NORTH ADAMS -- Tyler Briggs and his Drury baseball teammates were nearly perfect against Wahconah on Wednesday afternoon.
The problem was Lane Grogan and the Warriors were just as good. It was Wahconah that found a way to push a run across in the sixth and held on for the win, 1-0.
"We had no hitting today," said Briggs who went 0 for 2 at the plate. "We're just in a slump. We've had contact, it's not getting into the holes. We've seen pitchers like that all year, we just couldn't hit the ball into the holes."
Briggs didn't allow a hit until Eli Pease pushed a single into left field to start the fifth. Pease stole second, but Briggs made sure he stayed there, retiring the next three batters he faced.
Ethan Wells singled in the sixth and barely beat a throw to the plate on Patrick Jamross' single to score the only run of the game. Grogan followed that with a single of his own.
"We haven't hit well this year and we haven't really strung anything together," Wahconah coach Jared Shannon said. "I think that's the first time we've got three hits in a row almost all season."
Tyler Cote took over for Briggs in the sixth and left Jamross and Grogan in scoring position. Cote struck out three in his 1 2/3 of work.
"My fastball and curveball were pretty much working," Briggs said. "Other than that, they were hitting the ball late. I couldn't do much about it."
Grogan, Wahconah's usual starting catcher, allowed just three hits on the day, and struck out three to earn the complete-game shutout.
"I was just trying to hit the zone and working my fastball and my curveball a little bit," Grogan said. "I was keeping them off balance and that resulted in a lot of ground balls."
The Blue Devils had their fair share of chances, however. Drury managed to put a runner on base in every inning, stranding eight on the base paths.
Drury's best chance came in the third inning. Joe Liporace led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Logan Rumbolt was hit by a pitch and stole second, but didn't move after that. Ryan Ouimet hit a shallow fly to center that wasn't deep enough to score the run. Nolan Bird then grounded out to end the threat.
Drury again put two on in the seventh, but Rumbolt bounced a 3-1 pitch to Joe Dimassimo to end the contest.
"We played a great baseball game," Drury coach Al Marceau said. "We just couldn't get the timely hits when we needed it. If we had struck out, I think I'd be more dissapointed, but we put the ball in play.
"Even Logan [in the seventh], put the ball in play. On 3-1, he was looking for a pitch he could drive. I think it got in on him a little bit and bounced to second. That's baseball, nothing you can do about that."
Briggs held his team in the game for five innings, on just one day's rest after throwing nearly 40 pitches against Hoosac Valley on Monday. He threw 66 on Wednesday.
He relied heavily on his defense throughout, as he recorded just one strikeout. Eleven of the outs he recorded were ground ball outs.
It was first baseman Kodey Bryce who put his glove to good use to help limit baserunners.
Bryce showed off his ability to reach and scoop several underthrown balls and prevented a throwing error on Rumbolt in the fourth. The senior was pulled off the bag by the throw but was able to reach up, grab the ball and tag Wahconah's Jamross to keep the bases empty in the inning.
"It's nice to have a first baseman like that," Marceau said. "He made a couple of nice scoops, then coming off the bag and getting the tag down [in the fourth]. It's little things like that, that make a big difference. He saves them all quite a bit."
Wahconah 1, Drury 0
Wahconah 000 001 0 -- 1 4 1
Drury 000 000 0 -- 0 3 0
Lane Grogan and Matt Schneider; Tyler Briggs (5 1/3), Tyler Cote and Cody Primmer. W -- Grogan L -- Briggs. 2B -- Drury 1 (Joe Liporace).