Pioneers Pull Out Close Win Over HornetsPALMER, Mass. — The only thing McCann Tech baseball coach Pat Ryan didn't like about Tuesday's game against Pathfinder was the outcome.
Other than that, the Hornets' coach couldn't have been more proud of his team or senior starter Mike Chappell, who allowed just four hits and two walks while striking out 13 batters in a 2-1 loss to the Pioneers. With the game tied with no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Chappell attempted to pick off a runner at first base. His throw got away from him, though, allowing the runner on first to move all the way across to third base. A few pitches later, Matt Stafford hit a sacrifice fly that gave Pathfinder a 2-1 victory, its ninth straight win to start the season.
"It was a great game of baseball," Ryan said. "Mike pitched a great game. We had a strong, solid practice on Monday. That carried over into our game on Tuesday night, where we played our hearts out. All I can ask of my players is that they play hard, and that's just what they did Tuesday night. I am very proud of the team. We left it all out on the field. With another pitching duel, it's unfortunate that a team has to lose and also unfortunate we were the ones to take the loss. It's games like this one where we will just grow and get stronger as a team physically and mentally."
After falling behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, McCann (3-5) answered back in the top of the third with consecutive extra-base hits. Junior Chad Raimer first hit a triple before senior Nate Gutmann brought him with a double. That's all the Hornets could manage against Pioneers' starter Greg Pobliego, however, who picked up the win by allowing one earned run on six hits. Pobliego made McCann whiff 12 times while walking only two in a complete-game performance.
Gutmann and freshman Sean Davis each finished with two hits for the Hornets, who next host Westfield Vocational at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.