Fick Pitches Pittsfield Past Wahconah in Cooperstown
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- The setting was perfect for Pittsfield High junior Sam Fick.
The conditions left something to be desired.
"It was really cold out today, and I had to heat up my body," Fick said after pitching the Generals to an 8-1 win over Wahconah on Wednesday morning at Doubleday Field.
The game's first batter, Collin Parrott singled up the middle and eventually scored on Andrew Beaudoin's single. After that, Fick settled down and scattered five more hits while getting a big lift from his offense with a six-run fourth inning.
"Usually, with me, the first inning is usually my worst inning, so I'm still warming up," he said. "But after that, I was able to get through it."
Fick stranded six runners over the first three innings and got stronger as the game went on, striking out two in the fifth and three in the sixth.
"We've just to got to hit," Wahcoah coach Jared Shannon said. "We had five hits in the first three innings and scored one run -- with a couple of walks thrown in. If we put three or four runs up on the board, it's probably a different game. Austin [Cancilla] stays in a litle longer."
Instead, after Shane Tierney's sacrifice fly scored Fick to give the Generals a 2-1 lead and Dennis Cooney followed with a two-out single to right, Shannon pulled Cancilla.
Pittsfield greeted reliever Ethan Forfa with five straight hits, including RBI doubles from Chad Shade and Kevin Donati, to open a 7-1 lead.
The key play for Pittsfield coach Bob Moynihan came when Cooney hustled in from first and avoided a tag at the plate to score on Shade's double.
"Dennis Cooney's slide was an ESPN highlight slide into home plate," Moynihan said. "That would have been the third out and the game would have been 3-1. Then we just kept going from there."
Pittsfield tied Tuesday's game in the third. Cooney walked and used a Shade single and a wild pitch to get to third. Then Donati and Anthony Jones earned back-to-back walks, the latter scoring Cooney.
The decisive fourth-inning rally started with a leadoff single by Fick. He got into scoring position on a sac bunt by Simon Nassif and went to third on a wild pitch before Tierney's sacrifice fly. Jordan Nassif, Jones and Austin O'Neil each singled during the the inning.
Cooney scored a third time in the fifth, reaching on a single, stealing second and coming home on Shade's single to right.
Wahconah (13-6) dropped its third straight game. It now awaits final determination of its opponent in next week's Berkshire Classic while also getting ready for June's Western Massachusetts Division 3 tournament.
Pittsfield (13-3) won for the third time in four outings.
Wednesday's trip to New York allowed players from PHS, Wahconah, Taconic and Hoosac Valley to visit the nearby National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and play at Doubleday Field, which as recently as 2008 hosted an annual Major League Baseball exhibition game.
"It's been a great experience," Fick said. "This field is one of the best I've ever played on -- probably the best. It's treated like an MLB field.
"I feel like I made history, playing here. That's how historic this place is. It's nice."