Pittsfield Babe Ruth 13s top Westfield, advance to New England tournament
PITTSFIELD — After a nine-inning win on Sunday, the 13-year-old Pittsfield Babe Ruth team beat Westfield 10-7 in seven innings on Monday night.
On the mound to start for Pittsfield was Christian Marchbanks. He only needed 15 pitches to end the first inning and overall Marchbanks only allowed two runs in his five innings of work.
Joey DeHarskie was on the mound for Westfield, and Pittsfield manufactured three-quick runs in the first inning. With one out, Michael Manfield hit a triple and scored on a balk by DeHarskie. Later in the inning, Nicky Harrington reached on an error, allowing two more runs to score.
The second inning was more of the same for Marchbanks. After hits by David Tirell and Adam Tromblay, Marchbanks found himself in a jam with men on second and third with only one out. Marchbanks' defense came through to end the jam, as Jake Risley fielded a pop-out and tagged the runner headed home to end the Westfield threat.
"I was just trying to get outs," Marchbanks said, "Fly outs, ground outs, anyway possible."
In the bottom of the second, Kyle MacDonald reached on an error with one out. After stealing second, Anton Lazits brought MacDonald home with a single to make the score 4-0. With two outs, Pittsfield had five more batters reach base before the damage was done. Mansfield, Marchbanks, and Caden Frazier all had two-out singles, allowing three more runs to score. At the end of the second, Pittsfield had a commanding seven-run lead.
In the top of the fifth inning, Westfield started chipping away at the lead as Jake LaBombard hit a two-run single to make the score 8-2. Marchbanks got through the rest of the inning without giving up any more runs, and finished the day allowing the two runs on six hits.
"He pitched well," Coach Greg Marchbanks, Christian's dad, said. "He was coming right at them and had a little wrinkle to keep them off."
Haywood Eurquhart took over the mound in the top of the sixth for Pittsfield. After one quick out, LaBombard hit a two-run single for Westfield, making the score 8-4 after five and a half.
With the lead getting smaller and smaller, Christian Marchbanks gave Pittsfield some breathing room with a two-run single that scored Mansfield and Risley.
With a 10-4 lead going into the seventh inning, Lazits came in to close out the game.
After striking out the first batter, an error allowed Connor Medoris to reach. Lazits responded by striking out LaBombard after a seven-pitch battle at the plate. Westfield didn't go down quietly, though. With two outs, the next four batters reached, scoring three runs in the process.
With two outs and the tying run at the plate, Greg Marchbanks went to the mound to calm his pitcher down.
"We just had to get him to calm down and refocus," Greg Marchbanks said. "We got him to laugh a little and told him to go after [the batter]."
It worked, with Lazits striking out the final batter in four pitches to end the game.
With the victory, Pittsfield moves on to the New England Regional tournament, which starts on July 23 in Rochester, N.H.
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