Allentuck Ks 12, Leads Monument to Western Mass Final
TURNERS FALLS, Mass. -- James Allentuck struck out 12 hitters to lead the Monument Mountain baseball team to a 4-2 win over Athol on Thursday in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 semi-finals.
"James had an explosive fastball," Monument catcher T.J. Shumsky said. "He was spotting it up well, throwing it away. A lot of the guys wanted to pull the ball.
"He mixed the curve in when he had to. He didn't even need to use it much. He was overpowering guys with the fastball."
Allentuck scattered six hits and stranded seven runners in a complete game victory.
The top-seeded Spartans (17-3) will face Greenfield (17-6) on Saturday at the University of Massachusetts for the sectional title.
Monument took a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to RBIs by T.J. Shumsky and Dominic DeFelice.
After Athol (13-10) got one in the top of the third, DeFelice picked up his second RBI of the game with a groundout to score Peter Oggiani.
The Spartans took a three-run lead in the fifth when Brendan Perry hit a leadoff double, moved up on a wild pitch, and scored on Shumsky's single to right.
Shumsky, DeFelice, and Trevor McFarland, who led off the first with a double, each had two hits for Monument.
Allentuck gave up a run on three hits in the sixth, but he retired the last two men to strand runners on second and third.
In the seventh, Athol mounted another threat, putting the leadoff man on first courtesy of a Monument error.
"I went out to the mound just to try to settle everybody down, so I brought the whole infield in," Monument coach Tom Hankey said. "Plus I wanted to stop their momentum. The crowd was going crazy, and I just wanted to settle everybody down a little bit. That baserunner didn't mean anything.
"That's what happened. We settled down. James pitched. And it worked out for us."
Allentuck struck out Athol's No. 1 and No. 2 hitters and got the No. 3 man to fly out to Henry Morrison to get Monument to the finals -- one year after some thought they would get there.
"From Day One, we thought this was the goal," Shumsky said. "Last year, we were the No. 1 seed, and we brought back basically the same team. We were disappointed, got knocked out in the first round. And coach never let us forget it.
"We had that feeling in our gut from the first day of practice to now. ... It's been a full 12 months."
NOTES: Monument will take the field at the University of Massachusetts without senior Bobby Kinne, who is recovering from a concussion, Hankey said. ... Monument and Greenfield will meet at 4:30 on Saturday afternoon for the Western Mass crown. ... While Monument and Athol were "borrowing" Turners Falls High School's field, Turners Falls was in Greenfield defeating Smith Academy, 3-0, to advance to Saturday morning's Division 4 championship game against Hopkins. ... In between, the D1 final will pit Cinderella Taconic, the 10th seed, against fourth-seeded Cathedral.