Rachiele, Rose Lead Taconic Past Pittsfield
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- On Saturday afternoon at Buddy Pellerin Field, Cedric Rose was nearly unhittable and nearly didn’t get out of the first inning.
Rose walked eight while allowing just one hit in five innings of work as the Taconic baseball team defeated city rival Pittsfield, 7-1.
Austin Rachiele went 3-for-3 with a double and a stolen base, and Dylan Burke was 2-for-4 with four RBIs for Taconic (4-2).
Pittsfield (3-5) did all its offensive damage in the first inning, when four straight walks issued by Rose allowed Joe Traversa to trot home from third.
“In his last outing, too, Cedric went two innings and 74 pitches,” Taconic coach Kevin Stannard said. “He has to realize that he can’t be that fine, and you don’t have to strike out everyone to be a good pitcher. Count on your defense and what’s behind you.
“I know this is his first year as a varsity pitcher. He’s pitched over the summer. But, at this point, he’s got to throw strikes.”
Taconic scored the game’s first run when Brendan Stannard singled to left with two out to drive home Rachielle.
Then in the bottom of the frame, Traversa walked with one out, moved up on a couple of free passes and came home on an RBI walk from Hunter Potash.
Rose limited the damage, striking out the next two men for two of his six Ks on the afternoon.
Pittsfield coach Seamus Morrison said his team needed to do a better job taking advantage of opportunities, especially when Rose was having trouble finding the strike zone.
“When a pitcher is giving you that many guys on, you really have to capitalize once he gets into the strike zone,” Morrison said. “We just did not do that. [Rose] was a effectively wild, I guess you could say. He kept us off balance, whether he was throwing strikes or balls. But we just didn’t get the job done at the plate today.”
It stayed a 1-1 game until the bottom of the fifth, when Taconic finally got to Pittsfield starter Ian Benoit.
Rachiele got things started with a one-out single to left, and Anton Lazits followed with a single. Rose then worked a walk at the plate to load the bases for cleanup man Brendan Stannard.
Stannard’s single to left brought home one run. Burke’s single to right scored a pair to make it 4-1. Ryan Gaudette then got down a sacrifice bunt to plate Stannard and give Taconic a four-run cushion.
In the sixth, Burke singled up the middle to score Nick Harrington and Rachiele with the game’s final runs.
“[Rachiele] really worked in the off-season to perfect his swing, and he’s lights out swinging the bat,” Stannard said. “He’s seeing the ball probably like it’s a beach ball right now. Three-for-three today with a walk. He’s using all the fields. If he gets a pitch on the outside part of the plate, he’ll take it to left. He’s just hitting what he’s pitched.”
After throwing nearly 100 pitches, Rose departed with a 5-1 lead and a man on in the bottom of the sixth. Lazits moved in from shortstop to get the last six outs.
Before taking the mound, he provided one of the game’s defensive highlights in the bottom of the fifth, when he went well to his right to steal a base hit from Carter Matthews and gun down a runner at second base.
“Anton’s a freshman, Brendan [Stannard] is a freshman, Harrington -- it’s a first in our history at Taconic to start three freshmen, and [catcher] Dylan Burke is a sophomore,” Stannard said. “I know we’ll have some ups and downs, but Anton made a couple of nice plays that a senior would make.”
Taconic hosts Wahconah on Monday, when Pittsfield travels to face Southwick.