HUDSON – A tight pitchers’ duel broke open in the fifth inning of the Central Massachusetts Athletic Directors’ Association (CMADA) Class B finals in Hudson on Tuesday.
The Hawks baseball team then held on and beat Nipmuc, securing a tournament title on the eve of bracket seeding for this month’s state championship tournament.
“It’s huge,” Hudson’s pitcher Brady Stuart told the Community Advocate after the game.
Hudson scores in fifth inning
Held under the lights at Guidotti Field at Hudson High School, this game pitted Hudson against Division III rival Nipmuc.
Ranked sixth in updated state playoff power rankings last week, Hudson held a slight edge over the seventh-ranked Warriors coming into this game.
Closely matched, the teams then settled into a largely scoreless affair, battling into the bottom of the fifth inning in a 0-0 tie.
That’s when Hudson was finally able to advance runners before ultimately taking a 1-0 lead.
“That was a huge sigh of relief,” Stuart said.
He added that he was then confident that his team would score again.
“That’s kind of who we are,” he said. “We built some momentum.”
Hudson soon doubled its lead, now putting offensive backing behind Stuart as he navigated his squad’s remaining six outs in the sixth and seventh inning.
‘We put balls in play’
Stuart ended the day with 14 strikeouts, pitching the complete game shutout and walking no one.
“It was a great pitcher’s duel,” head coach Tim Reinhardt said of the performance. “Brady pitched well, their pitcher pitched well.”
In a year of standout pitching throughout Hudson’s rotation, Reinhardt further lauded his larger crew.
“Just to know any time that you put any of these guys out there, whether it’s Brady or [Jason] Jakobsons or [Max] Person or Conner [Madden], that you’ll be in a game and have an opportunity to win it, it’s huge,” he said, referencing other pitchers. “We always know that they’re going to give us everything they got.”
Reinhardt similarly commended his team’s offense, noting their ability to pounce on the Warriors when their time came in the fifth inning.
“Hard on the line, hard on the ground – if you do that, you make the other team make plays and you put pressure on them,” he said. “That’s what we did.”
“We put balls in play and we were able to scratch a couple runs,” he continued.
Playoffs start Friday
Boasting a 15-4 record through last week, Hudson has recently maintained momentum, downing the Marlborough Panthers on Monday with a 7-1 final score.
The team is now eyeing the playoffs, which begin on Friday.
Though tournament seeding had not been announced as of Wednesday morning, Reinhardt said his team’s attention would promptly go to that next game.
“We’ll enjoy this tonight,” he said on Tuesday. “Then, we’ll go get ready for tomorrow.”