BRISTOL, CONN. >> For the second consecutive season, Pittsfield Post 68 will have to play an elimination game on day two of the American Legion Northeast Regional tournament.
Post 68 was defeated 6-0 by RCP Cromwell in its opener on Wednesday at Muzzy Field. Izaiya Mestre pitched well in the loss for Pittsfield, allowing two earned runs over 7 2/3 innings pitched while giving up six hits. He struck out three, walked three and hit two batters.
"I made a couple mistakes," Mestre said. "I hit a few guys, walked a few guys. But I tried pitching my best, it just happened. It's baseball."
Pittsfield, last season's Massachusetts champion and this year's runner-up, won its second game last year at regionals before it fell in game three to end its season.
Pittsfield had a chance to flip the script this year, though, as the final score was not indicative of how close the game actually was. Post 68 had runners in scoring position on multiple occasions and only allowed one run through 7 2/3 innings.
But RCP Cromwell, which has won the regional each of the last two seasons and advanced to the World Series, added five runs in the bottom of the eighth to put the game out of reach.
"[Mestre] pitched a great game," Pittsfield coach Pat Bassi said. "Into the eighth inning he just tired. He had 115 pitches I think. They caught up to him. The other kid pitched a great game and we didn't hit, plain and simple."
RCP pitcher Cole Ogorzalek tossed a complete-game shutout. He allowed six hits, striking out one and walking none. He relied on his squad's crisp defense, and they rewarded him with an errorless effort.
On offense, Cromwell doubled its lead when Roland Thivierge connected on a two-out RBI double to chase Mestre from the game. Jake Flynn came in for Post 68, but he was unable to get the final out, as he walked a batter, allowed an RBI single from Tucker Lord and walked another batter.
Ross Omelenchuck came in and eventually got the final out, but not before he gave up three singles, with each run charged to Flynn.
Cory Baldwin made it 5-0 with a two-run single and two batters later, Austin White, who led off the inning with a single, registered an RBI single to make the advantage 6-0.
"This team, this RCP team, they've played a lot of close games," Bassi said. "They're a veteran team. They know how to win close games."
Cromwell took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when White scored Nick Queiroz on a sacrifice fly. The inning was extended due to an error, and the run was unearned against Mestre.
For Post 68, Chad Shade went 2 for 4 with a double and a stolen base. Mestre also doubled while Simon Nassif was 2 for 3 with two singles. Matt Koperniak also singled for Pittsfield.
Post 68 had a chance in the top of the eighth, trailing 1-0, when Nassif led off with a single. Abdiel Cotto-Hernandez tried to bunt him over, but the result was a double play when it was bunted too hard back at Ogorzalek.
Post 68 will play South Portland, Maine at 9:30 a.m. today with its season on the line.
Izaiya Mestre (7 2/3), Jake Flynn (0+), Ross Omelenchuck (1/3) and Matt Schneider. Cole Ogorzalek and Trevor Whalen. W — Ogorzalek. L — Mestre. 2B — P 2 (Chad Shade, Mestre), C (Roland Thivierge).