Taconic scores seven runs in first inning on way to win over city rival Pittsfield
Mestre tossed a four-hit shutout, but left runners on in scoring position in five consecutive innings without allowing the Generals to score. A seven-run first inning turned out to be all Mestre needed as the Braves stayed perfect with a 9-0 win over the Generals (10-6, 3-3 North).
"Nothing, honestly," said the University of New Haven-bound pitcher, when he was asked what was working on the mound. "I just had to dig deep. My slider wasn't working. My curveball wasn't working. They were hitting my fastball, but not hard in the gaps or anything."
Taconic (16-0, 5-0) has been used to seeing Mestre put up zeroes on the scoreboard, as he has yet to surrender an earned run while going 6-0. He walked four and struck out six. Pittsfield's Matt Newton had two of the Generals' four hits.
"We took pressure off him, obviously, with that first inning and we were able to cruise a little bit," Taconic coach Kevin Stannard said.
The Braves sent 12 batters to the plate in the first inning, registering five hits against PHS starter Jay Coyne. Mestre drove in two runs with a single, Devon Walker had an RBI single and Jack Cooney — who had walked and scored the first run — finished off the scoring with a three-run double to right-center field.
Taconic tacked on a pair of runs in the sixth inning on Ryan Abel's two-run single.
"We got Jack back. He had missed two games after being sick. He's our catalyst. He gets us going and a big hit by him scored some runs," Stannard said. "To score seven in the first against Pittsfield is big for us."
In between, Pittsfield had its chances. The Generals left 10 on base in the game. PHS stranded runners on second and third in the second inning, a runner at second in the third, runners at second and third again in the fourth, a runner on second in the fifth and runners on first and second in the sixth.
"The main point in the game there was Izaiya Mestre really bared down with runners in scoring position and with runners on. He was executing all day. You tip your hat to him," Pittsfield coach Seamus Morrison said. "At the same time, we need to find a better approach and we need to do something better to get guys in when they're on base.
"We had a lot of opportunities that went by the wayside."
Cooney, Abel and Jake McNeice had two hits each for Taconic.
Both Pittsfield and Taconic have four-game weeks upcoming. It's a week that includes the city series rematch, set for Saturday at Buddy Pellerin Field.
Both teams are in their playoff push now. Taconic and Pittsfield are both in the Division I tournament, but wins this coming week will solidify seeds.
Pittsfield 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
Taconic 700 002 x 9 8 2
Jay Coyne (5), Hunter Potash (1) and Isaiah Provencher. Izaiya Mestre (6), Joe Heath (1) and Brett Murphy. W—Mestre. L—Coyne. 2B — T: Jake McNeice, Jack Cooney.
Reach sports writer Howard Herman at 413-496-6253 or @howardherman.
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