Within the municipality of Westfield, the baseball team from Westfield High School has a history of reaching the championship game, and they have finished in second place for the past two seasons in a row. Tuesday marked the day when the Bombers finally brought home a sectional championship for the first time in a decade.
Charmed Trip To The Finals For Westfield Baseball
Westfield junior Josh Mayo pitched a two-hitter to lead Westfield to a 2-1 victory against No. 2 West Springfield in an IVC Class A championship game played at Bud and Jim Hagan Field on the Westfield campus of State University. Mayo recorded three strikeouts during the game.
As Keller-hand Mochak smashed a liner into the seats, the Westfield reliever’s glove flew off of Keller’s hand and onto Mochak’s. The runner was unable to be stopped because the shortstop could not deliver the ball to the first baseman in time.
Jack Power, who had started the inning with a single and then moved to second base on a flyout, was credited with scoring the game-winning run, which caused Northampton to experience a state of euphoria.
According to Mike Kennedy, the baseball coach at Westfield High School, “That’s what you want for a baseball game.” “I can’t think of anything bad to say about my teammates,” He said. “They were able to pull it off, so I have to give them a lot of credit.”
As he got the save for his team, Brian Strange threw an inning that went down in recent school history as one of the most courageous. Despite the heat of 100 degrees and the fact that he was the top seed in the competition, Strange pitched seven innings, striking out 12 batters and giving up only one run on three hits.
In the competition’s semifinals, Strange threw a no-hitter for five innings. In the championship game, he could triumph over virtually every challenge that stood in his way.
Throughout the entirety of the match, Northampton (14-2) offered a danger to the opposing team. Nate Keller-Mochak was given a free pass by Strange after he reached base in the bottom of the first inning, thanks to an error in the infield.
Although it appeared as though Dominic Badorini had loaded the bases with a single through the right side of the infield, the Blue Devil baserunners made a mistake and tagged him out at third. In the bottom of the inning, Strange successfully got two batters to fly out.
In his second at-bat of the fourth inning, Badorini crushed another single up the middle of the field to start the inning. Up until that time, he had been sailing along smoothly. The second out of the batting order was recorded when Wilson Heath hit a fly ball caught by the right fielder deep in foul territory.
The Westfield coaching staff attempted to contest Stranger’s balk credit but were ultimately unsuccessful. Eddie Sarafin’s line shot to center field eventually brought in a run, which wasn’t long before.
The entire game, Westfield kept their attention on the task at hand. After having runners on base in each of the first, second, and third innings, the New York Yankees finally successfully scored during the fifth inning of the game.
Strange started the bottom of the fifth inning by taking a pitch behind the plate, which resulted in him drawing a walk. During the following at-bat, he progressed to second base thanks to a wild pitch and moved up to third after the catcher for Northampton made an error throwing to second base. This allowed Westfield to take the lead. Will Shaw, the starting pitcher for Northampton, induced a flyout as the final out of the inning (4 hits allowed, 9 Ks).
The top of the seventh inning saw Strange throw a no-hitter, but the bottom of the inning saw Northampton’s Max Callan hit a single with two outs and no other runners on base.
On the other hand, Strange threw out the runner attempting to cross the plate, which forced extra innings. Jake Jachym was sent in as a replacement for Strange, who had used up all of his available pitches, and the situation requires immediate intervention.
The single that Cody Collins hit in the ninth inning put Westfield in a position to score again potentially. The effort to pick off the pinch-runner, Brennan Jarvis, failed, and as a result, he was able to advance to second base. The game was over after Finnessey recorded his second strikeout of the inning, followed by two more flyouts by the other team.