weather all day long, it’s hard.
“But these boys make it well worthwhile for me. And that hit at the end was well worthwhile, too.”
Davis singled to left with one out to score classmate Zack Davignon and give Drury a 5-4 win over Lenox on the last day of the regular season.
The winning rally came after Drury scored three times in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game, 4-4, and it made a winner of Nick Lescarbeau, who struck out 11 and allowed just one hit in 8-⅔ innings of scoreless relief.
“Nick coming in after that [second] inning, it was unreal,” Davis said. “Him coming in after Zack being a senior getting the start on senior day, [Lescarbeau] being a junior and having a lot of pressure on him knowing it’s a big game, it’s a win or go home game.
“He just took the pressure, held it in his hand like a man and threw it. He threw it right at them.”
Both teams came into Saturday’s 11 a.m. start with work to do in order to make the Division 5 state tournament.
The win improved Drury to 8-10 with two non-Western Mass playoff games remaining against Athol and Ludlow.
Lenox (9-9) is in the Western Mass Class C tourney and opens play on Monday in the quarter-finals. The Millionaires as of Thursday were ranked 31st in D5 in the MIAA power rankings; a win in either of their next two games (Monday or in either a regional semi-final or a crossover against another quarter-final loser) would give Lenox the 10 wins it needs to automatically qualify for next month’s state tourney.
With those stakes on the line for both teams, it was the Millionaires who got the early jump, scoring four runs in the top of the second to chase Davignon.
The Blue Devils committed two errors on one play to make one of the runs unearned, but mostly it was the hits by Cliff Flynn and Luca Traversa and an RBI double by Max Shepardson that drove the inning.
After Davignon switched to the field and Lescarbeau moved from first to the mound, Davis caught a man trying to steal second for the inning’s second out, and Lescarbeau ended the threat with a called third strike.
“Nick was great,” Drury coach Robert Jutras said. “He worked ahead, kept them off balance, threw all four pitches. And he really did a nice job of just attacking. He didn’t give up any free stuff and just battled in the heat and did a nice job.”
Lescarbeau allowed just three baserunners over the next eight innings: a hit-batter in the third who was erased by Davis attempting to steal second; a two-out infield single in the sixth who Lescarbeau stranded; and an error in the seventh that was erased when Lescarbeau speared a low line drive from the next batter and fired to first for a double play.
Meanwhile, Lenox starter Flynn gave up just one unearned run through the first five innings.
He did pitch out of trouble a few times, though, leaving six runners on base over those five innings. The only time he got hurt on the scoreboard was when Anthony Pettengill drew a two-out walk, moved up on Connor Hinkell’s single and scored on an error.
As the temperature continued to climb, Lenox’s battery looked drained in the bottom of the sixth.
A walk, a pair of hit batters and three balls to the backstop allowed Drury to tie the game in an inning that saw the Millionaires use two pitchers and two catchers.
Shepardson went to the bump in relief of Flynn and closed the door, getting a strikeout with a man on third to end the inning.
He then threw three scoreless with four more strikeouts to get to the 10th.
After Lescarbeau retired Lenox without allowing a ball out of the infield in the top of the inning, Davignon started the game-winning rally by working just the fourth walk allowed by Lenox all day.
Hunger Marceau then laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Davignon into scoring position, and an error of the bat of senior Batista Bartlett got Davignon 90 feet from home with Davis coming to the plate with one out.
“Honestly, we were looking for something to the right side,” Davis said. “That’s what my coach wanted me to look for, something to right field. I was looking for something inside. I knew I could get a good hard hit on it if it was an inside pitch. I knew it was going to be harder than to the right side, and I was going to get Zack in sitting on third base.”
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Blue Devils and a season sweep over Lenox. More importantly, it kept Drury’s state tournament hopes alive heading into this week.
“We had a rough start early, got down early, and they kind of stuck with it,” Jutras said. “Every game from here on out, we’ve got to get to 10 wins. We knew we had to win the rest of the way out one at a time. So we’ve got to take care of that first one, which is important.”