(Pittsfield, Sunday, May 29th, 2011) — Boomtown. That’s what the fans got at Beloved Wahconah Park on Sunday as the Pittsfield Colonials ripped off their third win in a row.

Through the first three games of the 2011 regular season, the Colonials’ offense hadn’t quite shown the Wahconah Park faithful why it led the Can-Am league last season with a .289 batting average.

Sunday afternoon, however, the Colonials finally found their hitting shoes, pounding out 16 hits in a 9-6 victory over the expansion Rockland Boulders before 688 loud fans at the old ballyard.

IDYLLS OF A SUNDAY AFTERNOON: The view looking out to center field on Sunday at BWP. C's beat Rockland, 9-6, for third straight win. (Josh Cutler for PLANET VALENTI Sports))

Hit Early and Hit Often

Pittsfield would get to Boulders’ starter John Muller immediately out of the gate, tallying all of their nine runs within the first three innings. With minimal bullpen arms available and with a relatively low pitch count for his starter, Boulders’ manager Dave LaPoint elected to remain with Muller through the fifth inning. Muller would ultimately give up nine runs on 13 hits, walking three while striking out seven.

Colonials Manager Jamie Keefe explained that despite any game situation, the C’s offensive approach will always remain the same: “We are an aggressive team, and I’d much rather be aggressive than passive. We’re going to run, run, run, run, and then run some more.” Case in point: The C’s stole bases — three each from Jerod Edmondson and Danny Bomback, two from Matt Nandin).

Pittsfield tallied an early run in the first on a Bomback RBI single to center, plating Jerod Edmondson. However, a bigger threat was averted when Matt Nandin was thrown out at home plate by shortstop Bridger Hunt on the back end of a double steal. Angel Molina (0-5 on the day) then struck out, and Rafael Cabreja popped out to shortstop to end the threat.

The Colonials would continue to be aggressive against Muller in the 2nd inning, taking advantage of two Boulders errors to score four more. After a leadoff single by Johnny Welch, a hustle double by Billy Mottram placed two Colonials’ runners in scoring position. After a Chris Torres walk, Quentin Davis’ 2-0 single to right plated Welch and Mottram, giving Pittsfield a 3-0 lead. Nandin then beat out an infield single, with Torres coming in the backdoor, but an errant throw by Hunt allowed Davis to score as well, giving Pittsfield a 5-0 advantage.

Pittsfield would come back with four more runs in the 3rd inning against Muller, the result of a two-run double by Edmondson and a pair of RBI singles by Nandin and Bomback.

Keefe cited the leadoff hitter Edmondson’s 4-5 day with two RBI as the catalyst for the C’s offensive outburst: “(Recently) he has just been missing some balls. He is as dialed in right now as anybody, and today it paid off for us.”

Stronach Unsung Hero Out of C’s Bullpen

SIGNING IN — Colonials' stater Dan Cevette looks into for the sign as the runner leads from first. (Josh Cutler for PLANET VALENTI Sports)

Meanwhile, Colonials’ starter Dan Cevette, making his first professional start since 2009 due to arm injuries, struggled through his 3+ innings of work. On a 75-80 pitch count, Cevette allowed four runs, walked seven, and struck out four, yet allowed only one hit to Boulders’ batters. Keefe said that despite his walks, the movement of his pitches played well for the team: “He was all over the place, but he was effectively wild.”

After one inning from Mike Zenko, who allowed two inherited runners from Cevette to score, Keefe turned to reliever Tim Stronach in the top of the fifth. A native of Haverhill, Mass., Stronach gave Keefe the shot in the arm that the Colonials’ pitching staff needed to get through the wild game: “We wanted to give him a clean inning in the fifth to begin. He’s our long guy out of the pen, and we we’re going to ride him (today)”. Stronach delivered five innings of relief, allowing two runs on three hits on seven hits, walking one batter while striking out six.

Stronach avoided serious injury in the sixth inning on a line drive off the bat of Norm Hutchins. The ball smashed off his pitching hand and leg, bounding in front of the mound. Stronach couldn’t make the play and Hutchins reached first, allowing Dustin Smith to score and narrow the score to 9-6. After two warmup tosses, Stronach told the Colonials’ training staff he was fine, and was able to settle down for the rest of the game, retiring his final 10 batters.

Catcher John Fitzpatrick and Hutchins would contribute two hits apiece for the Boulders, who mustered eight off of Colonials’ pitching.

COLONIALS NOTES: Keefe was ejected in the 7th inning by home plate umpire Rick Elrod when a Molina ball hit down the left field line, which would have plated two runs and given Pittsfield an 11-6 lead, was called foul. Keefe was adamant in his belief that the ball was fair, picking up the chalk from the base path and heaving it in the air to illustrate his point: “It hit the chalk. We’re the only baseball park in America which still uses chalk. It kicked up from the lines. It could have been a big hit if they came back on us”…Righty Pat Moran (5-2, 4.12 in 2010) will go for Pittsfield in Monday’s 2:05 Memorial Day matinee against 26 year old Casey Hodges, who split the 2010 in the Northern League between the Winnipeg Goldeyes and Kansas City T-Bones.





(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MAy 29, 2011) — We are cooling off this evening after spending the sultry, sunny afternoon with Mrs. Planet watching the red-hot Pittsfield Colonials continue their winning ways, dropping the Rockland Boulders 9-6 in the first of a four-game set at Beloved Wahconah Park (BWP). We bring to you a few observations and color pieces from the Planet’s sun-drenched palette.

Tim Stronach, the string-bean 6-5/185 righty from Haverill, Mass., went the final five innings, nailing down the win and not giving up an earned run. Stronach had his private fan club cheering him on as a contingency from Haverhill made the trip to the Berkshires to see him pitch. He didn’t disappoint the raucous gallery. This is a bounce-back year for Stronach, who missed last year because of injury. The former New York Mets farmhand impressed. Long relief is an underrated by vital part of any staff, and his five-inning outing today gives manager Jamie Keefe and pitching coach a great addition to their staff toolbox.

A TWIST OF LIME — Colonials' manager Jamie Keefe, left, barks at home plate ump after ruling Angel Molina's apparent two-run double a foul ball. Keefe says the ball hit the chalkdust. To prove his point, he kicked up a shower of lime from the 3b line. Keefe got tossed. (Josh Cutler for PLANET VALENTI Sports)

For the second time in two games, Keefe took exception vigorously enough with the umps to get tossed. Today it came in the later innings when Angel Molina rifled what looked to be a double just inside the lf line. Actually, the ball kicked up chalk, leaving a tracer cloud of white. Nonetheless, the home plate ump, who must have been blinking on the play, blew the call and ruled it foul. Keefe came charging in from the third base coaching’s position, hopping mad. After emphatically making his point with a few choice adjectives and syllables that caused the black on the plate to curl, he got the old heave-ho … but not before twice showering the ump with a cloud of lime from the line. Someone should write a song for the occasion: “Limeline: It Just Isn’t Fair.”

The umpiring was inconsistent at best and dreadful on Molina’s call, as well as two other instances. The first-second base ump, whose name shall remain blissfully anonymous, called Jerod Edmundson out at second on a pick-off play. He victimized the C’s again when he ruled that ss Matt Nandin dropped a ball a t second for the front end of a force out at second. Nandin has gotten the force and was transferring the ball from glove to hand when he dropped it. The ump missed the call but, judging by his resemblance to the Michelin Tire Man, hasn’t missed many meals. The Planet advises him to shed a few pounds. Maybe then he can get into position to make the right call.

Colonials’ staff, take note: The 1791 Club needs to be moved closer to the rf line, because in its present location, it blocks the scoreboard from view for those in the 1st base beer garden. We got info from The Planet’s intrepid Josh Cutler, who checked out the sight lines himself. We don’t doubt Josh, although The Planet wonders if having plain view of the scoreboard will make a difference to — how shall we put it? — the more, um, “eager” customers of the beer garden, especially in the later innings.

The team needs to do a better job of alerting the public (for example, with signage at Park Square or at North/Wahconah intersection) that there is a game that day. There were no sandwich boards on Friday night indicating fireworks that night. Cutler reports: “Many people I talked to didn’t even know about the fireworks, or else they would have come. Sure they drew 906, but it could have been higher if more people were aware.” C’s office, take note. We’re giving you gold here. Mine it.

—  If the ball club wants to take advantage of the non-profit initiative (in each home game, the C’s team up with a Berkshire County non-profit), the team should publish a list of which organization will be featured ahead of time, at least for each upcoming home stand. Again, from Cutler: “I had no idea that Norman Rockwell Museum was going to be featured opening night, nor was I aware of who was featured today.” Point well taken. Marketing is all about getting the word out. Flog the message is a strategy that never fails. And don’t be shy about it.

A nice feature in the game today was the seventh inning Cookies and Milk treat, with C’s owner Buddy Lewis donning his soda jerk’s uniform with jacket and hat and doling out free cookies and moo juice mainly to the kids. Buddy did a brisk business. Crescent Creamery supplies the milk. Big Y Supermarkets donates the cookies. The kids did the devouring. Fans are encouraged to make a donation for the Jimmy Fun during the promotion. When the Planet saw Lewis during his soda jerking, we were breathless. We could only say, “It’s hard to resist a man in uniform.” Buddy gave us the submariner salute.

Angel Molina, 0-5 with a couple of Ks today, has had some ugly at bats in the early going. After a particularly bad strikeout in the Sunday matinee, the big, power hitting outfielder took his bat and snapped it across his knee like it was Todd The Punisher’s toothpick. The crowd “ooohed and awed.” One enterprising lad begged him for a piece of the bat, but Molina was in his own space, chewing himself out. The Planet loves his intensity and can’t wait until he catches fire.

Gotta love the “Matt Gal.” It’s a woman who sits in the upper third base side grandstand. Every time LeMoyne’s Matt Nandin comes to the plate, she yells at a volume that cha-chas with the sound barrier, “Let’s Go Matt.” The earth swells and the ground shakes.





  1. Life is But a ...What?
    May 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Well, gotta say. You guys are doing what you said youd do and what valenti did earlier, beating the knickers off the bb. Enjoyed the game story and the color piece, it gives a complete picture, and three color photo. Excellent all around, maybe it will puch the bb to do more than go thru motions

  2. rick
    May 30, 2011 at 3:03 am #

    seems your comments drop with your in depth coverage of the colonials dan, i think the majority of your followers are a little bit above the fluff pieces about local can am b ball…… are you becomming the next bb?

    • Tom
      May 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

      Maybe the majority of the Planet’s followers are too one dimensional to appreciate Josh’s good work. You can’t choose your fans, Dan.

      • danvalenti
        May 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

        Touche’ … well put.

        • Kris Knutson
          May 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

          Mr. Valenti
          Do you believe that a majority of your “followers” are one dimensional? How many dimensions are you?

          • Kris Knutson
            May 30, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

            Mr. Valenti

            Why don’t you just give everyone a golden shower?

    • danvalenti
      May 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

      These are game stories, not fluff pieces. We shall be expanding this summer with the arts as well. No, we aren’t becoming the next BB. Relax, pards. We are!

      • Kris Knutson
        May 30, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

        Oh, goody goody gumdrops. Can’t wait, I’m so exited. Tell me more, tell me more.

  3. Kris Knutson
    May 30, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    Can someone please explain, what exactly is a balk?

  4. Kris Knutson
    May 30, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    Can you imagine the stupidity? Tom and Mr. Valenti giving each other high fives because they agree it’s a good possibility that the “followers” are too one dimensional (ignorant), to notice how brilliant they are? LMAO

  5. Kris Knutson
    May 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap.

  6. Kris Knutson
    May 30, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Mr. Valenti

    Are you that hard up for acceptence that you will agree with anyone who you perceive to be coming to your defence.

  7. Kris Knutson
    May 30, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Since nobody wants to explain what a balk is, I’ll do the honors.

    It’s that sound that a chicken makes. Balk balk balk balk balk balk balk balk balk balk balk baaaaalk!

  8. Kris Knutson
    May 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    Mr. Valenti

    How are those smooth round baseballs doing? Are they sprouting fangs yet?

  9. Kris Knutson
    May 31, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    Mr. Valenti

    You owe a whole lot of people an explanation for why you did what you did. You must think you are so much smarter than people that you can tell them anything and they’ll believe it. The average person is much smarter than you think Mr. Valenti.

    You would have people believe that you got tired and also that you wanted to focus more on the arts. If this was the case then you could have at least finished what YOU started. And if you were tired and needed a break, then why are you back so soon writing about things that amount to fluff in comparison to what your old mission statement was, (hard truths and pursuing justice).You can call them baseball stories all you want, it’s fluff.
    You owe Mr. Valenti, you owe. Now pay up, be a man and tell everybody what happened. The GOB’s did not want you to do a phoner with me, isn’t that right?

    • danvalenti
      May 31, 2011 at 8:26 am #

      In the interests of the wider audience, I shall comment.
      * I don’t “owe” anyone anything, except to follow the muse and my talents.
      * The Planet is what I determine it to be, not what you THINK it should be.
      * No, the GOBs NEVER (and I mean NEVER) had anything to do with the content of this site.

      • Kris Knutson
        May 31, 2011 at 10:29 am #

        Mr. Valenti

        When you determined that The Planet should be about truth, where did I go wrong in my thinking that I could post my truth on your site?

        • danvalenti
          May 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

          Here’s your fatal mistake.
          You said you would “take over” this site with the sheer number of your posts, each more delirious than the next. Trust me, you had just about destroyed your credibility.
          There was a method to air what you claim is the truth, but you back off when The Planet offered it to you.
          End of story.

  10. Kris Knutson
    May 31, 2011 at 5:49 am #

    Mr. Valenti

    Isn’t it true that you were getting lots of pressure from individuals within the GOB network to sever your connection with me? Isn’t it true that individuals within the GOB network are attempting to control the flow of information to the general public, for the purpose of concealing their criminal activites and for the purpose of maintaining their control over the people by way of lies ?

    • danvalenti
      May 31, 2011 at 8:28 am #

      No, it’s not true. I’ve gotten “pressure” my entire journalistic career as an investigative reporter.
      None of that was different. In fact, the GOBs know not to mess with me like that, because it does no good.
      The content of the website and my production as a writer are determined SOLELY by me.
      That’s all there is to it, Kris.

  11. Kris Knutson
    May 31, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    Mr Valenti

    I told you before, that it was my belief, that there was a pedophile/homosexual ring in Berkshire County made up of mostly older men and that I believed these men had deep ties to law enforcement, in so much that they were running the show. Is it not true, that you told me that you had multiple sources that were telling you the same thing and that you wanted to know more about what I knew? Should I post all my personal emails from you, like you did to me?

    • danvalenti
      May 31, 2011 at 8:32 am #

      Yes you told me that.
      Yes, there were many other people who said the same about an alleged ring of pedophiles in Berkshire County.
      Yes, I had multiple sources telling me that, long before you did.
      Yes, I do want to know more about what you know. E-mail it to me.
      There’s nothing to hide about any of this, my friend.

  12. Kris Knutson
    May 31, 2011 at 6:13 am #


    How much longer do you think you can stave this off? How much longer do you think you have before your pathetic world starts to crumble around you? It’s taken me years to devolope this resolve. It’s taken me years to realize the grave situation my children are in if action is not taken against punks like you. Punks!
    My best guess is that you are going to fall down and go boom, very soon. Enjoy your little gravy train while it lasts.

    • danvalenti
      May 31, 2011 at 8:32 am #

      I can only wish you well.

  13. Kris Knutson
    May 31, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Mr. Valenti

    You told me, that the people who were giving you information about the alleged pedophile/homosexual ring, were not willing to go on the record with a bit of it. Is that why you don’t write up anything about it?
    And if people have to go on the record with something in order for you to write something up about it, then why sound the alarm with your confidential informants in the PPD? Were they going on the record? And if they were willing to go on the record, how could they do that without providing their names?