WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State senior lefthander John Gegetskas (Windsor, Conn.) threw a no-hitter as Westfield State defeated Framingham State, 12-0 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball tournament at Bud and Jim Hagan Field on Thursday and propel the Owls into the tournament's championship round on Saturday.
Gegetskas faced the minimum, 24 hitters as the game was shortened by the MASCAC's 12-run rule in the bottom of the eighth as Owls leftfielder Casey Boudreau (Shrewsbury, Mass.) singled home Jake Gibb (Stoughton, Mass.) with the walk-off run and make the no-no official.
The only runner to reach base was Framingham's Aaron Williams as he reached on an error to lead off the top of the fourth inning, and he was erased on the next play as Kyle Lippert grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
Gegetskas struck out seven and walked none. He got support in the field with a diving grab of a line drive from right fielder Nick Martin (Shrewsbury, Mass.) in the third inning, and got a sliding stop from second baseman Tyler Beach (Qunicy, Mass.) in the seventh. In the top of the eighth, the Rams' Bobby Higgins hit a hard one-hopper that richocheted off Gegetskas' foot, but the big lefty ranged toward third and retired Higgins for the first out of the eighth.
It's the first no-hitter for Westfield since Joe Hevey tossed one against Mass Maritime in 1988, and the fifth in school history, joining Bill Babinski (1965), Butch LaMagdelaine (1978), and Jeff Turok (1980).
Gegetskas improved to 6-3 on the season. He has 83 strikeouts on the season, just three short of his school-record of 86 set a year ago.
Westfield got all the offense it would need in the second inning, as Aaron Clancy (Quincy, Mass.) singled, Boudreau doubled, and Beach plated them both with a base hit through the left side for a 2-0 Owls lead. Westfield got two more in the fifth, and then erupted for six in the sixth inning, getting an RBI single from Michael Cruz (Springfield, Mass.) and a two-run single from Boudreau. Boudreau finished 3-5 with three rbi. Beach finished 2-4 with two RBI, and Martin and Clancy each added a pair of hits.
Framingham starter Kevin Connelly (3-6) took the loss.
Framingham (22-18) drops into the elimination bracket in the tournament, and will face Fitchburg State at 11 am on Saturday in Westfield. The loser of that game is eliminated, with the winner advancing to play Westfield State (26-13) in the championship round with a 2:30 p.m. start time. The Owls will have two chances to win the tourney, as play continues until there is only one team left in the double-elimination format.
In the other half of the bracket, Fitchburg eliminated Bridgewater with a marathon 13-12 decision over the Bears in a game played on the turf field at FPU in Rindge, N.H. today.