WILLIAMSTOWN -- First innings have not been kind to the Mount Greylock baseball team this season.
That trend is starting to change and definitely wasn't the case against Hoosac Valley. The Mounties tacked five runs on the board in the first and walked off with a mercy-rule victory over the Hurricanes, 17-2 on Wednesday.
Sean Houston got things going for the Mounties. The leadoff man rocketed a double to left field and then scored on Jack Thistle's single two pitches later.
Houston was at the front of the team's early-inning struggles. His batting average had dropped well below .300. He was so frustrated with his play that he told coach Steve Messina he didn't think he should be in the leadoff spot for a few games.
"He sat me down and said ‘No, I trust you to stay in there,' and he showed me some stats," Houston said. "They weren't as bad as I had thought. That really gave me the confidence to stay in there and hit the ball well."
The senior repaid his coach's confidence with a big day at the plate. His double and ability to score from second on a single got the day headed in the right direction for the Mounties. He also collected two RBI on a single in the fourth inning and stole a base in the third.
At the peak of his struggles, his average was below the .300 mark, but his on base percentage stayed above .400. In the past few games he's straightened things out, raising his average above .300 and pushing his on base percentage to over .600.
"He's a spark plug for us," Messina said. "When he gets on, he can make things happen. That's why he's there, and that's why he has been there since he was a sophomore. He's a concern when he's on base."
Every member of the starting lineup reached base for the Mounties on Wednesday and every player in uniform got at least one at-bat in the six-inning game.
Greylock pounded out 19 hits on the day and scored at least one run in every inning. It got a quick start against Hoosac starter Joe Buonemani. The Mounties sent 10 men to the plate in the first inning and notched eight runs in Buonemani's three innings of work.
"It is what it is," Hoosac coach Bob Rivard said. "In a season like this, in a stretch like this, you're going to take some lumps. We just move on from here."
Ian Brink was solid on the mound for Greylock. He pitched earlier in the week, coming back on short rest to go four innings for the win. He gave up one run on three hits. He helped his own cause with two hits and an RBI.
"He was throwing fastballs and locating his pitches," catcher Nick DiSanti said. "He would mix in his curveball once in a while. He was just hitting his spots."
DiSanti led the team with three hits. He finished the day 3 for 4 with an RBI, walk and three runs scored.
"I was just trying to make contact and not do too much with it," he said. "I just kind of got a piece of it and had a pretty good day."
Of the 19 hits, five of them were doubles for the Mounties.
"I like the aggressiveness they showed," Messina said. "They hit the ball well, they hit the ball hard. I was very happy with the way they were putting the ball in play."
Mount Greylock 17, Hoosac Valley 2
Hoosac 001 010 -- 2 5 6
Greylock 512 441 -- 17 19 3
Joe Buonemani (3), Ben Timarchi (1/3), Sean Ryan-Kut (1 2/3), Tyler Clark (1) and Jake Hall (5), Jake Swistak (1). Ian Brink (4), Frank Rickus (2) and Nick DiSanti. W -- Brink. L -- Buonemani.
2B -- Greylock 5 (Sean Houston, Ben Alley, Jack Thistle, Ian Brink, Nick Bolognia).