NORTH ADAMS -- The North Adams SteepleCats have roared out of the NECBL All-Star break and are looking to improve in the playoff standing in the final week of the regular season.
The SteepleCats are one win and one Saratoga Brigade loss away from clinching a playoff spot. After suffering a 3-1 loss to the Brigade on Sunday -- just its third since last weekend’s All-Star game -- North Adams still has a chance at the top spot in the Western Division with four games left. The SteepleCats were off Monday while Vermont fell to Danbury and fell one game behind Keene in the race for first place in the Western Division. The Swamp Bats were also idle Monday and will get back to work against the SteepleCats tonight. North Adams is three games back.
A trip to the playoffs this season will be the 11th in 12 attempts for the North Adams franchise.
North Adams is 10-5 since Kevin Smith took over as interim manager following the departure of Bryan Adamski on July 8.
"We’ve been playing really well. The kids have really caught fire for us," Smith said. "I think the kids have just really come together. They just got it together. This is a great bunch of kids and they really like each other and are working hard to find ways to win."
Since the All-Star break, North Adams has outscored its opponents 37-21 and two of the three losses came by two or fewer runs.
"We’ve made literally no errors, we’ve hit the ball, we’ve had timely two-out hits with guys in scoring position," infielder Bryan Soloman said Sunday. "And our pitchers have been lights out."
Starting pitcher Scott Squier has been great in his two appearances since the all-star game. He has allowed just two earned runs in 16 innings pitched -- including a complete-game win over Sanford. His 64 strikeouts are the most in the NECBL and have him just five away from the franchise record. He is expected to get one more start in the regular season when North Adams hosts Holyoke on Wednesday.
Offensively, Brett Anderson is leading the club with 19 RBI. Joe Landi is batting .328.
The SteepleCats are three games back of Vermont and Keene. Tonight’s match up with the Swamp Bats is the final of the season and the SteepleCats do not play Vermont again in the regular season.
The final regular season home game is scheduled for Wednesday night against Holyoke.