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Mickey Mantle baseball playoffs begin with 4 shutouts



Friday, September 12, 2014
Pitching completely dominated the first round of the Mickey Mantle double-elimination tournament on Wednesday evening.

The winning team shut out its opponent in all four games, including a pair of 1-0 contests.

Amherst 1, Northampton 0 (5) — A pitchers’ duel between Amherst’s Jon Morrison and Hamp’s Hunter Salem was decided on Alex Cantor’s steal of home in the fifth inning.

The game was stopped due to rain in the top of the sixth and ruled an official game.

Cantor reached on a dropped third strike. Following a Stephen McCudden walk, Cantor moved to third base on a passed ball.

When Hamp threw down as McCudden attempted to swipe second, Cantor broke for home and just beat the return throw.

Trevor Edwards, Will Budington and McCudden each had a hit for No. 7 Amherst (7-13).

Morrison allowed just four hits in five innings with four strikeouts.

Salem fanned 11 in 51/3 frames, and he gave up only three hits.

Ian Ostberg (double) had a pair of hits for No. 2 Northampton (14-6-1), while John Ferrara and Adam Fishman picked up a single apiece.

Easthampton 1, Mohawk 0 — Dakota Wheeler struck out nine in a complete-game 5-hit shutout for No. 6 Easthampton (9-12) on the road.

Hunter Brooks knocked in Kyle Marek with the game’s lone run in the top of the fifth.

Marek reached on a bunt single, was sacrificed to second by J.T. York and then stole third.

Tyler Vishaway picked up a pair of hits in the win. Wheeler doubled and Ben Fitzpatrick added a single.

South Hadley 6, Greenfield 0 — Alex Dragon fired a 1-hit shutout and struck out five as No. 4 South Hadley (14-7) earned an easy home win.

James Foley had two hits, drove in two runs and scored once in the victory. Mario Olivera had a two-run single, Ryan Mooney a hit and an RBI, while Justin Kleeburg scored twice.

Deerfield 6, Frontier 0 — Kevin Banas gave up just two hits, didn’t walk anybody and struck out five in a dominant complete-game effort for top-seeded Deerfield (18-2-1).

Brian Shaw’s two-out, two-run single in the third kicked off Deerfield’s four-run inning. It added two more in the fourth to give Banas the cushion.

Thursday’s matchups — In the winners bracket, Amherst hosts Easthampton and South Hadley visits Deerfield.

Meanwhile, Northampton must win at Mohawk, with Greenfield playing host to Frontier in the other elimination game.

All four contests are set for a 5:30 p.m. start.