McNeice Solid on the Mound as Taconic Bats Come Alive at Hoosac

By Stephen Sports
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CHESHIRE, Mass. -- It ended up a laugher on the scoreboard, but it was no laughing matter for the Taconic baseball team when Hoosac roared back from a 5-0 deficit with four runs in the bottom of the second.

But Taconic coach Kevin Stannard did not bat an eye, and the Taconic bats fueled a three-run rally in the the third en route to an 18-4 win over the Hurricanes on Friday afternoon.

“They got the four off us, and we came back with the three right away, which is the sign of a good team,” Stannard said.

And Taconic pitcher Jake McNeice, who was roughed up for four hits, including a pair of doubles, in that second inning, responded by retiring the side in order in the third-through-sixth innings.

He struck out the side in the sixth to finish his day with six Ks before Ross Omelenchuk came on to pitch the seventh.

“[McNeice] was lights out after that bad inning,” Stannard said. “That's baseball -- first time out for him and us. I thought it was pretty successful.

“I think we had him at 78/79 pitches, which is great. In the gym, he's been up to about 65. It's the middle of April, so the pitchers are in good shape. With the back-to-back games coming up, if we can get six innings out of all of our starters, we'll take that.”

Taconic’s first back-to-back of the season continues on Saturday afternoon when it “hosts” Pittsfield in a game that has been moved to the Generals’ home field at Clapp Park.

In Friday’s long-delayed season opener -- a game the two teams actually tried to play on April 1 before a deluge -- Drew DeMartino paced a 22-hit Taconic attack with a 3-for-5 performance that included three doubles. He also scored five times.

Cedric Rose went 3-for-5, including an RBI single in the pivotal top of the third.

Abdiel Cotto-Hernandez got that inning started when he drew a walk. He went from first-to-third on Deonte Sandifer’s single to right, drawing a throw that allowed Sandifer to get to second.

After a ground ball out, a wild pitch move up both runners, sending Cotto across the plate to make it 6-4. DeMartino then looked at three more balls to put runners at the corners for Ryan Abel, who lifted a sacrifice fly for one of his three RBIs on the day.

DeMartino, who had stolen second, scored on Rose’ single to left to make it 8-4, and Taconic never looked back.

For Hoosac (0-2), there were some bright spots in the disappointing home opener.

The second-inning rally featured a double by starting pitcher J.P. Levesque and a three-run double by Noah Matrigali.

Dhandray Sistrunk pitched three strong innings of relief against a tough Taconic lineup, allowing just three earned runs.

“Dray threw really well,” Hoosac Valley coach Mike Larabee said. “First time on the mound. Senior coming out for the first time, he's played really well for us. I was impressed with him.”

After a tough road loss to Mount Greylock earlier this week and staring at another challenge Monday against Pittsfield, Larabee was upbeat.

“We've just got to get through this tough stretch,” he said. “We get through this, and we'll be competitive.”

More photos of this game here.

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