Condon's Triple Keys Mount Greylock's Walkoff Win
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Reece Gillette drew a free pass with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to break a 4-4 tie and make a winner of the Mount Greylock baseball team in Monday’s season-opener against Hoosac Valley.
Gillette took a 3-2 offering off the elbow to score Cal Messina from third base and give the Mounties (1-0) a 5-4 win.
The Hurricanes argued that Gillette leaned into the pitch, but the umpire could be heard replying that it was ball four either way.
The disputed ending capped a game in which each team bounced back from two-run deficits and the losing pitcher, Hoosac Valley’s Noah Matrigali, allowed just two earned runs and struck out eight in a complete-game effort.
Mount Greylock stole seven bases and had a steal in every inning except the seventh.
The winning rally instead was keyed by a leadoff triple to left field by Brandon Condon, who was joined on the basepaths by Messina, who drew a walk, and Eli Ostheimer, who drew an intentional free pass.
Philip Guest then grounded to Hoosac shortstop Henry Sniezek, who retired Condon at the plate, bringing Gillette to the dish.
Mount Greylock coach Steve Messina said it was the kind of day when his team had to fight to generate runs.
“You always have these types of games over the course of the year -- hopefully not too many -- where you have to manufacture runs, you have to claw your way and do whatever you can,” Messina said. “Matrigali did a great job today. He threw his curveball for strikes, he kept us off balance. We weren’t hitting him well, at all, so we had to take advantage of any baserunner we had.
“And we finally got fortunate at the end with the hit by pitch.”
Mount Greylock took advantage of a pair of errors to score a run in the bottom of the first. Condon led off the inning by reaching on an error and eventually came home on an overthrow on Guest’s infield single.
In the second, another error and a wild pitch helped allow Cole Wojtowski to give the Mounties a 2-0 lead after he reached on an error.
Hoosac Valley answered in the fourth, using five straight hits to knock Condon off the mound.
John Krol got things started with a single, and J.P. Levesque singled in front of Keagan McGrath’s double. Chris Larabee and Jack Sniezek followed with RBI singles to make it 3-2 before Nick Rondeau moved from the outfield to the mound and closed the door.
“Brandon just hit a wall in that one inning,” Messina said. “He was going pretty well before that, but Nick came in and did a decent job.
“Nothing tricky about [Rondeau]. He’ll throw a little curveball, but he’ll throw strikes. He’s a strike machine. He doesn’t get fazed with anything, which is great. And he did a great job shutting them down in that inning.”
Rondeau got the first out of the inning on a sacrifice bunt to move men to second and third. Then he induced a fly ball to center and a groundout to first baseman Gillette to strand two baserunners.
Matrigali stranded five runners on a day when the Mounties put the leadoff man on bae in six of seven innings.
“Noah pitched a great game,” Hoosac Valley coach Mike Larabee said. “He wanted the ball. I wanted to take him out after five. I wanted to take him out after six. And he just bore down. He was around that 100-pitch mark, and he just bore down.
“He’s a good pitcher, and it showed today. He gave us a chance to win the game, and that’s all you can ask from your pitcher.”
Matrigali also hit a leadoff single and came home on Chris Larabee’s single in the fifth to push Hoosac’s lead to 4-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Condon singled and stole second before scoring when Messina reached on an error. And Guest’s RBI double tied the game at 4-4.
Hoosac Valley (0-1) will look for its first win on Thursday at Mount Everett. Mount Greylock travels to face Southwick on Friday.