Forfa, Wahconah Blank Palmer in Western Mass Quarters
DALTON, Mass. -- The last time the Hoosac Valley and Wahconah baseball teams played one another, it was a 2-1 classic won by the Hurricanes.
On Monday, they both earned a chance to do it again.
While the Hurricanes were taking care of business in the Pioneer Valley at Frontier, Wahconah did its part by dominating Palmer with a tour de force -- or tour de Forfa -- performance in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 quarter-finals.
Wahconah senior Ethan Forfa struck out nine over six innings to lead his team to an 8-0 win and a berth in Wednesday’s sectional semi-final against Hoosac Valley at Westfield State University.
“He came into this game very confident and very poised,” Wahconah coach Rob Cowdrey said of Forfa. “That’s what we needed from him. We needed to shut them down as soon as possible to get some runs and get a lead.”
Forfa did not allow a ball hit out of the infield in his six innings of work. In one stretch, he struck out six men in a row, sitting down the side on strikes in the third.
He did give up a couple of infield singles, but the only time he allowed a runner past first base came when Dylan Tenczar reached on a two-base error to lead off the sixth inning with Wahconah already ahead, 8-0.
The next man grounded back to Forfa, allowing Tenczar to get to third with one out. But Forfa struck out the next two batters -- the last two he faced before turning things over to Pat Butler to pitch the seventh.
Wahconah’s offense got rolling in the third inning, and Forfa was a big part of that, too.
Bob Archambault got things started by reaching on a walk with one out. He stole second and scored on Will Genaway’s single for the game’s first run.
Genaway moved up on the throw home and went to third on Joe Woronick’s infield single. After Woronick stole second to put two in scoring position for Forfa, he delivered a double over the fence in left field to score both men and make it 3-0.
One inning later, Ty Cowdrey’s two-run single down the line in left made it 5-0.
And Wahconah tacked on three more in the fifth when Palmer’s reliever put the first four men on base by either a walk or hit-by-pitch. Archambault’s RBI groundout scored a run, and Cowdrey’s sac fly brought in the final run of the game.
Second-seeded Wahconah (15-6) will play No. 6 Hoosac Valley (14-7) for a berth in the Western Mass final.