High schools: Fast start lifts Franklin Tech baseball past Turners (PHOTOS)

Turners Falls catcher Kainen Stevens tags out Franklin Tech baserunner William Ainsworth at home plate during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday.

Turners Falls catcher Kainen Stevens tags out Franklin Tech baserunner William Ainsworth at home plate during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Turners Falls’ Brody Girard bobbles the throw as Franklin Tech baserunner Zaydrien Alamed is safe at second base during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday.

Turners Falls’ Brody Girard bobbles the throw as Franklin Tech baserunner Zaydrien Alamed is safe at second base during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Turners Falls’ Alex Quezada pitches against Franklin Tech during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday.

Turners Falls’ Alex Quezada pitches against Franklin Tech during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Franklin Tech’s Ben Dodge gets ready to tag out Turners Falls baserunner Cam Burnett at second base during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday.

Franklin Tech’s Ben Dodge gets ready to tag out Turners Falls baserunner Cam Burnett at second base during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Turners Falls’ Brody Girard (1) fields the throw at second base with Franklin Tech’s Hunter Donahue (4) sliding into second base during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday.

Turners Falls’ Brody Girard (1) fields the throw at second base with Franklin Tech’s Hunter Donahue (4) sliding into second base during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Franklin Tech’s Tyler Yetter connects with a runner at third base during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory over host Turners Falls at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday.

Franklin Tech’s Tyler Yetter connects with a runner at third base during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory over host Turners Falls at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Franklin Tech’s Kyle Begos pitches against Turners Falls during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday.

Franklin Tech’s Kyle Begos pitches against Turners Falls during the Eagles’ 9-5 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex in Turners Falls on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Staff Writer

Published: 04-02-2024 9:00 PM

TURNERS FALLS — A pair of big early innings offensively got the job done for the Franklin Tech baseball team against Turners Falls on Tuesday at the Bourdeau Fields Complex.

The Eagles put three runs on the board in the top of the first inning and tacked three more on in the third to charge out to a 6-0 lead. The Thunder got back in the game with a four-run fourth but Tech scored one in the fifth before Ben Dodge crushed a two-run homer in the seventh, allowing the Eagles to pull out a 9-5 Bi-County North victory.

Kyle Begos got the win on the mound, tossing four innings, striking out four and surrendering nine hits. Mason Lehtomaki came on to pitch the final three innings, giving up three hits while striking out three.

“I can’t say enough about Kyle and Mason’s pitching,” Franklin Tech coach Dan Prasol said. “We did enough in the field and with our bats. Mason and Kyle were just on. Most of their runs came in a rough inning. It’s a big part of the mental game to survive that and I’m proud of the kids for getting through that and not letting that bad inning define us for the game. 

“Hats off to Turners,” Prasol added. “They’re a great ball team. The errors you saw were not characteristic of how well they’re going to play.”

It was errors that cost the Thunder early. An error allowed the Eagles to score the opening run of the game and a pair of errors helped Franklin Tech score its three runs in the third.

“Errors got us down early,” Turners Falls coach Scott Minckler said. “It made it tough to fight back. We put up four runs there in the fourth and the kids didn’t quit. I’m happy they stuck with it and didn’t get down. We pulled back within two [runs] but just couldn't get over the hump.”

Hunter Donahue opened the game with a base hit for Tech. Alex Quezada got Tyler Yetter to strike out, but the pitch was dropped and the throw to first was offline, with Donahue — who previously stole second — scoring on the play to give the Eagles the early lead. 

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Dodge cracked a double that scored Yetter, and Lehtomaki singled to bring Dodge home, giving Franklin Tech a 3-0 lead after one. 

Begos reached following a wild pitch on a strikeout and Dodge was hit by a pitch to put a pair of runners on in the third. A throwing error on a Jacob Martin ground ball allowed Zaydrien Alamed, running for Begos, to score. With the bases loaded, Brody Hicks ripped a single down the first base line that plated Dodge and Martin, giving the Eagles a 6-0 lead after three innings. 

Turners got going in the fourth. Joey Mosca reached with an error, Cam Burnett singled and Deven Sloan put down a bunt where the throw to first was offline, allowing Mosca to score. 

Jackson Cogswell grounded out but scored Burnett in the process to cut the lead to 6-2. Brody Girard put the ball in play but an error on the throw put him on first and brought Sloan in to score. Alex Quezada later ripped a base hit that brought in Dylen Richardson, who reached on a fielder’s choice, to cut it to 6-4 going into the fifth. 

Lehtomaki got on with a base hit in the fifth, moved to third after Martin blasted a double and scored on a passed ball to add to the Eagles lead. 

It looked like the Thunder were going to rally again in the sixth. Cogswell got on with a base hit, Girard put down a bunt and Quezada reached on a ground ball where Girard  was thrown out at second. 

Quezada stole second to put runners on second  and third for Kainen Stevens, who ripped a hit to left field. Quezada tried to score from second but Dodge made a perfect throw home that beat Quezada, ending the inning with Tech hanging onto a 7-5 lead.

Begos was walked before Dodge crushed a home run over the fence in left field in the seventh. Derek Wissmann doubled in the bottom of the seventh but Lehtomaki got three straight outs to close out the victory. 

“Ben Dodge, that home run was huge,” Prasol said. “It gave us some breathing room at the end of the game. Ben has worked really, really hard to fix his swing. Ben gave us a three-run swing between the throw home and the two-run home run. Great job to Ben.”

Quezada tossed the opening five innings, striking out nine while giving up six hits. Richardson pitched the final two innings, striking out three and giving up two hits. 

“It’s early season,” Minckler said. “We still have 15 more regular season games. There’s plenty of time to turn this around but we need to do it. That’ll start tomorrow in the gym where it’s going to rain. They’ll be taking a ton of ground balls.”

Mahar 10, Mohawk Trail 3 — The Sens held a 6-1 lead after four innings before tallying four runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull away with a Bi-County North victory in Orange on Tuesday. 

Lucas Isrow cracked a pair of doubles and drove in a run, Morgan Softic doubled and tallied four RBIs, Matt Vitello singled, doubled and brought in a run, Luke Connors knocked two hits and brought in a run while Hunter Brooks also doubled in the victory. 

Vitello got the start and struck out four while Will Barnes added three strikeouts in the win. 

Jackson Lilienthal tallied two hits and an RBI, Weston den Ouden had an RBI single while Logan Moore and Brady Gancarz hit safely for Mohawk Trail. Moore struck out five in six innings work on the mound. 

Pioneer 11, Easthampton 0 (5) — Ben Werner struck out seven batters in five innings of work, allowing just two hits as the Panthers cruised to a five-inning victory in their season opener on Tuesday at Nonotuck Park in Easthampton.

Braeden Tsipenyuk (three runs), Hugh Cyhowski (three runs) and Evan Tsipenyuk all had two hits in the win for Pioneer (1-0), which scored two in the first, three in the third, one in the fourth and five in the fifth to put things away.

Softball

Westfield Tech 20, Pioneer 5 — Kelly Baird had a big day at the plate for the Panthers, blasting a pair of home runs while adding a double in Pioneer’s independent loss to the Tigers in Northfield on Tuesday. 

Jacobia Tyminski tripled while both Abbie Ray and Layla Goulston hit safely. Jaelyn Boliski struck out three in her first varsity appearance for the Panthers. 

Girls tennis

Frontier 3, Greenfield 2 — Araceli McCoy and Esther Ehle earned a 6-0, 6-1 victory for Frontier at No. 2 doubles over Greenfield’s Maddie Mosher and Adele Bross, helping Frontier pull out a close win over the Green Wave on Tuesday in South Deerfield. 

Hashini Ratnatunge picked up a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 triumph at No. 1 singles over Amy Mihailicenco while Ella Sibley earned a 6-3, 6-4 win over Karinna Kostov at No. 3 singles for Frontier. 

Izzy Semonelli and the duo of Lydia Wood and Rebecca Covalenco earned the wins for Greenfield. Semonelli beat Makayla Craig 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 at No. 2 singles while Wood and Covalenco walked away with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Thanushi Ratnatunge and Aylen Shaw in No. 1 doubles.