McCann Tech Edges Drury to Win Regional Tourney

By Stephen Sports
Print Story | Email Story
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – The McCann Tech baseball team Tuesday showed it has a flair for the dramatic.
Now, the Hornets can show off the first Western Massachusetts Championship banner in school history.
Dylan Turner went 2-for-3 with an RBI to give his team a 3-0 lead in the fourth, and then he left the bases loaded in the sixth and seventh innings to secure a 3-2 win over rival Drury in front of a big crowd at Joe Wolfe Field in the Class C Championship Game.
Gilman came into the game with two runs in for Drury and the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the sixth.
He got the first hitter he faced to ground to Zach Howland at shortstop, and Howland fired home to catcher Austin Buda, who managed to keep his toe on the plate and stretch all the way to his right to get the forceout.
The next hitter popped up to the right side, and first baseman Lukas Rylander – who threw five scoreless innings to get the win on the mound – made the play in foul territory to end the inning.
In the seventh, Drury used two walks sandwiched around a Carson Rylander double to load the bases with one out.
Turner then got a swinging third strike and a ground ball to Nick Gilman at second base to end the game.
“Everyone predicted we were going to lose,” Turner said. “We were the underdogs in this. And that just makes it so much better.
“Our defense has been amazing all year. Like Nick Gilman said a few games ago, we’ve got the best one in the league. I completely believe in that, and it showed tonight.”
The Hornets played error-free ball behind Rylander, Gilman and Turner and in front of Buda, who threw out two runners on the basepaths in one inning in addition to making the clutch play at the plate in the sixth inning.
“Austin’s our MVP,” McCann Tech coach Justin Howland said. “We talked all year about Lukas [Rylander] on the mound, and Lukas is our ace. But when it comes down to big plays, Austin is our MVP.”
Offensively, Buda was a key for the Hornets on Tuesday, going 2-for-3 and scoring a pair of runs from the cleanup hole.
In the first inning, McCann Tech took advantage of two Drury errors to score the game’s first two runs.
Rylander and Buda singled back-to-back to get things started. An outfield error allowed Buda to go all the way to third and Rylander to score to make it 1-0 with two out.
Buda then scored when Troy Tassone reached on an infield error.
For a while, it looked like a two-run cushion would be more than enough with Rylander on the hill.
He allowed four walks but just one hit before having to leave the game with arm soreness after five innings.
The Hornets gave him an insurance run in the top of the fourth.
Buda worked a walk to lead off the inning. He moved up when Tassone reached on an error and scored on Turner’s RBI single to make it 3-0.
Drury finally got its offense going in the bottom of the sixth.
Noah Arnold and Carson Rylander started the inning with back-to-back walks, and both eventually scored – Arnold on Lucas Hamilton’s RBI single and Rylander when Julian Feliciano worked a bases-loaded walk to make it 3-2.
“We don’t want it to be easy, we don’t think it’s gonna be easy, and we don’t care how long it takes, we’re gonna keep knocking on the door,” Drury coach Rob Jutras said. “It just didn’t happen to go our way today.”
After Feliciano’s RBI walk, the fourth of the inning for the Blue Devils, McCann Tech’s Justin Howland turned to Turner.
“Dylan, earlier this season, he came into a few games and he closed them out,” Howland said. “Then he got hurt. And we threw him into a game [as a starter], and it didn’t work out for him.
“But I went out to the mound when [Gilman] was struggling, and I looked at Dylan and looked at Zach [Howland] and said, ‘Who wants the ball?’ Dylan said, ‘I want it.’
“When you want it, I’m going to give it to you.”
Connor Hinkell was the hard-luck loser on the mound for Drury, striking out seven, walking one and allowing no earned runs in 6 and one-third innings of work. Carson Rylander struck out two to close out the seventh.
Both Drury and McCann Tech will be seeded in the Division 5 State Tournament when the brackets are released on Wednesday. The Hornets’ next game, however, comes on Wednesday, when they travel to face Upper Cape Cod Voc Tech in the State Vocational Tournament.
On Tuesday as the sun set at Joe Wolfe Field, both those tournaments were matters for another day as the Hornets savored an historic win for their program.
“McCann never beats Drury,” Justin Howland said. “They don’t. So to finally be on top, that’s huge for us.”
Print Story | Email Story