Drury's Ryan Dubie silences Wahconah for season-opening win

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NORTH ADAMS — Both teams made their season debuts on an actual baseball diamond Saturday afternoon. One team looked like it had been out there for a while.

Drury's Ryan Dubie and Connor Clark combined to pitch a two-hit shutout, while Dubie helped his cause by driving in two runs as the Blue Devils beat Wahconah 9-0 at Alcombright Field.

"It feels really good" to be outside, Dubie said. "It's probably our fourth time out here all together, with practice and our first game. We did pretty good."

The term "pretty good" is an understatement for sure. The Blue Devils scored in five of the six innings, did not have a 1-2-3 inning, and had hits in five of the six innings.

"We always talk about goals in this program. The first goal is to get 10 wins and qualify for the tournament," Drury coach Pat Boulger said. "To come in the first day, the first game, only having a couple of days outside and putting up a performance of that magnitude, I think they played excellent baseball. I'll say that."

While the mood on the home side of Alcombright was sunny, the clouds had rolled in over Wahconah coach Rob Cowdrey and his players.

The Warriors got an infield single from Chad Howes in the second inning and a double to center from Bob Archambault in the sixth, but otherwise got nothing going offensively. In seven innings, the Warriors had only two runners get as far as third base, while two others were stranded at second.

"If anything, I'd rather have this reality check on Day 1, than Day 20 or come tournament time," Cowdrey said. "I told them yesterday that all of our warts are going to be exposed tomorrow. We have quite a few warts that we have to work on."

Dubie has a fastball, curve and change-up in his pitching repertoire, and used them all on Saturday. The senior right-hander did credit one pitch for his success.

"I think my curve ball worked pretty good today," said Dubie. "My catcher [Dylan Toomey] spotted me well out there. Teamwork."

Dubie was on point from the start. He walked Dane Campbell on a 3-2 pitch to open up the first inning. With one out, Campbell stole second and went to third on Archambault's ground out. Campbell was stuck on third after Joe Woronick grounded to Chad Lawrence at short to end the inning.

The Blue Devils took the lead for keeps in the home first. Reece Racette worked a one-out walk and scored on Clark's triple to center. Clark came home on Dubie's single. Wahconah starter Chad Howes gave up an infield hit to Jacob Brayman and walked Toomey to load the bases. That forced Cowdrey to change pitchers. Gabe Verdi came in, got Corbin Rumbolt on an infield-fly rule pop and Connor Kelly struck out to end the inning.

Dubie ended up pitching six innings, giving up two hits, walking two and striking out six. Archambault doubled with one out in the sixth inning, but Dubie kept the run from scoring. Clark pitched a 1-2-3 seventh.

Racette, Clark and Brayman all went 2 for 3 in the game as the Blue Devils had eight hits against three Wahconah pitchers.

"That's a nice win for our program. Considering what we went through last year, we had some big lumps last year as we all know," said Boulger, whose team was 2-16 in 2017. "That's a really nice game for those guys to feel good about what we're doing, where we're going and what direction we're going in."

———

Wahconah     000     000     0     —     0     2     0

Drury     222     102     x     —     9     8     2

Chad Howes (1/3), Gab Verdi (1 2/3), Tanner Hill (5) and Joe Woronick. Ryan Dubie (6), Connor Clark (1) and Dylan Toomey. W — Dubie. L — Howes. 2B — W (Bob Archambault). D (Reece Racette). 3B — D (Clark).

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.          


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