Monday July 30, 2012

WESTFIELD -- It seemed like Pittsfield was destined for its second straight extra-inning win.

Jack Scarafoni's team had host Westfield on the ropes in the 13-year-old Babe Ruth tournament on Sunday night. The bases were loaded with two outs for Scarafoni, who had tied the game with a two-run hit in the sixth, in the home half of the eighth.

A base hit would win the game. Instead, Scarafoni ripped a liner right at pitcher Sean Moor house, who stuck his glove out and caught it to end the inning. Two Westfield runs the very next inning sent Pittsfield to an 8-6 loss.

"Oh my god," Scarafoni said. "I hit it on the screws and I thought it was going through. But it just happens."

It was just another thing that went wrong for Pittsfield in a game where little went right. They allowed four runs in the fourth off just one hit. Westfield added one run in the ninth off an error while another one came home on a passed ball. It was enough to send Pittsfield down to the losers' bracket. They'll face Marblehead today at noon at Bullens Field.

"It's uncharacteristic of us," said Pittsfield manager Matt Stracuzzi. "Usually we're much better than that. We don't make those types of mistakes. Today, a good Westfield team, they took advantage of it. That's what good teams do."

Pittsfield looked good early in the game, jumping out 1-0 off back-to-back doubles from Shane Tierney and Simon Nassif. Westfield jumped ahead 4-1 in the fourth before the teams started to trade runs. Pittsfield finally tied the game in the sixth on a big hit from Scarafoni. While he drove in two run, he also tried to stretch the play into a double and was tagged out at second to end the inning.

It seemed like it wouldn't matter much two innings later when Pittsfield loaded the bases, but Scarafoni's laser back to the pitcher couldn't get through.

"I didn't know how we were going to prevent the run," Westfield manager Mike Smith said. "I just said, ‘All I can do is watch,' you know? They came through with some nice plays."

Pittsfield will try to get back on track today when they face the Eastern Massachusetts champions. Stracuzzi's hoping his team can also finish off a game in regulation for once at this tournament.

"We haven't figured that out yet," the manager said. "Hopefully [today] we'll go seven innings and get that win in seven innings."

To reach Christopher James:
cjames@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6252.
On Twitter: @BECJ2K