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Pittsfield baseball beats Colebrook to advance to Division IV championship

  • Colebrook Academy's Jordan Bedard, right, misses home plate as Pittsfield High School's Wesley Ward, left, attempts a tag during a game in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Bedard was called out on the play. Pittsfield defeated Colebrook by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal.<br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

    Colebrook Academy's Jordan Bedard, right, misses home plate as Pittsfield High School's Wesley Ward, left, attempts a tag during a game in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Bedard was called out on the play. Pittsfield defeated Colebrook by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal.

    TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

  • Pittsfield High School's Jed Eastman, #9, pumps his fist after striking out the last batter and defeating Colebrook Academy by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013.<br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

    Pittsfield High School's Jed Eastman, #9, pumps his fist after striking out the last batter and defeating Colebrook Academy by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013.

    TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

  • Pittsfield High School's Keith Duclos, left, tags out Colebrook Academy's Creed Cooney, #14, during a game in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Plymouth defeated Colebrook by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal.<br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

    Pittsfield High School's Keith Duclos, left, tags out Colebrook Academy's Creed Cooney, #14, during a game in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Plymouth defeated Colebrook by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal.

    TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

  • Pittsfield High School's Tyler Stockman, #4, gets hit by a pitch during a game against Colebrook Academy in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Pittsfield defeated Colebrook by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal.<br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

    Pittsfield High School's Tyler Stockman, #4, gets hit by a pitch during a game against Colebrook Academy in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Pittsfield defeated Colebrook by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal.

    TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

  • Pittsfield High School's Kris Perkins, #23, steals third base past Colebrook Academy's Jordan Bedard, #17, during a game in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Pittsfield defeated Colebrook by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal.<br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

    Pittsfield High School's Kris Perkins, #23, steals third base past Colebrook Academy's Jordan Bedard, #17, during a game in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Pittsfield defeated Colebrook by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal.

    TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

  • Pittsfield High School defeated Colebrook Academy by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013.<br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

    Pittsfield High School defeated Colebrook Academy by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013.

    TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

  • Colebrook Academy's Jordan Bedard, right, misses home plate as Pittsfield High School's Wesley Ward, left, attempts a tag during a game in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Bedard was called out on the play. Pittsfield defeated Colebrook by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal.<br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff
  • Pittsfield High School's Jed Eastman, #9, pumps his fist after striking out the last batter and defeating Colebrook Academy by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013.<br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff
  • Pittsfield High School's Keith Duclos, left, tags out Colebrook Academy's Creed Cooney, #14, during a game in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Plymouth defeated Colebrook by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal.<br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff
  • Pittsfield High School's Tyler Stockman, #4, gets hit by a pitch during a game against Colebrook Academy in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Pittsfield defeated Colebrook by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal.<br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff
  • Pittsfield High School's Kris Perkins, #23, steals third base past Colebrook Academy's Jordan Bedard, #17, during a game in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Pittsfield defeated Colebrook by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal.<br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff
  • Pittsfield High School defeated Colebrook Academy by a score of 6-2 in the Division IV boys' baseball semifinal in Plymouth on Thursday, June 6, 2013.<br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

PLYMOUTH – The Division IV baseball semifinal couldn’t have gone any better for Coach Rob Stockman and his Pittsfield Panthers – and it wasn’t just limited to the final score.

No. 3 Pittsfield seized control against No. 2 Colebrook early at Plymouth State University, as timely hitting and relentless baserunning quickly backed a dominant Kris Perkins and allowed the Panthers to cruise into the final with a 6-2 victory over the Mohawks.

Winning at all would have sufficed, but Pittsfield benefitted especially from the way the game unfolded. A three-run fifth inning put the Panthers up 5-0 after four-and-a-half innings, and allowed Stockman to safely pull Perkins and save his ace for tomorrow’s championship game against top-seeded and heavy-hitting Littleton.

“It worked out. If you were going to write it up, you couldn’t write it up any better for how we’d like to do it,” said Stockman, whose team improved to 16-3 and advanced to the championship game for the first time since winning it in 2001. “You never know what team we’re going to get, but this year, (it’s a) different group of kids and they just come out and battle.”

It was the first game between the two teams since the Panthers, as a seventh seed, shocked the second-seeded Mohawks in last year’s quarterfinals, and if Colebrook came in expecting revenge, it was quickly apparent that Perkins wasn’t going to make it easy. The lanky lefty baffled the Mohawks hitters through four innings with an accurate fastball and sharp curve, notching six strikeouts against two hits, no walks and – once again – no runs.

“I really just had to stay calm and keep (throwing) strikes,” said the junior, who upped his scoreless streak to 40 innings. “Hope your players back you up.”

His offense did, agitating Colebrook starter Justin Siewierski and catcher Brandon Marsh by running at nearly every opportunity. Perkins himself was the culprit in the early going, as he singled, stole second and third and came home on Jed Eastman’s sacrifice fly in the second inning, then grounded to third but went to second on a throwing error, stole third and came home on Eastman’s single in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.

The Panthers broke it open in the fifth. Max Tuttle singled to left, and after Wes Ward beat out a grounder to third, the Mohawks seemed to catch a break when they had Tuttle trapped in a rundown between second and third. Marsh’s throw to second was wild, however, putting runners at the corners, and after Ward stole second, Chris Farr brought them both in with a double to right-center. Branden Smith capped the inning with a single up the middle that scored Farr and allowed Stockman to begin making plans for tomorrow.

Colebrook scored runs off Farr in the fifth and sixth, but Pittsfield tacked on an insurance run in the top of the sixth when Tyler Stockman was hit by a pitch, went to second on a passed ball and scored on Ward’s single down the third base line.

“The one thing I was really happy with today was our bats came around,” Coach Stockman said. “Did we get all the timely hits that we wanted, no, but we put enough together to get a good lead and hold it off with our pitching. We’ve only allowed over five runs one game all year, so as far as pitching goes, I felt good about where we were.”

The Panthers did as much damage on the basepaths as in the batters’ box, finishing with seven steals while not getting caught once and totaling 11 bases on a combination of steals, passed balls and wild pitches.

“That’s how we play,” Coach Stockman said. “We just stay aggressive. … We went up and watched Colebrook play, and we thought that was something we could take advantage of.”

Pittsfield was aided by Colebrook miscues, as the Mohawks also made two errors and killed their own rally in the sixth after Jordan Bedard appeared to bring in the team’s third run on a single by Nick Bouchard. The umpire ruled he never touched home plate, however, and Ward tagged him out behind the batter’s box to end the inning.

Ward also led the Panthers offense, picking up three hits, including a triple in the first, while Eastman had two hits and Jacob Whittier also picked up a single. Farr and Eastman finished the pitching duties, with Farr allowing two runs in 1 2∕3 innings and Eastman closing out the game with two strikeouts over the final 1 1∕3 innings.

(Drew Bonifant can be reached at 369-3340 or at abonifant@cmonitor.com, or via Twitter @dbonifant.)

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