Racine Slam Highlights Big Pittsfield Win over Monument Mountain
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – It was a no-doubter on a day when the Pittsfield baseball team left no doubt it belonged in the Western Massachusetts Class B final.
Chase Racine said he knew the moment the ball left his bat that Buddy Pellerin field would not contain it.
And his teammates could hardly contain their excitement as they burst out of the dugout to celebrate Racine’s grand slam to highlight a 17-1 win over Monument Mountain in Thursday’s semi-finals.
“It was a new pitcher, and I was looking for a pitch I could drive,” Racine said. “It was a 2-0 count, and I knew he was going to try to get one over. He doesn’t want to go 3-0.
“I just had to stay calm, poised and drive it. Do what you can. Sometimes it leaves. Sometimes it’s a double. Sometimes it’s an out.”
This one was out over the fence in right field to give Pittsield a six-run lead and start a 14-run fourth inning that put the game out of reach for the third-seeded Spartans (16-4).
When the dust settled, the Generals (11-8) had their fourth straight win and a Memorial Day rematch against city rival and top-seeded Taconic at historic Wahconah Park for the regional championship.
The 14-run explosion made life a whole lot easier for Pittsfield starter Patrick Rindfuss, who struck out a pair and allowed three hits in the five-inning, complete-game win.
Pittsfield’s offense gave him a run in each of the first three innings to take a 3-1 cushion going ot the fourth.
Nick Brindle drove in the game’s first run with a two-out single in the first.
Two-out rallies in the second and third kept Pittsfield in front. In the second, Luke Mele tripled home Connor Lavinio. In the third, Racine singled up the middle, went to third on Brindle’s double and eventually scored on Walker Abdallah’s RBI groundout.
Every General scored at least one run in the fourth.
It started when Cam Sime drew a one-out walk and Tommy Mullin followed by earning another free pass. Rindfuss’ single to left loaded the bases for Racine, who hit his team-best third home run of the season to make it 7-1.
Monument Mountain used a total of five pitchers in the inning to finally end it in the Generals’ 19th plate appearance of the frame.
In between, Lavinio hit a two-run double, and Mele hit his second triple of the game, driving in a pair.
“We came to play today,” Racine said. “And we’re not going to let up for anyone. We’re going to play our baseball, and we’re going to be ready for our next game.”
The Spartans’ run came in the third.
Ely Cormier hit a leadoff double and advanced on a fielder’s choice before scoring on Cole Bissaillon’s RBI single up the middle.
Monument Mountain’s season is not done. They await the seedings for the state Division 4 tournament. In the most recent in-season power rankings, Monument Mountain was seeded eighth in the state.
Pittsfield’s game against Taconic on Monday will not count toward its seed in the state D3 tournament; the Western Mass tournament games all are scheduled to be played after the cutoff for MIAA state tournament seeding purposes.
But when it’s Pittsfield versus Taconic in any sport, it’s about way more than power ranking points.
“We’re going to bring our best,” Racine said. “We’re obviously underdogs, but we don’t care about that at all. It doesn’t matter to us.
“We know our brand of baseball can beat any team we face, so we’re ready.”