Brink Pitches Mounties Past Drury
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Mount Greylock senior pitcher Ian Brink was not perfect on Friday afternoon.
He was just perfect when it mattered most.
Brink scattered four hits over six shutout innings in leading the Mounties to an 8-1 win over Drury at Joe Wolfe Field.
Brink struck out seven. Five of those came with runners on base. Three came with runners in scoring position.
"Early on, I've been taught to keep chugging away and never give up," Brink said. "If you have men on base, you don't want to get all frantic. You want to keep your head on base and just keep plugging away."
Brink also helped his cause on Friday by going 3-for-4 with five RBIs and a run scored. But most of his impact came on mound.
"Ian's been so consistent," Mount Greylock coach Steve Messina said. "Even more than last year, he's pitching smarter. He's mixing up his pitches. He's conserving energy. He's really become kind of a student of the game.
"He's got a great arm. He could try to throw the ball by everybody. But that's a difficult thing to do. He understands that, so he stays away from that and uses some off-speed pitches. He'll work around kids. He'll stay in and and out of the strike zone.
"He's really pitching smart this year, and it's helped him out quite a bit."
Jake Benzinger helped Brink on Friday with an RBI double to key a three-run first inning that gave the Brink a cushion before he took the bump.
One of those runs was unearned, the product of one of five Drury errors that plagued Blue Devils' starter Schuyler Robinson and reliever Hayden Bird.
"You cannot give a team of that quality five runs off of errors," Drury coach Patrick Boulger said. "It's as simple as that. It may be six [runs].
"We know, and we just talked about, that we've got to tighten a few things up, and we will."
Drury saw a six-game winning streak snapped in falling to 7-2 on the season. Mount Greylock won its fifth straight to move to 6-1.
"I have to give credit to coach Messina and his team," Boulger said. "They're a very good baseball team. Ian Brink is a helluva pitcher.
"We had a decent approach from an offensive standpoint. A couple of situations where we didn't find that hole and didn't get that big hit where we've been getting that hit this year. And that's a credit to [Brink] and a credit to their defense. I tip my cap to that."
Mount Greylock committed just one error, in the bottom of the fourth with the Mounties up, 4-0. Kirby Bryce led off with a two-base error. After Brink got a K, Bryce went to third on a wild pitch, and Kody Crosier walked and stole second to put two men in scoring position with one out.
Brink then got a called third strike for out No. 2, and he got the next man to ground out to short to end the threat.
Robinson was able to keep Drury in the game by holding the line after giving up four in the first two innings.
But in the sixth, the Mounties scored two without a basehit thanks to a pair of errors and a balk called against Bird with men on first and third. In the seventh, Andrew Rickus and Michael Strizzi singled their way on and moved up on a passed ball before Brink drove them in with a single to right.
Mount Greylock will look to make it six in a row on Saturday when it hosts Lenox.
Drury on Saturday night will play under the lights at Adams' Renfrew Field against Hoosac Valley.
"There's no time for hanging heads, there's no time for feeling sorry for ourselves, there's no time for doubting what we do and doubting each other, because we've got a team waiting for us in Adams tomorrow that would like to hand us our third loss," Boulger said. "We've got to go take care of business tomorrow the best we possibly can.
"And I'm sure they will. Just from the reaction I got out there [in the post-game huddle], I'm encouraged. I don't like to lose. I'd like to get a 'W' every time, but that's a good team, and you tip your cap to them."