August 2, 2017 - New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) - North Adams SteepleCats
The North Adams SteepleCats ended the 2017 season with a loss to the Mystic Schooners, 7-1, at Fitch High School. The Schooners used nine pitchers, one in each inning, to stymie the SteepleCat hitters. North Adams finishes the 2017 NECBL season with a 18-26 record, while the Schooners will play Thursday in the NECBL Playoffs against the Plymouth Pilgrims.
Starter Joe Gratton (Castleton) tossed two scoreless innings for the SteepleCats, but the Schooners took a lead that would never be relinquished in the bottom of the third inning. Nick Mascelli (Wagner) drew a one-out walk, and Andruw Gazzola (Stony Brook) followed with a double that scored Mascelli. Tommy Jew (UC Santa Barbara) then singled to bring in Gazzola to give Mystic a 2-0 lead.
Mystic added runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Mascelli hit a double in the fourth to plate a run, and the Schooners made it a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI groundout from Ryan Ramiz (Seton Hall). An error and a home run from Mascelli increased the Mystic lead to 7-0 in the bottom of the sixth.
North Adams managed three hits against the Mystic pitching staff in the season finale. Tyler Walters (Slippery Rock) ended his season on a 14-game hitting streak with a double in the fifth inning. Denis Cooney (St. Michael's) hit safely in his only NECBL at-bat, singling through the right side in the top of the sixth inning.
In the top of the ninth inning, Dillon Paulson (USC) walked with two outs, reaching base for the 24th consecutive game. After stealing second base, Walters drove in Paulson with a single to left field, avoiding a shutout in the finale.
On the mound, Michael Gulino (Pace) proved to be a bright spot for the SteepleCats. The position player worked a 1-2-3 inning in his first appearance on the mound this season, getting two groundouts and a flyout. Liam Sabino (Pittsburgh) added his third scoreless outing of the season, ending the NECBL campaign with four scoreless innings on the mound.
The SteepleCats conclude an NECBL season that saw righthander Blake Whitney (South Carolina Upstate) win the league strikeout title with a franchise record 80 strikeouts. Paulson and TJ Pagan (Pittsburgh) appeared in the NECBL All-Star Game, and the 'Cats provided numerous memorable moments for the fans in North Adams.