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MIAA D3 BASEBALL FINAL | TACONIC 14, MEDFIELD 10

Taconic derails Medfield with a 10-run sixth inning in Division 3 baseball final

The Taconic baseball team won its second straight MIAA Division 3 title, and third championship since 2017.
The Taconic baseball team won its second straight MIAA Division 3 title, and third championship since 2017.Cam Kerry

PITTSFIELD — Playing in its first state final, 130 miles from Schilling Field on Pound Street, the Medfield baseball team surged ahead of host Taconic with four runs in the top of the sixth inning in front of a packed house at historic Wahconah Park Monday afternoon.

The Warriors plated those runs off junior reliever Sam Sherman.

Unfazed, Sherman poked a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth into shallow center field, with Taconic trailing, 6-4. By the time the hosts had finished, they had sent 13 more batters to the plate, plating a staggering 10 runs, for a stunning, and seemingly, comfortable eight-run cushion.

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Medfield responded with four more runs, but the rally ended there, with Taconic closing out a 19-0 season with a robust 14-10 win for its second straight MIAA Division 3 championship. The program also won the Division 1 crown in 2017.

In its march to the state final, Medfield (20-2) had not allowed more than two runs in any inning all season. In its monster frame, Taconic collected five hits, three walks, three hit batters, and capitalized on two errors for its 10 runs.

“The 10-run inning, Sam Sherman had given up the lead,” said Taconic coach Kevin Stannard. “We could have called it a game, but that’s not the makeup of this team. Sam led the inning off and got us going, so that’s how nice baseball is.”

Boosted by the home crowd at Wahconah Park, Taconic players were fired up with each run, jumping on teammates in celebration as green jerseys continued to round the bases.

“We’re down by two and all I said to them was ‘That’s the most we’ve been down [all season], this is nothing for us,’” said Stannard. “They responded in such a positive way.”

Sophomore left fielder Evan Blake paced Taconic, belting a homer, double, and knocking in five runs.

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Blake gave Taconic the lead in the third inning, blasting a fastball from Medfield starter Tom Shurtleff over the left-field wall for a three-run homer. Blake turned his head back and roared in celebration at home plate, where he was mobbed by his teammates.

“I was a little late on the fastball at first, so I knew that I had to adjust and be shorter down to the ball,” said Blake. “I adjusted and was sitting on the ball fastball, I let loose and barreled it.”

Despite Taconic’s sixth inning scoring parade, Medfield kept battling. The Warriors rapped 14 hits and scored seven runs in their final two innings.

“They never stop battling,” said Medfield coach Dave Worthley.

“That was one of the things that we try to instill in them: You’re never out of the at-bat, you’re never out of the inning, you’re never out of the game. Try to win each of those things. We had a bizarre inning there. That was an atypical inning; I’ve never seen that. We haven’t given up more than two runs in an inning all year. Sometimes that’s just the way that baseball goes. But to then come right back and stay in the fight, it shows great integrity and great character by these guys, which they all have in spades.”

Junior shortstop Jack Goodman, a Pepperdine commit, went 4 for 5 with two RBIs, three runs scored, and a stolen base. Senior catcher Ben Leonard finished 3 for 3 with two RBIs, a stolen base, and a sac fly for the Warriors.

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“This is one of the best groups of baseball players that I’ve ever been a part of, and I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” said Worthley. “I couldn’t be prouder of these guys.”