WESTFIELD -- An almost-improbable comeback has lifted the Pittsfield Babe Ruth 14-year-old squad into today's Western state final round.
Trailing Westfield 13-7, Pittsfield roared back in the bottom of the seventh inning with nine runs, capped off by Kevin Squires' walk-off, three-run home run for a 16-13 win at Bullens Field.
The homer was Squires' second of the game, sending Pittsfield to today's championship round against Leominster today at 4 p.m. Pittsfield needs two wins to claim the title, with the "if" game scheduled for 20 minutes after completion of the first game.
"The place was electrifying," Pittsfield coach Eric Stone said. "It was unbelievable. For the 150 people here, it was like a 10,000-[seat] stadium."
Squires was 4 for 4 with 6 RBI for the winners, with a pair of homers and a double. His game-winning shot went out to left center field, scoring him, Alex Weber and Chris Tracy. Tracy had doubled in two runs earlier in the nine-run seventh.
"I said ‘Guys, we've been down in this situation before,' " Stone said. "The leadoff hitter got on; it was station to station. One thing led to another, and it was a big momentum change."
After Tracy's double drew Pittsfield within two runs, Cody Tynan singled in another run to cut Westfield's lead to 13-11. Austin Houghtaling and Nick Rufo would score on passed balls to tie the score, and Weber and Tracy set the stage for Squires' blast.
"A win like this, kids always believe," Stone said. "There's never a doubt in their mind that they can come back."
Babe Ruth 13s
Worcester West Side 1
WORCESTER -- The Pittsfield squad won via the 10-run rule in six innings to advance to Wednesday's 3 p.m. championship round at Logan Field.
Pittsfield, the home team, scored eight runs in the second inning to put the game away. Simon Nassif singled in two runs; Jack Scarafoni, Shane Tierney and Connor McDonough each had RBI singles; and Pittsfield scored on a bases-loaded walk and two wild pitches in the second.
"Guys were hitting with guys in scoring position, which was nice," Pittsfield coach Matt Stracuzzi said.
Nassif was 3 for 4 with a double, triple and two RBI, while Ty Bramer came off the bench and was 2 for 2 with an RBI.
Shane McMahon earned the win, pitching five shutout innings while striking out six.
"Shane was in control," Stracuzzi said. "I thought he did a really nice job of mixing up his pitches. He kept them off balance."
Lanesborough wins title
HUDSON -- The Lanesborough Bulldogs Cal Ripken Baseball 11-Under All-Stars are the Western State Tournament champions.
The Bulldogs earned their title with a 4-3 win over host Hudson on Monday.
Philip Guest got the win for Lanesborough.
Wilbraham 10, Post 68 2
WILBRAHAM -- Post 68 dropped this one to fall out of the Legion tournament.
Post 68 fell behind 3-0 in the first inning before pulling within a run in the fifth. Wilbraham quickly answered with two in the bottom half of the inning. The hosts put the game away with five runs in the sixth.
Post 68 ended up with six hits on the day while Wilbraham pounded out 14. Liam Nolan started for Post 68.