CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Pittsfield High School baseball team on Thursday gave up an eight-run lead, allowed the winning run to reach third base in the bottom of the seventh and still found a way to beat Hoosac Valley, 13-10, in eight innings.
The Generals (5-3) scratched out three runs on two hits in extra innings and got shutdown relief pitching from the tandem Dennis Cooney and Joe Gratton.
"Cooney came in and did a great job in relief," Pittsfield coach Bob Moynihan said. "What the heck, the had the winning run on third base, right? That's huge.
"He pitched great. I'm really happy for him. He's had a couple of good outings coming in in relief situations, so good for him.
"And Joey coming in and getting the last out, that was exciting."
Cooney came on with men on second and third and nobody out with Pittsfield clinging to a 10-7 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
After surrendering a two-run double to Matt Koperniak, Cooney got the next three men he faced.
But Brandon Tworig's groundout moved Koperniak to third, and the Hoosac sophomore came home on a passed ball to tie the game, 10-10.
Neither team could get a run across in the seventh, but the Hurricanes came very close to ending the game in regulation.
Joey Buonemani hit a one-out double, and pinch runner David Haley moved into scoring position on Sean Ryan-Kut's sacrifice bunt. Two walks put the winning run on third with two out, but Cooney got the next man swinging at a third strike to send the game to extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Austin O'Neill led off with a walk, moved up on an error, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk. Another walk and another error put runners on behind him, and Sam Fick singled to left to score two.
Hoosac (2-3), which had clawed its way out of a 10-2 hole already in the game, nearly pulled out some magic as the shadows crept across the diamond.
After Cooney got the first two batters to fly out to start the eighth, Zach Albareda worked a seven-pitch walk. A walk to Jacob Swistak put two men on, and a wild pitch put two men in scoring position.
Moynihan called on Gratton to get the last out, and he got a called third strike to send the Generals home happy.
The Hurricanes were led offensively by Matt Braman, who went 3-for-3 with two walks, an RBI and two runs scored. He had a hit and scored a run in the fifth and sixth innings as Hoosac scored four runs in each to tie the game.
Pittsfield got contributions throughout the lineup, including a 2-for-4 performance from Kevin Donati, who tripled, stole a base and scored three times.
Chad Shade was 1-for-2 with a double and two runs scored, but the Pittsfield center fielder's day ended early when he hobbled off the field following a stellar over-the-shoulder grab in the bottom of the fourth.
Moynihan said he hopes Shade will be able to play on Friday when the Generals visit Mount Greylock.
Hoosac Valley will look to get back into the win column on Saturday against Taconic.