Pitching Depth, Ostheimer's Bat Lead Mounties at Hoosac Valley
CHESHIRE, Mass. -- And then there were three -- and then some -- for the Mount Greylock baseball team.
The Mounties got a strong starting performance from another of their starting pitchers Wednesday en route to a 16-0, five-inning win over Hoosac Valley.
Cole Wojtkowski struck out four and allowed just one hit in two innings of work, which means that Mount Greylock has three reliable starters going into the busy weeks ahead.
“Phil [Guest] has been great. Bennett [Zimmerman] has been great. And Cole - this is the sharpest he's been all year,” Mounties coach Steve Messina said after his team improved to 6-1 with 13 games to play over the next 24 days.
Wojtkowski was cruising after two before Messina divided the rest of the innings among Dom Paris, Cal Messina and Alex Backiel, who combined to allow two hits.
“We knew as this game started to move along what the opportunity was - to get kids on the mound and see what they could do,” Messina said.
“We're going to be backed up like everyone else. We're going to play a lot of baseball, so we have to have a lot of arms. So now we have kids who are ready with some time on the mound. I'd hate to see them in a situation where we're playing a Pittsfield or Monument, a game that's pretty competitive, and they're pitching for the first time.
“We've got some tough games coming up. We've got Drury and Wahconah on Thursday and Saturday. There's no real breaks.”
Mount Greylock’s lineup did not give many breaks to the trio of pitchers used by Hoosac Valley.
The top of the order was especially deadly as Mount Greylock’s 1-through-5 hitters went a combined 10-for-14 with five walks.
In the middle of that group was No. 3 hitter and designated hitter Eli Ostheimer, who went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs.
“Eli looked really good,” Messina said. “He hit the ball hard every time in good spots. He always swings the bat well. He's a tough out, but today he was really squaring it up and putting the ball on the line. That's what we want from him, and that's what he's able to do.”
Phil Guest was 3-for-4 with four RBIs, and Wojtkowski worked four walks, including one that drove in a run.
Hoosac Valley got a man on base in four of the games five innings but could not get a man past first base. Henry Sniezek, John Krol and Colby Rougeau accounted for the Hurricanes’ hits.
Rougeau came off the bench and led off the fifth with a single up the middle, but Backiel settled down and got the next three hitters in order.
“They didn't give up,” Hoosac Valley coach Trevor Swistak said. “They kept on going the whole game.”
Swistak, who took over last week after the resignation of embattled coach Mike Larabee, said the young Hurricanes are doing a good job handling the upheaval.
“We're a young group,” Swistak said. “We start seven sophomores. We knew coming in that this was going to be a rebuilding year. The only thing we're looking for -- with everything that's been going on -- is just to move forward. We're improving, and that's the only thing we can do.
“They're handling it OK. They're kids, so they're kind of resilient.”