Northampton Post 28’s unbeaten baseball season ends at the hands of Greenfield Post 81

  • Greenfield Post 81 second baseman Michael Bassett throws for an out Northampton Post 28 on Friday at Arcanum Field in Northampton. He struck out 13 batters. Post 81 won 5-1. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Greenfield Post 81's Dave Carey throws against Northampton Post 28 on Friday at Arcanum Field in Northampton. He struck out 13 batters. Post 81 won 5-1. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Northampton Post 28’s Jake Britatin throws to first against Greenfield Post 81 on Friday at Arcanum Field in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Northampton Post 28’s Colin Ferrara throws to first against Greenfield Post 81 on Friday at Arcanum Field in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer
Published: 7/16/2021 9:13:45 PM

NORTHAMPTON — David Carey stepped onto the mound at Arcanum Field with vengeance on the brain.

After Greenfield Post 81 lost a testy American Legion baseball game at home Tuesday, Carey took it upon himself to ensure it wouldn’t happen again.

“My mindset was revenge,” he said. “They beat us good a couple days ago, and I didn’t get a chance to pitch. I knew if I came and gave it my all, it would be a whole different story.”

Before the game, Post 81 coach Kevin Luippold told his team “We’ve got David pitching, and he’s going to throw a gem.” It’s something he says before every member of the Greenfield pitching staff takes the hill, but Carey lived up to it with gusto.

He struck out 13 batters and allowed just two hits and a hit batter in 6⅔ innings, as Post 81 prevailed 5-1 on the road. He only walked two. Seven of those punchouts came in the first three innings.

“He was getting up early, getting one, two strikes on the batter in the first few pitches,” Luippold said. “Staying ahead is key when you throw as hard as he does with a great slider like that.”

The top of the third inning gave Greenfield all the separation it needed. Cullen Brown led off with an infield single, then Michael Bassett moved him to second with a single. Kyle Barnes then dropped a perfect bunt to load the bases. Carey helped himself out with a line drive right back at the Northampton pitcher that was too hot to handle to make it 1-0. A Jason Quinn Sacrifice fly made it 2-0, then Mazwell Ewards walked to load the bases again. Ben Martino grounded into a fielders choice that scored two for a 4-0 advantage.

“I always tell my guys to be aggressive, and we were. We hit ground balls and beat them out,” Luippold said. “We have a bunch of fast kids, and we proved it today.”

Greenfield added a fifth run in the fourth when Brown scored after a heads-up baserunning play following a throw to first for an out.

That was more than Carey needed. He struck out the side in the bottom of the third and didn’t allow a baserunner until Dom Badorini laced a double down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth.

Post 28’s Braeden Tudryn wore a pitch on his elbow in the fifth but was stranded at first.

“I don’t have to do anything with our team because we’ve got so many veterans and so much experience that they’re ahead of me turning the page,” Post 28 coach Chuck Holt said.

Northampton finally got on the board in the top of the seventh. Carey induced a ground out then fanned his 13th batter. He then walked Jack Diggins and Erik Vandergrift. After a mound visit, Jake Brittain crushed a double to left field to cut the lead to 5-1.

“I knew the kid was going to do something. He was all over me the first couple at bats fouling them off a bunch,” Carey said. “I knew if I gave him one he would do something with it. It wasn’t the biggest of deals.”

The win might prove massive, however. It puts Post 81 in a position to clinch the playoffs’ top seed with a win Saturday against Wilbraham Post 286 at 3 p.m. Saturday at home. Both teams are tied atop the Zone 1 standings with 14 points. Only the top two teams in each zone will reach the tournament, which starts Monday.

“Couldn’t be prouder of my guys,” Luippold said. “This was our biggest game so far, and they all compete and they all don’t quit.”

The loss, Northampton’s first this season, puts it currently on the outside of the playoff picture with 12 points and two weekend games: Saturday at home against Agawam Post 185 (10:30 a.m.) and Sunday at Sheffield post 340 (4:30 p.m.).

“I’m just assuming we need to win both, and that’s what we’ll try an do,” Holt said.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

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