NORTH ADAMS -- The result had absolutely no effect on the final regular season standings, but don’t let that fool you.
North Adams’ 9-5 win over Danbury in the final regular season game meant a lot to the SteepleCats heading forward. It may have been one of the most important wins of the season, as it snaps a three-game losing streak and gives the SteepleCats a little bit of momentum heading into a three-game playoff series against Danbury, which gets under way Friday.
"In terms of the actual game, I know it means nothing, but it’s big to head into the playoffs with a better than .500 record," first baseman Charlie Law said. "It’s good to know we finished on a strong note, especially after those two losses [Tuesday]."
The win allowed North Adams to finish with a 22-20 record on the season, it will be the third seed in the NECBL Western Division playoffs.
"It really mattered to us, because we hadn’t won in a while," Manager Bryan Adamski said. "Any win we can get is great. The coach of Danbury told me during the ground rules that he was throwing all position guys and that it could be an ugly one. I said ‘hey that sounds good to me.’ "
Law launched a three-run home run in the second inning, and the SteepleCats never looked back.
"It was nice to be able to open it up a little bit early in the game, rather than it being a nail bitter or trailing like we have been lately,"
Danbury sent seven different pitchers to the mound. Only Andrew Garner pitched more than an inning.
"It looked like our offense hit the ball very well," Law said. "It should give us some good momentum heading into the playoffs."
The SteepleCats smashed 11 hits on the day, in support of starting pitcher Tyler Gebler. It was Gebler’s first start since lasting just 11Ž3 innings in a loss to Holyoke on Sunday. Gebler pitched six innings and gave up four runs on 10 hits. He also struck out four.
Law’s home run was his ninth of the season, making him the franchise leader in that category. He drove in another run in the fourth inning, giving him 41 RBI on the year, which is also a franchise record.
"[The records] mean a lot," Law said. "The thing that highlights it though, is Jeff Roy’s record. If it wasn’t for him how many RBI would I have? None. It’s all the guys who hit in front of me and the guys who hit behind me who make me a better player."
Roy scored three runs in the game. When he crossed the plate in the sixth inning he scored his 40th run of the year, making him the franchise leader in that category. He also stole two bases in the sixth, giving him 24 on the season. That is a franchise record, and he finished tops in the league in steals.
"Those guys are our horses offensively," Adamski said. "We rotate our lineup around those guys. We rely heavily on them for situational hitting, Charlie for his home runs and Jeff for his running the bases. Those guys have set the table for us this year. We’re not making the playoffs without them."