Drury Shuts Out Monument Mountain for 11th Straight Win

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – Second effort paid off in a big way for the Drury baseball team on Tuesday.
The Blue Devils played flawless defense in winning their 11th straight game, beating Monument Mountain, 7-0, on Joe Wolfe Field.
They also got the first home run of the season from Jake Gladu, who had to work a little extra hard for the round-tripper.
When the ball left Gladu’s bat in the bottom of the fourth inning, it looked like it was destined to sail over the right field fence.
But with a breeze coming in from the west, the ball was pushed back into the field of play. Gladu pushed himself to get the four-bagger.
“I did think it was going over the fence,” he said. “If you look back at the footage, I was kind of jogged around second because I thought it was out off the bat.
And when he realized it hit the ground?
“I’ve just got to keep running,” he said. “I’ve got to score for my team, and that’s the most important thing.”
Gladu slid into home just ahead of the tag of Spartan catcher Cole Bissaillon to give Drury its final run of the afternoon.
He chased the Blue Devils’ lone senior around the bases. Hunter Marceau, who was recognized on Senior Day before the game, was inserted into the lineup as a pinch runner for Connor Hinkell, who earned a two-out walk just ahead of Gladu.
Gladu was 2-for-4 with a double and the homer to lead Drury’s attack. Hinkell and Lucas Hamilton also had a pair of hits apiece.
The Blue Devils (14-3) got seven strong innings from Carson Rylander, who struck out 11 in his return to the hill after just missing a no-hitter against McCann Tech his last time out.
Drury’s defense had Rylander’s back on Tuesday.
To start the fourth inning, Hinkell at shortstop gloved a line drive that popped out of his mitt. Rather than panicking, he calmly picked up the ball and threw to first to get the batter.
To end the sixth, second baseman J.J. Prenguber made a similar play on a ball that was initially bobbled to leave a runner on base.
In between, Lucas Hamilton made a diving catch on a ball in right field to take away extra bases and strand a runner at second base.
“That's what I get super excited about – just the competitive nature, not giving up on plays, full throttle all the time,” Drury coach Robert Jutras said of the defensive effort. “When you play really hard, a lot of good things happen. So that’s what we try to do every day.
“It’s just attacking every pitch and never giving in.”
 Drury’s offense got its attack going in the second inning, collecting six hits and batting around to en route to a 5-0 lead.
Hamilton got things started with a double to left field. He scored when Prenguber laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached base on an error.
Colby Malloy singled and Braedyn Dupont laid down a sac bunt before Noah Arnold’s two-run triple made it 3-0.
Arnold scored on a single by Rylander, who eventually scored on Gladu’s double to make it 5-0.
Monument Mountain’s offense generated some chances, getting runners to second and third with one out in the first and the fifth and loading the bases with two out in the seventh.
But each time, Rylander closed the door, stranding a total of 10 runners to get the complete-game shutout win.
Cole Bissaillon went 2-for-3, and Jack Bissaillon doubled to lead the way offensively for Monument Mountain, which used four different pitchers.
Drury’s Jutras was relieved when Rylander got a fly ball to Prenguber at second to leave the bases loaded in the seventh.
“It’s always tough,” he said. “I love playing Berkshire County teams. You just know how good the teams are, you know how well coached they are. You know that if you have a seven-run lead in the last inning, you can’t give them anything. You give them an inch, and they take a mile.
“So you’ve got to keep your foot on the gas.”
Drury finishes the regular season on Wednesday at Mount Everett.
Monument Mountain (8-8) is at West Springfield on Thursday.
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