Mount Greylock Reaches State Title Game
WESTFIELD, Mass. – The stars shone bright, and the role players played huge roles Wednesday as the Mount Greylock baseball team advanced to the championship game of the Division 5 State Tournament.
Derek Paris struck out eight and allowed just one hit in a 4-1 win over second-seeded Georgetown to send the Mounties (21-4) to Saturday’s state title game against top-seeded Hopedale at the College of the Holy Cross.
Another of the Mounties’ big guns showed off his own gun to make the biggest defensive play of the game.
The Royals had one run in and runners at second and third with one out in the bottom of the sixth.
Their No. 6 hitter lifted a fly ball to center field, where Chase Doyle made the catch for the second out and fired home to catcher Tommy Art. Art laid the tag on the Georgetown runner, and the rejuvenated Mounties bounded into the dugout ready to close out the game.
“You couldn’t ask for a bigger play,” Mount Greylock coach Rick Paris said. “I saw [Doyle] coming up, and he had it. And he’s got a cannon. As long as it was on line, we knew that guy was dead.
“And perfect one hop, I don’t even think our catcher had to move. He stood there and looked at [the runner] for two or three seconds before he had to make the tag.”
Art was on the receiving end of Doyle’s laser because Derek Paris, a Division I-bound backstop, was filling his other role on Wednesday as Mount Greylock’s No. 2 starting pitcher.
Art was flawless behind the dish, even running down a foul popup that went all the way to the backstop. And he went 1-for-3 at the plate.
Another of those role players, Jameson Bayliss, went 1-for-3 with his hit leading to the game’s first run.
“Tommy Art just came back from COVID,” Rick Paris said. “Gone five days, and he practiced once, yesterday. That was his first day back. And here he is, he gets a big hit. … Coach was asking about pinch-hitting for him, and I said, ‘Let’s give him an opportunity,’ and he made the most of the opportunity. And Jameson, he doesn’t start. Our third baseman is out, and [Bayliss] comes in and his first time up he gets hit.
“That’s what this team’s about. It’s a different guy every time, whether it’s offense or defense.”
Bayliss led off the third inning of a scoreless game with a single up the middle for Mount Greylock’s first hit of the afternoon.
He moved into scoring position when Anthony Welch was hit by a pitch with one out and went to third on a passed ball that gave the Mounties second and third with one out.
Jack Cangelosi – the Mounties’ No. 1 starter and a DH on his off days – pounded a double to right center to drive in both runs and give his team a 2-0 lead.
The Mounties doubled that advantage in the top of the sixth.
Paris led off with a triple down the right field line and scored when Doyle dropped down a bunt. Georgetown attempted to get Paris at the plate, allowing Doyle to reach, and the throw got to the backstop to put another runner in scoring position.
Landen Jamula then cashed in the RBI opportunity with a single to score Doyle and make it 4-0.
Paris, who allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the first, was in control on the mound, stranding four runners over the first three innings and retiring the side in order in the fourth and fifth.
The Royals were able to take advantage of a hit batter and an error in the sixth to score their first run, and a one-out walk and a balk put two men in scoring position with the potential tying run at the plate before Doyle and Art combined on the Mounties’ only double play of the afternoon.
“That just fires you up as a team,” Rick Paris said. “Because we made a couple of mistakes in that inning with pickoff moves and stuff.
“If they score that run, you never know what’s going to happen from that point on. We’d still have the lead, but you just don’t know. You shut them down, quiet them down, it keeps the door closed.”