McCann Tech Hits Six Doubles in Tourney Win

By Stephen Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – After losing all of a 6-1 lead in Sunday’s Division 5 State Tournament opener, the McCann Tech baseball team needed a lift.
Aaron Livsey stepped up to provide it.
Livsey launched a leadoff double to start a three-run bottom of the fifth that sent the Hornets on to an 11-6 win over Springfield International Charter at Joe Wolfe Field.
Josh Livsey and Lukas Rylander followed Aaron with doubles of their own, and Noah DeBenedetto hit an RBI single to give McCann Tech a 9-6 lead it never relinquished in improving to 12-8 and setting up a Monday rematch against ninth-seeded Hopkins Academy in the Round of 32.
“We started hitting again today,” McCann Tech coach Justin Howland said. “We hit when we needed to.
“But the season’s been a roller coaster, and you saw it again today. We’ve had a tendency to get up and try to cruise through games. And I told them, I think, in the fifth inning, ‘When’s the story gonna end, fellas? Why don’t we just put a team away?”
Early on, it looked like the Hornets would do just that to the Bulldogs.
Josh Livsey (2-for-4) hit a two-run single to drive in Nick Gilman and Collin Booth in the bottom of the first as McCann jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
After SICS got a run back in the second, McCann Tech scored four more in the bottom of the frame to take a five-run lead.
A pair Bulldog errors allowed one run to score and left Booth on third base with one out, and he came home on Austin Buda’s sacrifice fly to make it 4-1.
With two out, Aaron Livsey hit the first of his two doubles and scored when Josh Livsey reached on the third error of the inning. Rylander then doubled to left to plate Josh Livsey and complete the rally.
After benefiting from three errors in the second, McCann Tech committed a pair in the third to help Springfield International score two runs.
In the fourth, Booth saw his day on the mound end after allowing the first two runners to reach base, but Gilman came on in relief to strand them both with a strikeout and a double play.
One inning later, the Hornets committed two more errors as the Bulldogs tied the score, 6-6.
“The biggest problem is, we get up four or five or six runs, and we relax,” Howland said. “And that’s when the errors come. We play bigger teams, we tend to play up to those teams. And when we play teams that are down, we tend to play down to those teams.
“I think Springfield (12-8) played a helluva game today. They played better than I thought they would. They’re a young team. They get a little age, and they’re going to be a very good team in the future.”
Gilman left a pair of runners on base in the fifth to stop the bleeding.
In the sixth, he gave up a single and a pair of walks to load the bases with two out, causing Howland to give Josh Livsey the call to protect the 9-6 lead.
He did just that, striking out the first batter he faced to leave the bases loaded.
“That was big for him, because in the Western Mass game, we were up and I put him in to close the game, and he lost it,” Howland said of Josh Livsey. “So for him to rebound like that, that was big for him today. It’s a good confidence booster.”
Buda doubled and scored, and Aaron Livsey scored on a wild pitch in the sixth to give Josh Livsey a five-run cushion headed to the seventh.
He closed the game by pitching around a two-out single.
Now, the Hornets get another shot at Hopkins, a team it beat, 6-3, in Hadley back on April 15.
“We’ll do our thing, and we’ll find out the outcome,” Howland said. “I just told these guys, we’ve got nothing to lose. We were expected to win today. We are not expected to win tomorrow. But we were not expected to win when we played [Hopkins] earlier in the season, and we got a ‘W’ out of that, too. So, if we come in, we play loose, we play our game, we’ve got a chance.”
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