Big inning boosts South Hadley Mickey Mantle past Frontier

For the Gazette
Published: 6/24/2016 11:40:28 PM

WHATELY — A clutch six-run fourth inning turned the tide for South Hadley in a 10-7 win over Frontier in Mickey Mantle League play, Friday at Herlihy Park.

“That was a tough one,” said South Hadley coach Dave Sudyka. “They ended up pulling it out and staying composed.”

Frontier (4-4) put a couple of runs on the board in the first inning thanks to RBIs from Kiernan Freeman and Scott Pelis, and defensive errors in the infield. Another run in the second and three more in the third gave Frontier a 6-1 advantage.

Having lost its last meeting with South Hadley 15-5, Frontier came out ready to play.

“Tonight I wanted the boys to be a little bit more focused with respect to the way that they play,” said Frontier coach John O’Neil. “I think (tonight) was a much better game than it may have felt like based on the score.”

South Hadley’s only run in the first three innings came via scrappy baserunning and a Frontier error. Catcher Xavier Santiago overthrew third base trying to catch David Adams stealing, and Adams scored to put South Hadley on the board.

Facing a five-run deficit at the start of the fourth, South Hadley (3-5) needed a change of pace.

Jared Sudyka led off with a single and brought energy to South Hadley when he stole second, stole third and scored on an overthrow at third.

Colin Kusada walked and stole a couple of bases, then crossed the plate on a passed ball.

“We had to make something happen because we fell behind and our approach wasn’t too sharp,” said Dave Sudyka. “We kind of lacked energy, so we had to try to get it back on the basepath.”

Trailing 6-3, Adams tied the game with a three-run home run to left field, scoring Jacob Poirier and Ben Chevrette for South Hadley.

“It’s wonderful that he found a gap somewhere when we needed it, because we needed that boost,” said Dave Sudyka.

Drew Foley, who walked, eventually scored on a passed ball to cap the inning and give South Hadley a 7-6 lead.

Cam Barnes scored in the bottom of the fourth, tying the score at 7-7 for Frontier.

South Hadley took the lead again in the sixth with an RBI single from Adams and scored two more in the seventh to make it 10-7.

Adams started on the mound but left after two innings. He returned in the seventh and worked a one-two-three inning for the save.

“In the first and second inning, they hit him up,” said Dave Sudyka. “He came to me and said, ‘I feel better now, let me finish,’ It worked out.”


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