Sherman's Pitching, Taconic's Slugging Drop Mount Greylock
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Taconic baseball team Monday completed an emphatic clean sweep of the first leg of the Berkshire County North Division double round robin.
Sam Sherman struck out nine in five innings, and Evan Blake and Nick Guachione each homered in an 18-0 win over Mount Greylock.
Leo Arace went 3-for-3 with a double and four runs batted in, and Blake also drove in four as Taconic improved to 4-0.
Taconic outscored its four divisional foes by a margin of 55-2 over the first 11 days of the season.
“Jack [Cangelosi] just lost a little control that one inning to open the door for us,” Taconic coach Kevin Stannard said. “Obviously, we’re a very good hitting baseball team, and we made them pay for that. It was nice to see us break out and hit the ball as hard as we did today.”
Cangelosi pitched around a walk and a single to strand two and keep the game scoreless in the first inning.
But Taconic exploded for eight in the top of the second.
The visitors cashed in on three hit batters and a walk to score their first run without a hit. The scored one more without a base hit when Brendan Stannard lofted a sacrifice fly to center to make it 2-0.
Then Arace singled home a pair of runs, and Blake blasted a pitch over the wall in left.
Sherman reached on an error and went to third on Matt Lee’s infield single to put runners at the corners with two out, and Lee got himself hung up between second and third to allow Sherman to score and make it 8-0.
Mount Greylock threatened to get on the board in the bottom of the second.
Jack Gitterman started with a leadoff single, and then with two outs, Jackson Shelsey singled and Anthony Welch drew a walk to load the bases.
But Sherman got the next man to ground out to short to end the threat, and he allowed just one more base runner the rest of the way.
“Sam pitched really well,” Mount Greylock coach Rick Paris said. “His curveball was working really well. He was throwing that for strikes and getting us.”
Sherman struck out five of the last eight men he faced to end the game.
His offense gave him an insurmountable cushion with a 10-run third inning that featured RBI doubles from Bo Bramer and Arace and a two-run homer by Guachione.
Stannard used the last two innings as an opportunity to get his reserves into the game.
“It gives them some experience at this level,” he said. “We’ll lose five seniors at the end of this year. So to get some of these younger kids to play these positions at spots they’re going to be taking over is a bonus.
“I think sometimes it could hurt us down the road a little bit not playing the Westfields and stuff like that for later on in the tournament. But we’ve got to go about our business.”
Playing an all-county schedule -- eight games in the North, five crossover games against South Division foes -- means Taconic will not have some of those independent games against schools from the Pioneer Valley in the pandemic-shortened spring.
Part of Stannard’s business over the next couple of weeks includes setting up tough practices for his squad as it looks to get back to the top of Western Mass and defend its 2019 state title.
“We’ll bring guys in [to pitch to Taconic’s lineup],” Stannard said. “Knowing we were facing a lefty today, I kind of threw what I have left in this old arm. We do what we can to get them ready. If we need to bring someone in, we will.”
Taconic hosts Lee on Thursday.
Mount Greylock (2-2) is at Hoosac Valley on Wednesday.