Pittsfield Babe Ruth 14s rally to beat North Adams, 6-5 for District crown
PITTSFIELD -- As the Pittsfield 14-year old Babe Ruth All-Stars came into their dugout before the bottom of the seventh inning, manager Pat Tierney was thinking ahead.
North Adams had taken a three-run lead in the top of the seventh and, after Pittsfield won Saturday's District 1 opener, Tierney was planning for the "if" game. Pittsfield's Chad Supranowicz had another idea.
Supranowicz hit a 1-2 pitch from North Adams' Adam Hall to left-center field, scoring Shane Tierney with the winning run as Pittsfield rallied for a 6-5 win Sunday afternoon at Deming Park.
"I was getting our pitching order ready for that next game," said the Pittsfield manager. "That fifth run, I thought, was going to cost us. We came back and got four. Thank God we're not playing a second game."
The win gives Pittsfield the district title and sends the team to the Western State tournament, which begins July 12 in Westfield. As 13-year olds, this team also won the District 1 title.
"It's great" to be champion, said Supranowicz. "It's unbelievable, winning two years in a row."
North Adams, 6-4 losers in Saturday's game, fell behind 2-0 after one inning, but came back with five runs on four hits and two costly errors in the top of the seventh inning. Brandon Collins' sacrifice fly scored Zach Condon with the fifth run. The inning could have been worse for Pittsfield, but Jake Field was called out at third for leaving too soon from second base. Charlie Bohl popped out to end the inning, but it was 5-2.
"No, never think second game," North Adams manager Alan Hall said. "We're thinking this game. That's all that matters, getting three more outs."
North Adams pitcher Austin Miller, who gave up two unearned runs in the first inning, had stranded only two runners over the next five innings and retired 9 of 10 hitters. He gave up a leadoff single to Matt Stracuzzi in the bottom of the seventh and walked Deonte Sandifer on four pitches. That ended Miller's day.
Left-hander Adam Hall came on for North Adams and on a 3-2 pitch, Jordan Nassif hit an RBI double to left. Sandifer scored when Tierney reached on an error to make it 5-4 with one out. Hall walked Simon Nassif intentionally to load the bases. Ryan Abel's sacrifice fly tied the score and then Supranowicz hit a 1-2 pitch to left, and Tierney came roaring home to give Pittsfield the win.
The at-bat almost ended early for Supranowicz, who hit a foul pop on the first pitch. North Adams' first baseman Colin Rousseau just couldn't come up with the ball, as he was very close to the fence.
"I was lucky to get that foul ball. I was thinking I just want a base hit," said Supranowicz. "I'm not looking to hit anything out."
Pittsfield scored two runs on two hits with wild pitches by Miller bringing those runs home. After that, it was an old-fashioned pitching duel between the North Adams right-hander and Pittsfield righty Shane McMahon.
McMahon retired 10 of the first 12 hitters he faced. In six innings, he gave up only two hits and struck out five -- four in succession. After the first, Miller settled down, and didn't give up another hit until Stracuzzi's single to open the seventh.
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