Freshman Webber Pitches McCann Tech to Win in Opener
TURNERS FALLS, Mass. -- One big inning at the plate and two strong performances on the mound equaled a season-opening win for the McCann Tech baseball team on Thursday.
Freshman Ozzie Webber struck out nine in six innings of work, got a solid inning of relief from Aaron Livsey and benefited from a five-run inning in a 7-4 win over Franklin Tech.
Webber surrendered just two hits and allowed no earned runs in his debut for the Hornets.
"The kid works," first-year McCann Tech coach Bill Farrell said. "He's a disciple of the Driveline teachings of pitching. That's where I came from. I love what he does.
"He's got command of multiple pitches, and he attacks the zone. I'll be happy to look after and see how many first-pitch strikes, but I think it was around 80 percent."
Webber allowed no walks before moving to third base with a 7-1 lead to start the seventh inning with a 7-1.
After Franklin Tech greeted reliever Nicholas Gillman with four straight hits, Livsey went to the bump with a man in scoring position.
He got a lift from Webber on a fly ball well into foul territory for the first out. Livsey then struck out the Eagles' leadoff man and got hte final out on a groundball to shortstop Colin Booth to end it.
McCann jumped out to a 5-0 lead with a big second inning at the plate.
Livsey got things started with a leadoff single and moved up on a Troy Wnuk walk and a stolen base. He came home on Noah DeBenedetto's bases-loaded walk to score the game's first run.
But Franklin Tech then turned a 1-2-3 double play that left runners at second and third with two out.
After Chase Vander-Woude drew a walk, Webber and Thomas delivered back-to-back two-run singles to give the Hornets a five-run cushion.
Franklin Tech got one back in the bottom of the fourth, but McCann Tech answered immediately with a two-out rally in the fifth.
Livsey drew a walk and stole second before coming home on Seth Farnsworth's single down the left field line. Farnsworth moved up on the throw home and scored on Wnuk's double to center field to make it a 7-1 game.
Thirteen months had passed since the last time a McCann Tech team competed in interscholastic athletics. And 22 months had passed since the last time the Hornets' baseball program saw the field.
"It feels good," senior Justin Dennette said of the chance to represent the school again. "I'm really just excited to get out and be able to play baseball because I wasn't sure we were going to have it until a few months ago.
"Last year really stunk. I was ready for it. We were going to have such a good season last year. I could feel it, with the guys we had coming back. ... I feel like this year, with the group of guys we have, we can win the whole thing."