Senior Legion: Michael Pierce pitches Greenfield Post 81 past Longmeadow

Visar Kryeziu

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Staff Writer

Published: 06-17-2024 8:42 PM

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Post 81 Senior Legion squad is officially in the win column. 

After dropping its opening two games of the season, Post 81 hosted Longmeadow Post 175 on Monday at Vets Field and received a stellar pitching performance from Michael Pierce. 

Pierce tossed the opening 6 1/3 innings for Post 81, scattering just two hits, walking two while striking out 13 to propel Greenfield to an 8-2 victory. 

“I felt good out there,” Pierce said. “I was pitching pretty consistently. I was using my fastball mostly. That team wasn’t the best hitting team but they did get those two hits so tip my cap to those dudes.” 

Pierce didn’t just get the job done on the mound on Monday. 

At the plate he went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and two RBIs. Pierce said his bat began heating up toward the end of Greenfield’s run in the state tournament, as the senior had the Green Wave’s only two hits in the semifinal loss to Boston English last week. 

That strong performance has carried into the American Legion season. 

“During playoffs, my bat wasn’t really hot,” Pierce said. “Toward the end, especially against English, I figured it out. That carried into this game.” 

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Former NMH dorm head admits to having sex with minor; charge stems from 1975
20 years strong: Gill’s Wagon Wheel Restaurant marks decades of perseverance
Talks on noise mitigation at Greenfield grow facility to continue Aug. 15
Real Estate Transactions: July 19, 2024
In wake of damage from 62 mph winds, hundreds left without power
Greenfield resident to lead Northampton Building Department

Post 81 put three runs on the board in the first. 

Dylen Richardson walked to open the frame, Jackson Campbell followed with a single before Pierce cracked a base hit to left that scored Richardson to give Greenfield the early lead. 

Ethan Mauthe came up and demolished a two-run triple, giving Post 81 a 3-0 lead after one. 

Greenfield added two in the second. Ben Caron singled, worked his way to third on a steal and a balk before Campbell drove him in with a base hit. 

Campbell then scored on the next at bat after Pierce crushed a double, giving Post 81 a 5-0 lead going into the third. 

After a deep run in the state tournament, playing less pressure-filled regular season action helps loosen things up for Pierce. 

“I can loosen up,” Pierce said. “Nerves are way down.” 

Sam Connors walked to open the third, stole second and Caron cracked a base hit to drive him home to put Post 81 ahead, 6-0, going into the fourth. 

Greenfield closed out its scoring in the fifth. Brady Poreda was hit by a pitch and after a Connors single, tried to take third. 

The throw to get him at third was offline, sending Poreda home to add to the Post 81 lead while Connors took third on the play. An Ian Simpson groundout on the ensuing at bat scored Connors, giving Greenfield its 8-0 lead. 

Longmeadow’s Joe Wilkerson walked in the sixth, stole a pair of bases before scoring on a passed ball to put Post 175 on the board. 

Mark Jodain walked in the seventh and later scored on a passed ball to close out the scoring for Longmeadow. It was Connors who got the final two outs on the mound for Post 81. 

With a talented team, Greenfield is hoping Monday’s win can put the wind at its back and propel it to greater heights the rest of the way. 

It’s a busy week ahead — with games against Belchertown Post 239 on Wednesday and Wilbraham on Friday — but Post 81 is hoping to turn things in the right direction as it looks to reach the American Legion state tournament at the end of the season. 

“It’s good getting a win,” Pierce said. “Pitching is something we’ll need to carry us. Hitting, I’ve only been to one game but it looks pretty good. Our defense is solid so hopefully we can win and go to states.”