Mount Greylock Rallies Past Hoosac in Opener

By Stephen Sports
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Mount Greylock baseball team rebounded from a 7-0 deficit and held off a seventh-inning rally to earn a 10-9 win over Hoosac Valley on opening day Wednesday.

The key for the Mounties was 4-⅓ innings of strong relief from senior right-hander Josh Jezouit, who also helped his own cause with a sacrifice bunt in a four-run fifth inning.

“Josh did a good job,” Mount Greylock coach Steve Messina said. “It’s early. He’s up around 80 pitches, and I think he ran out of gas at the end. But he really came in and kind of shut the door.”

Hoosac Valley (0-1) kicked the door wide open with a four-run first inning and chased starter Adam Hall with a three-run third.

Hall did not get much help from his defense, with an error and a passed ball helping to fuel the first-inning rally. In the third, J.P. Levesque led off with a walk, Jack Sniezek reached on a bunt, and Dahndray Sistrunk belted a two-run double to center before Noah Matrigali drove home Sistrunk to make it 7-0.

“Adam Hall wasn’t as sharp as he usually is,” Messina said. “He battled, though. The defense wasn’t great. We didn’t make a lot of great plays behind him.

“I think the pitching is part of our strength. And this is the first time these guys have been out in a competitive situation -- we haven’t even had a scrimmage -- throwing off the mound against some pretty good hitters over there. It’s tough.”

Jezouit came in with one out and Sistrunk in scoring position. After allowing the Matrigali base hit, Jezouit got two ground balls to end the inning.

He then allowed just two base runners and did not let a man past first over the next three innings, allowing Mount Greylock’s offense to find its way back into the game.

In the fourth, Cal Messina got the Mounties going with a leadoff triple to right center. Three walks and a Brandon Condon sacrifice bunt later, it was a 7-2 game with the bases loaded and one out.

Hoosac then brought in its third pitcher, Matt Koperniak, who got a strikeout before Hunter Abriel and Eli Ostheimer singled, and Messina drew a bases loaded walk to make it 7-5.

In the fifth, the Mounties took the lead with a rally that featured three bunts. One ended up a sacrifice as designed. One produced an error, and one ended up a base hit when a Hoosac fielder hesitated before making a throw.

“We had to do something,” Steve Messina said. “We weren’t driving the ball all over the place. So we thought maybe putting it in play and making them throw the ball and make some plays would work for us. And it did.”

It was 9-7, Mounties, heading to the bottom of the sixth. That is when another Hoosac error started a one-out rally that proved critical. Zachary Condon reached on the error, moved up on a hit batter and a walk and scored on Jack Milne’s sacrifice fly to right field to make it 10-7.

But Hoosac Valley -- like Mount Greylock -- was not ready to give up.

Sniezek drew a one-out walk in the top of the seventh, and after Jezouit got a groundball out, Sistrunk reached on an infield single. Matrigali then doubled to center to bring home two runs and bring Koperniak to the plate with a chance to tie the game.

Messina gave the Hoosac shortstop a free pass and then brought Brodie Altiere in from shortstop to close the game on the hill.

Altiere walked the bases loaded but got the next man to ground out to second base to end it.

Mount Greylock goes to Mount Everett on Friday and goes into the rest of the season knowing the value of perseverance.

“Down 7-0, a lot of kids could have folded it up and gone home, but they gutted it out and hung in there, and I’m proud of that,” Messina said.

Hoosac Valley on Friday plays the continuation of its season opener against Taconic in Cheshire.

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