By Dakota Antelman, Managing editor
MARLBOROUGH – Baseball team Advanced Math and Science Academy claimed its first district championship in school history on June 28 and defeated Oakmont to extend a historic season.
After the match, head coach Jon Gendron was in ecstasy.
“This means the world can see these guys get their first championship,” he told reporters.
After scoring 18 races over its two previous games, AMSA plunged into a defensive stalemate with Oakmont for much of the game.
The score was still 0-0 through five innings as neither team advanced a runner past second base. Oakmont scored two goals in the game’s first five frames. Meanwhile, AMSA pulled trips and stole bases to get runners in scoring position. But they went into the sixth inning without hitting.
With both AMSA’s Cam Hunt and Oakmont’s Brady Aubuchon having strong pitching performances, Hunt’s fielders helped him effectively negate Oakmont’s limited bat success.
The Eagles caught a runner who stole second base in the third round. A round later, they did it again, refusing an attempt to steal the third base.
“It was a great time,” Gendron said of these players. “It’s all the work these guys have put in over the years.”
Gendron had particular praise for Hunt, who ended the match with eight strikes and a complete stoppage of play.
“That kid is the most clutch boy on our team,” Gendron said. “He is cool, calm and collected every time there is a big moment on our team.”
When Hunt and the defense helped AMSA keep neck and neck with Oakmont, he was also the one who kicked off a scorching sixth inning offensive performance that gave the Eagles the lead.
Hunt crushed Aubuchon’s no-hitter bid with a first pitch double to midfield. Hunt went on to third base at a wild pitch, staying there while Aubuchon beat Braden Deckers.
The very next Oakmont course snuck past the catcher Colby Gouldrup, so Hunt could score what would be the game winner from third base. Deckers advanced to third only to score, himself, on another wild course two strokes later.
AMSA’s Joseph Skowronek ran for teammate William Forte after Forte had gone for a walk, stealing second base before scoring on the same wild course that led Deckers home.
Ahead 3-0 after the sixth round, however, AMSA was not finished.
Oakmont mustered a double at the bottom of the inning, but failed to score, and gave the bats back to the Eagles in time for Andrew Cash to run a solo home run over the midfield fence and on an adjacent football field.
It marked Cash’s second home run in three games in the MIAA postseason tournament after he helped cement the Eagles’ quarterfinal victory over Blackstone Valley Technical High School with a three-run home team.
These hits brought Cash’s total number of home runs this year to nine.
“He hit a couple of bombs,” Gendron said.
AMSA first opened its doors in 2005. After that, it did not graduate its first upper secondary class until 2011.
In the years since the start, the school has had strong sports teams. But the baseball program had never done what this year’s team just did.
After chopping the final under scorching heat waves, the players celebrated on the field. Two peeled off to dump a cooler of water over Gendron’s head in the extension of the celebration.
“These kids really deserve it,” Gendron later told the Community Advocate.
Looking to the future, he further noted that the season is far from complete. From the victory in Oakmont on June 28, AMSA goes to Taconic High School on June 30 to play for a place in the state championship on July 2.
“I hope we are not done yet,” Gendron said. “We can get a bigger title if we play our game and if we do what we do.”
(Photos / Dakota Antelman)