Poor Start Hurts Greylock Against MonumentGREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — It's hard to imagine Andrew Leitch pitching any better.
The Mount Greylock junior threw a gem against Monument Mountain on Friday, allowing just three hits and one walk while pitching five scoreless innings in a row. Leitch retired 18 of the last 20 batters he faced, but a slow start came back to haunt him, as the Spartans made three first-inning runs stand up in a 3-1 win at home.
Monument improved its record to 6-0 and earned a small measure of revenge against a Mounties squad that ended their season last spring. Greylock (3-2) was seeded ninth in the Division 2 Western Mass. tournament last year but earned the upset of the postseason by defeating the Spartans 4-0 on their home field in the sectional quarterfinals.
Monument won Friday's game by being the more opportunistic club. Leitch allowed all three of the Monument's hits in the bottom of the first inning, allowing the hosts to jump out to a quick 3-0 lead. After hitting leadoff hitter Bobby Kinne with a pitch to start the game, Leitch gave up a single to Pete Oggiani that put runners on first and third. Nick Greenleaf followed with a sacrifice fly to score one run, and the Mounties' defense made matters worse by allowing Dan Meandro to reach on an error.
Leitch almost got out of the inning with mimimal damage when he induced the next batter to pop up. But back-to-back singles by Alex Hill and Malcom Wilber gave the Spartans all the run support it would need to pick up the win. Greylock quickly got a run back when senior Josh Fortier (2-for-3) smacked an RBI single to right field to score Eddie Dufur in the top of the second. That would close out the scoring for the Mounties, however, who left the bases loaded with two outs in three different innings.
Leitch was nearly perfect after the first, striking out four with one walk and one hit batter the rest of the way. His effort was cleaner than Wilson Flower's, but the Spartans' starter picked up the win by pitching himself out of several tight spots. Flower allowed eight hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in six innings of work before turning the ball over to Greenleaf, who pitched a flawless seventh inning to earn the save.
Greylock returns to action on Monday with a home game against Lee at 4:15 p.m.