ADAMS -- It was almost poetic.
Hoosac Valley coach Jay Sniezek stood on the grassy knoll near the Forest Park Country Club clubhouse Wednesday answering questions about his team's monumental upset of Pittsfield in boys golf. Unbeknownst to him, Ty Clark crept up from behind, like a tiger stalking its prey. Photo Gallery: Hoosac Valley Vs. PHS golf
Finally, he darted at Sniezek, slapping him in the face with a fistful of relish. No better way than that to relish a the win, one that required a tiebreaker after the teams were deadlocked at 174-174 when the scores of the first four golfers from each team were tallied up. Eric Sniezek's nine-hole 50 gave Hoosac the tiebreaker by one stroke. Nick Martin had the next lowest score for Pittsfield, at 51.
"I would have rather had a gatorade bath," Sniezek said.
It was better than the bloodbath that Sniezek had watched most of the year. Hoosac has struggled this year after graduating Chad Alibozek, one of the best golfers Berkshire County has seen in a while.
The Hurricanes entered Wednesday's match with only two wins to their name and clinging to fading hope of qualifying for the Western Massachusetts tournament. Teams need at least eight match wins to qualify.
After Wednesday's big upset, Hoosac still must win all of its final five matches.
The way the day ended was a far cry from how it started. Strong winds settled upon the course, at one point blowing off a hat from the top of Pittsfield coach Chris Polidoro's head. A spectator nearby told Sniezek that he regretted not bringing his kite.
"A good day for that," Sniezek said.
Despite the unfavorable conditions, the Hurricanes built a 12-stroke lead heading into the final hole, until Pittsfield made up the difference.
"We knew we had to win today," Clark said.
Weirdly enough, Martin, Pittsfield's No. 2, and No. 1 golfer Ryan Grande were paired with Hoosac's No. 3 and No. 4 after Grande asked to be held back after complaining of stomach pain on the bus ride.
Grande, who carded a 7-over-par 41, never really got untracked. His second approach on the first hole landed in the bunker, and he duplicated the ignominious feat a few holes later.
Luckily for him, anyone that landed in the bunkers, which were under construction, got relief and took a drop from the side.
Tension built as the final foursome came to the last hole, with the two coaches settling in near the clubhouse to watch the finish. Sniezek practically had nubs for fingers, he was so nervous.
"I can't stand this," he told Polidoro. "It's why I got gray hair. Not you, you're still young."
In truth, Pittsfield probably owed its coach a couple gray hairs after steamrolling teams for much of the year.
The Generals were previously undefeated in the North Division before this stomach-shredding loss and had beaten Hoosac handily by 26 strokes in the teams' first head-to-head encounter.
Nonetheless, Polidoro took it all in stride, congratulating the Hurricanes afterward as the two teams lined up for handshakes.
"Can't win them all," he said. "We'd like to, but ..."
It's funny what being the favorite does to a team. Truthfully, there was no pressure on the Hurricanes, and by the looks of the way they fooled around on the putting greens waiting for teammates to finish their round, one would have thought they had already locked up a spot at state.
Clark was the epitome of relaxed as he answered questions about his team's struggles. Hoosac has just two seniors on the roster, as many freshmen and a seventh-grader.
Clark admitted this team didn't really know what pressure is, so that's probably how they handled it knowing their backs were against the wall Wednesday.
"I don't think they know what's going on," he said of his younger teammates. "Me and Keith [Pero] have to pretty much carry the team. We have to put the team on our back, and every shot counts."
Pero and Clark made them count. Hooscac's No. 1 and No. 2 golfers carded a 40 and 41, respectively. Jack Sniezek's 45 and Matt Burdick's 48 rounded out the top four for the Hurricanes.