NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Pittsfield’s Danny DiMassimo got all the run support a pitcher could ask for when his team scored 12 in the top of the fifth inning Friday evening.
But even before that point, DiMassimo was well on his way to winning his first career start.
He finished with nine strikeouts in a 19-3, five-inning win over Drury as the Generals won their third straight and improved to 12-2 this spring.
“Danny did great today,” Pittsfield coach Seamus Morrison said. “First start as a varsity player, and he did exactly what we asked him to do: throw strikes, pitch to contact. And he did a great job.”
DiMassimo allowed one run in the first inning when Ben Moulton led off with a single and, two outs later, Payton Barnes hit an RBI double to right.
DiMassimo then cruised from there, allowing just one baserunner in the second through fourth innings.
After the long delay for the 12-run PHS rally in the fifth, he gave up a couple of runs on a walk and three hits.
“It’s tough sometimes with the long inning to come out and throw strikes,” Morrison said. “He gave up a couple of hits, but he pitched to contact. And you throw fastballs when you’re up by that much. That’s what we asked him to do. He did a great job today.”
And Drury starter Justyn Cowell was competitive as well, allowing three earned runs over three innings before departing with a 4-1 deficit.
Cowell left the bases loaded in the first inning and stranded a pair of runners in the third.
“People will see a 19-3 score and say, ‘Oh, God, they really got hammered,’ “ Drury coach Patrick Boulger said. “That’s true. But I would say if you looked at the first four innings of the ballgame, that was, collectively, a back-and-forth game where people were playing ball. … We got out of scenarios that I thought we hadn’t gotten out of three weeks ago, a month ago.
“Some of the wheels fell off at the end of the game, but there were some reasons behind that. We got some sore arms right now, we’ve got some guys who are hurt. We’ve got virtually no pitching left, and I have a game tomorrow [at Mount Greylock]. I had to preserve some guys for tomorrow. And we have a game Monday and a game Tuesday.”
Pittsfield took the lead for good in the third inning thanks to an RBI single by Ian Benoit (4-for-4) and a two-run double by Jon Halse.
In the fourth, Jaden Coscia doubled in another three-run rally as the Generals went ahead, 7-1.
But the big damage came an inning later, when PHS batted around twice. The key hit was a three-run double by Hunter Potash that made it 11-1. By the time the inning was over, it was 19-1.
After seeing his team post its biggest offensive day of the season, Morrison knows that runs will not always be as plentiful down the stretch. But he likes where his team is as it hits the midway point of a stretch of seven games in 10 days.
“We’re coming together as a team,” he said. “You know, it’s funny. You get these lulls in the season when you don’t play for four or five days -- and this year, especially with the rain -- sometimes you get rusty.
“We played Lenox on Wednesday, and we were a little rusty. Yesterday, we played Monument , we started picking up the bats a little bit. And then today, obviously, we exploded a little bit. It’s all positive going forward.”
And after seeing his team fall to 1-7 with its third straight loss, Boulger was positive as well, knowing that this season is largely about developing a young core of players who are going to lead the Drury program going forward.
But for Boulger, it’s also about seniors Conor Kelly and Corbin Rumbolt, who are helping lay the foundation for better days down the road.
“They have been nothing less than, probably, the best captains I’ve ever had in terms of leading, in terms of accepting and understanding the situation,” Boulger said. “They’re not feeling sorry for themselves, it being their senior year and so on. They have just said, ‘Every day at practice, we’re going to help the guys learn how we do this and that -- things in the program that we believe in and our traditions.
“They’ve been phenomenal. If you had two other people, with the record we have and some of the games we’ve had -- if you don’t have two good captains like we do, it can get ugly in that dugout. And it can get ugly at school and ugly in practice. And it has not been that way. I’m very, very fortunate to have those two guys.”