PITTSFIELD — Pittsfield Post 68 took the penultimate step to defending its Western Mass. American Legion title as the team brushed aside Northampton on Sunday, 4-0.
Izaiya Mestre led the way on the mound, going all seven innings and striking out 15 batters on just four hits and a walk.
At the plate, Chad Shade went 2 for 2 with two stolen bases and two runs scored, while Matt Koperniak went 2 for 2 with two runs batted in and a run scored.
Matt Schneider, who caught Mestre in the field, drove in the winning run in the first with a single that plated Koperniak. Pat Colvin went 2 for 3 with a double.
Zach Britton took the complete-game loss for Northampton, and Chris Smiloski had a triple in the defeat.
Post 68 will play Aldenville Post 337 today at 5:30 p.m. for the Western Mass. championship. Pittsfield beat Aldenville in last year's American Legion final, and Post 68 won a 3-2 decision earlier this season. A win secures Post 68 the Western Mass. title, a loss would set up a Tuesday contest back at Clapp Park for a 5:30 p.m. winner-take-all contest.
PITTSFIELD AMERICAN KEEPS SEASON ALIVE
WESTFIELD >> The Pittsfield American 10-11 All-Stars kept their season alive with a 16-6 win over Westfield on Sunday in five innings.
American was led by Zach Pupo, who pitched all five innings to get the win and also had two hits, including a home run. At the plate, Nick Brindle and Evan Blake each had three hits, with both knocking a double and Blake hitting a home run, while Brandon Mazzeo and Will Kinne each had a pair of hits.
Westfield jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but American got the runs back and more in the bottom of the frame, with Pupo's three-run homer helping Pittsfield take a 5-3 lead.
In the second, American took control for good by batting around the order. Cam Sime, Brindle and Blake all had doubles in the inning. Blake had a two-run shot in the third, and in the fifth Owen Salvatore had the game-sealing single to plate the final run.
Pittsfield American now plays Holden today in the 10-11 Section I championship game. The game will be in Paxton with a 5:30 p.m. start. Pittsfield American has to win today to force a decisive 'if' game on Tuesday.
LANESBORO REBOUNDS IN REGIONAL
CHELMSFORD >> The Lanesboro 12U Cal Ripken team wrapped up its New England Regional pool-play action with a 10-7 win over Oxford, Conn.
The Bulldogs bounced back from dropping a pair of games on Saturday to get the Sunday decision. Panayoyiotis Constantopoulos, Josh Polumbo and Oscar Low all pitched in the win, with Polumbo going 3 1/3 innings.
Lanesboro used big hits to get the win, knocking four home runs which accounted for nine of the team's runs. Constantopoulos had a three-run shot in the first, Landen Janula had a three-run homer in the fourth after Thomas Martin had come off the bench to hit a solo shot to open the frame, and Tristan Gardner hit a two-run shot in the fifth for insurance. Gardner also had an RBI double, while Jack Gitterman and Derek Paris each had a pair of hits.
Lanesboro plays Lisbon, Maine today in the quarterfinals of the tournament. The game will be at 7:30 p.m.
TEAM WEST TAKES BRONZE AT BAY STATE GAMES
BOSTON >> The Team West girls basketball team took home the bronze medal at the Bay State Games on Sunday, defeating Northeast 68-58.
On Saturday, West defeated Costal 61-49 in the morning game, then dropped a 52-49 contest to Central in the nightcap. On Sunday morning, West rounded out pool play with a 57-40 win over Metro.
On the West team were four Berkshire County hoopers. Alice Najimy, Madi Ryan, Brooke DiGennaro and Gwen Carpenter all played in the tournament.
PITTSFIELD SUNS ROLL TO WIN
PITTSFIELD >> Four Pittsfield Suns pitchers combined to throw a one-hitter as the team rolled past Seacoast on Sunday, 11-2.
Craig Lacey took the start and went 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs — one earned — on three strike outs and three walks. Kevin Hassett, Matt Cuneo and Declan Cronin combined out of the bullpen to finish off the one-hitter. Seacoast got its lone hit with two outs in the ninth on a single by Jeremiah Adams.
At the plate, Pittsfield did a majority of its damage in the second and seventh innings, posting four runs in the second and sixth in the seventh.
Kevin Donati went 3 for 5 at the plate with a run batted in and a run scored. Thomas Hughes went 2 for 5 with four ribbies, including a bases-clearing triple in the seventh. Justin Morhardt went 3 for 5 with three runs scored.