Lescarbeau, Hinkell No-Hit Hoosac Valley

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – Nick Lescarbeau showed the form that made him the ace of the staff last spring in pitching the Drury baseball team to a 10-0, six-inning win over rival Hoosac Valley in this year’s season opener at Joe Wolfe Field on Monday.
Lescarbeau struck out nine and allowed no hits in five innings of work before turning the ball over to Connor Hinkell.
Hinkell pitched a hitless top of the sixth, and the Blue Devils scratched out a run in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
“Everything was working for me today,” Lescarbeau said. “Both Connor and I did so well. We have a lot to prove as a team. If we’re confident, against any team, it doesn’t really matter.
“All the way through the season, you’ll see it.”
Drury coach Robert Jutras had plenty of confidence in his opening day starter, who turned in two monster performances in a three-game inning streak last year for the Blue Devils (10-11) to finish the regular season and clinch a berth in the state tournament.
“He pounds the zone,” Jutras said. “As coaches, he makes our lives easy because he just works ahead and forces the issue on the mound.”
Drury’s offense, meanwhile, made the most of its six hits and kept the pressure on Hoosac Valley by stealing seven  bases.
Several steals played a role in Drury’s five-run second inning rally to take control of the game.
Logan Crockwell got things started with a leadoff single to left. He stole second and took third on an overthrow, and Colby Malloy worked a walk to put runners at the corners.
Malloy took second, and a throw down to third got away, allowing Crockwell to score the game’s first run.
Malloy ended up coming home when Noah Arnold reached on a bunt.
After Steven Cornell and Hinkell reached on an error and a walk, respectively, Lescarbeau helped his cause with a double down the third base line to clear the bases and make it 5-0.
Drury tacked on two runs in the fourth, which started with a leadoff Hinkell double, and the fifth, when it scored without a hit.
It scored the game-ending run in the sixth without a hit as well. Pinch-hitter Lucas Hamilton was hit by a pitch, stole second and came around on a ball to the backstop and a throwing error to give Drury a 10-run lead.
Despite the miscues and the loss, there were some positives for Hoosac Valley and first-year coach Devin Kogut to take away – like the fact that the Hurricanes did not give up a second big rally after the second inning.
Hoosac Valley pitchers Mike Szabo, Gabe Bishop and Chris Szabo combined to strand 10 runners, including the three Bishop left when he got a bases-loaded groundball to end the fourth inning.
“We’re young,” Kogut said. “You’ve just got to do the little things. If you can’t do the little things, it ends up being 10-0. … But you’ve just got to learn about it and move on. Every mistake, you’ve got to learn from it. You can’t get down on yourself.”
Hoosac Valley (0-1) will look for its first win of the year and its first hit when it goes to Lenox on Thursday.
The closest the Hurricanes came to a hit in the opener was Bishop’s shot to center field to lead off the fifth. Cornell went to his left, tracked it down and made a leaping grab to keep the combined no-hitter in tact.
Drury catcher Julian Feliciano helped shut down an early chance for the ‘Canes in the first when he erased a runner attempting to steal second after Lescarbeau surrendered one of his two walks.
Lescarbeau did not give up much on Monday, and he still had plenty in the tank when he finished off the fifth by spearing a comebacker to the mound.
“Early on in the season, we have a pitch count,” Jutras said of the decision to go to the pen. “He was pretty efficient, but we stick really tight to those things. And we know what’s ahead this week and where we gotta go from here.”
Drury (1-0) hosts Lee on Thursday and Granby on Friday.
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