Pittsfield South beats Holden to win 10-11 year old Little League Section 1 title
PITTSFIELD -- There are three parts to a baseball game -- hitting, fielding and pitching.
Saturday afternoon, the Pittsfield South 10-11 All-Stars didn’t have much hitting, but they performed in the other two aspects of the game in stellar fashion to win the Section 2 championship and reach the 10-11 state final four.
"We didn’t hit the ball like we did all tournament, but our pitching and defense was spot on," South manager Pat Bramer said. "I [wasn’t] worried. We’ll scratch, we’ll claw, we’ll get whatever we can for runs.
"Luckily, it was enough to get one extra run."
Pittsfield South only needed three runs because Brendan Stannard tossed a complete-game, five-hitter in South’s 3-2 win over Holden at Deming Park. After giving up two runs on three hits in the first inning, the right-hander held Holden to two hits and three baserunners over the final five.
Offensively, it was Pat Rindfuss’ opposite-field single that bounced over the head of Holden first baseman Luke Feraco that scored Mia Potash from second base with the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth.
After a rocky first inning, Stannard held Holden’s bats under control. Luke Delong champ plated the first run with an RBI single in the first and scored on Feraco’s triple to right. That was all the damage the visitors managed because Stannard gave up only two more singles in the game. An error by Shane Bernardo at second got Feraco on first to lead off the fifth, but Stannard got Jack Flynn to ground to Bo Bramer at short and he started a 6-3 double play.
" ‘B’ had a great game," Bra mer said of his pitcher, who threw 61 pitches. "A couple of times he left his slider up, but his defense was there for him. He only threw  pitches today, so that’s a great job."
Pittsfield South, meanwhile had chances to break the game open early, but couldn’t. South managed single runs in the first and second innings but left the bases loaded in both. Feraco didn’t get out of the third inning as Holden’s starter. He gave up two runs on three hits, walked six and struck out six before running out of pitches.
"We knew that even with bases loaded and nobody out or one out, our team can get out of situations like that," said Holden manager Jack Flynn, who went on to say that Stannard had them baffled.
"He did a good job of locating up and down," said Flynn. "I noticed that some of our guys were chasing pitches out of the zone, kind of getting a little bit off balance."
In the home fifth, Potash walked on four pitches to lead off. Reliever Andy Gardner got Bernardo and Andrew Watkins and was one pitch away from getting out of the inning when the right-handed Rindfuss went the other way with the single that plated the winning run.
The middle of the Holden order batted in the sixth. Noah Pins struck out, Delongchamp grounded to Rindfuss at third and Feraco flied out to end the game.
With the win, South plays the Section 2 winner on Wednesday at a site to be determined. The state championship game is Sunday at 2 p.m. in Beverly.
To reach Howard Herman:
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On Twitter: @howardherman.