Douglas Rallies for Come-from-Behind Walkoff Win over Mount Everett

By Stephen Sports
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DOUGLAS, Mass. – By the narrowest of margins, the Douglas baseball team Wednesday earned a 4-3, walkoff win over Mount Everett in the Division 5 State Tournament Round of 16.
Douglas senior Josh Farrell raced around the bases to score from first on an outfield error and barely beat the tag by Eagles’ catcher Jacob Kreis to provide the winning run.
Two Tigers scored on the final play of the game to complete a comeback from a 3-0 deficit and send 12th-seeded Douglas (10-10) into the state quarter-finals to meet No. 4 Pioneer Valley Regional (18-4) on Sunday in Northfield.
Ethan Vassar started the winning rally by working a leadoff walk. Farrell then singled to right to put the winning run on base for Colin Loehr.
Loehr fell behind in the count, 0-2, but battled back to drive a ball into the outfield that looked certain to tie the game. But a bobble allowed Douglas’ third-base coach to wave home Farrell. The Eagles got a strong throw in to the plate, but Kreis’ tag was just a split second too late.
A dejected Mount Everett squad shook hand with its opponents and then headed to right field to process a sudden end to a magical run that included a road upset of the tournament’s fifth-seeded team.
“We’re a young team,” Mount Everett coach Dan Lanoue said. “We graduate two guys. We started three freshmen and an eighth-grader. And we almost made the Elite Eight.
“I told them to remember this, come back next season with confidence and be ready to go, because we’re a good team.”
For most of the game on Wednesday at Douglas’ Soldiers Field, the Eagles were the better team.
Heyden Cutlip allowed just one infield hit – on a bad hop at first – and no walks through the first four innings.
Meanwhile, Mount Everett’s offense gave him a run in the top of the third.
Trevor Leonard reached on an error to start the inning, and Darius Taliaferro worked a walk to give the Eagles the first runner in scoring position of the game.
Leonard was thrown out at third when Matt Lowe reached on a fielder’s choice. But Kreis followed with a single up the middle to drive home Taliaferro and give Mount Everett a 1-0 lead.
A blast by Michael Ullrich stretched that lead two innings later.
Kreis (2-for-3) singled to left field with one out, and Ullrich followed by launching the first pitch he saw over the fence in right field to make it 3-0.
Douglas threatened in the bottom of the inning to make a dent in that lead, using two singles and a walk to load the bases with two out.
But Cutlip got a pop-up to the right side that a backpedaling Ian Lanoue fielded at first to squash the rally.
“Heyden did a great job,” Dan Lanoue said. “He was spotting his pitches. He was hitting his mark. He was changing it up. Anything we asked of him, he did it. He’s a workhorse.”
Taliaferro hit a two-out single and stole second in the top of the sixth, but Owen Gray, Douglas’ second pitcher of the day, got a strikeout to end the inning and keep it a three-run margin.
The Tigers then made it a one-run game in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two unearned runs against Cutlip. Douglas took advantage of three Mount Everett errors and a walk to get the deficit to 3-2 and end Cutlip’s day on the hill.
Ullrich took over and got two outs with the bases loaded to get out of the inning.
Gray allowed a two-out walk in the top of the seventh, but he stranded that runner to get to the bottom of the frame, where the Tigers rallied for the win.
Although the 28th-seeded Eagles surprised No. 5 in the tournament’s first round, Mount Everett’s success was not entirely a surprise to Lanoue.
“We knew we had a good team, we just knew we were young, so we didn’t know how they would perform in big games,” Lanoue said of his expectations heading into the season. “They came out, and they played well. Going forward, I think these kinds of games are going to be great for us next year.”
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