Tuesday July 3, 2012

NORTH ADAMS -- The Pittsfield Babe Ruth 15-year old All-Stars went to the Western State Tournament last year as 14-year olds because champion North Adams could not attend. This year, Pittsfield made sure it would go to the next round as District I champions.

Bobby New and Steve Witkowski combined to pitch a seven-hitter and Pittsfield outscored North Adams 6-1 over the final five innings to earn a 6-2 victory and clinch the championship Monday night at Alcombright Field.

"We won [District I] as 13s and last year was a disappointment," Pittsfield manager Bob Shade said. "This feels like we accomplished more than we did last year."

With the win, Pittsfield advances to the Western State event that begins on Friday, July 13 at Worcester East.

New gave up single runs in the second and fourth innings. He gave up seven hits and four walks, but worked his way out of trouble a few times.

"He did a good job. His command was good," Shade said. "He pitched himself out of a couple of jams."

North Adams put the first two runners on base in the top of the seventh inning. New was relieved by Witkowski, who retired the side to pick up the save.

Jake Benzinger scored both runs for North Adams. Ian Brink, who went 4 1/3 innings, gave up five runs and was tagged with the loss. Isiah Clark finished up on the hill.

Kevin Donati and Chad Shade had consecutive hits in the fourth inning that keyed a three-run rally. It was 2-2 when Pittsfield erupted in the fourth.

Donati, Shade and Anthony Jones all had two hits each for Pittsfield. Those three had six of Pittsfield's seven hits.