AMHERST -- Sometimes the other guy is just better.
The Mount Greylock baseball team ran into that dilemma when it faced Greenfield pitcher Garrett Hudson on Sunday. The Mounties never solved the junior and were one-hit in a 2-0 loss in the Western Massachusetts Division II championship at Earl Lorden Field on the UMass Amherst campus.
"Coach [Steve Messina] told us this is the best team he's had in all of 22 years coaching Greylock baseball," Sean Houston said. "I'm so proud of all these guys. We play hard every game. We fought to the end every game, and it's unbelievable what we accomplished."
The Green Wave's undefeated right-hander was on cruise control from the start. He threw more than nine pitches just twice. He went to a three-ball count twice and never walked a batter. Fifty-six of his 73 pitches went for strikes. He faced the minimum in every inning except the third. Ian Brink singled to center field for Greylock's lone hit.
"He was excellent, probably one of the best pitchers we've seen," Eric Leitch said. "We really just didn't get the bat on the ball like we wanted to today. He had his stuff working. He was pounding the strike zone every batter, so I mean hats off to him."
Easily overlooked by Hudson's performance was the one turned in by Greylock's Robby Buffis.
The junior Mountie went toe-to-toe with his counterpart. He allowed just five hits, but two went for extra bases. Greenfield converted both into runs.
Andrew Barisano tripled past the outstretched glove of Sean Houston in the right-center field gap in the fourth. Luke Toritto brought him home with a sacrifice fly a batter later.
Steven Duclos doubled to left-center field to leadoff the sixth. He scored a batter later on an error by Leitch at shortstop.
"To be completely honest, I'm kicking myself over the first one," Houston said. "I just took the wrong line. If I had the right line, I had that ball. Of course that was the one they scored their first run on."
Buffis remained solid throughout. The only other time he ran into trouble was in the third when he stranded runners at the corners by striking out Greenfield's No. 3 hitter, Zack Bartak, on four pitches.
Buffis needed 99 pitches to get through his seven innings, with 62 going for strikes. He finished with three strikeouts and one walk, which he left stranded at first in the fourth.
Knowing how well Hudson was throwing, Buffis knew he needed to be at his best.
"It pushes you to be just as good as them, if not better," he said. "I always try to be better and today I wasn't."
He knew -- as he's known all season -- he didn't need to do it all himself. He pounded the strike zone and let the Green Wave put the ball in play. For the most part, Greylock made the plays. The few hiccups the Mounties did have, they made up for. The biggest came shortly after Leitch's error.
The senior shortstop came right back two batters later to make a play on a ground ball. When he fired to first for the second out, the runner on second took off for third. Ben Alley quickly threw across the diamond and Andrew Leitch blocked the bag beautifully for an inning-ending double play.
Buffis' confidence in his defense never swayed, but plays like that reinforced it. It's what he had the most confidence in on the mound.
"Always have, always will," he said. "I love those guys."
Eric Leitch said it was as if Greylock wasted Buffis' performance.
"He did excellent. He gave us a chance to win. He did as much as he could," he said. "I wish our bats could really back him up. But that's the way it goes sometimes."
The loss puts an end to the careers of nine Greylock seniors. Houston, Andrew and Eric Leitch, Alley, Derek Romejko, Eddie Dufur, Ben Coleman, Tyler Picard and Frank Rickus all played their last game for the Red and White.
While it didn't end the way any of them wanted, they know the season was still a success.
"Eighteen wins is a lot of wins. We had a good year," Buffis said. "Can't really take anything away. You don't want it to end like this and obviously you want to win today, but oh well."
Greenfield 2, Mount Greylock 0
Greenfield 000 101 0 -- 2 5 1
Greylock 000 000 0 -- 0 1 2
Garrett Hudson and Jacob Elwell. Robby Buffis and Nick DiSanti. W -- Hudson. L -- Buffis.
2B -- Greenfield 1 (Steven Duclos). 3B -- Greenfield 1 (Andrew Barisano).