Flynn Leads Mount Greylock Baseball to Quarters
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Junior Dan Flynn's two doubles and two RBIs at the plate were one thing.
But his defense at second base was the thing that will be most remembered from Mount Greylock's 7-3 win over Mahar on Thursday in the first round of the Western Massachusetts Division 3 tournament.
Flynn had a hand in three inning-ending double plays for the Mounties, and he hustled into foul territory to make a sliding catch with two out that stranded men on second and third with Mount Greylock up, 5-3, in the top of the sixth.
"I was confident in [first baseman] Jake [Benzinger], but I saw that he lost it a little, so I just busted really hard over there," Flynn said. "At first, I didn't think I had it, but once the ball started to come down, I knew it was going to be a tough play but I knew I was going to get it."
The Mounties got the win thanks to a five-run first inning and seven innings of strong pitching from junior Ian Brink, who struck out seven while allowing just three hits ... and was ably assisted by his defense.
"Danny had a great play, defensively," Mount Greylock coach Steve Messina said. "And we made three double plays. That's been a little bit of our downfall this year, so we knew we had to tighten up with that, and they did a great job today."
Flynn said extra attention to defense in practice paid off.
"We've been really focusing on [double plays] in practice -- situations, knowing what to do when the ball is hit to us," he said. "Just really focusing on that because we were sloppy at the end of the season. We knew we had to work on that."
Seventh-seeded Mount Greylock (15-6) lost three of its last four against Berkshire County foes before defeating St. Mary's in an independent game on the last day of the regular season.
The Mounties carried that momentum with them into the first inning on Thursday.
They chased Mahar starter Zach Adams with a five-run first that saw Benzinger, Flynn and Eric Hirsch double.
"We knew we had to come out with a lot of intensity," Flynn said. "We came off the end of the season playing well, but we weren't playing as well as we wanted to play. I think the St. Mary's game got us thinking positively headed toward the tournament.
"We wanted to play our best game for the seniors in their last game here on this field."
Mahar's Jake Paul went to the mound with one out and Hirsch on second in the bottom of the first and proceeded to retire the next 15 Mounties to come to the plate.
Meanwhile, Mahar got two in the top of the third thanks in part to an RBI double by Paul.
And in the sixth, a walk and the Mounties' only two errors of the game brought home Mahar's third run and put men on second and third with two out before Flynn's stellar sliding catch to end the threat.
Mount Greylock tacked on two in the sixth.
With one out, Benzinger finally got to Paul by legging out an infield single. Jesse DiLego pinch ran and stole second. He went to third on a passed ball and scored on Flynn's second double of the game. Flynn scored the game's last run on a single up the middle by Hirsch.
Mount Greylock meets second-seeded Drury (14-6) on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Joe Wolfe Field.