Pittsfield South Little League 11s capture state championship
WORCESTER -- Dominant throughout its run to the Little League 10-11 state championship game, the Pittsfield South team wasn't about to be stopped short of its goal.
So, with its familiar combination of strong pitching and solid defense, South defeated Andover National 4-1 on Tuesday at Beaver Brook Park to become Massachusetts champions.
Starting pitcher Shane Bernardo pitched a complete game with an efficient 69-pitch effort and he received all the run support he needed in the first inning when Pittsfield South scored three times.
Shortstop Bo Bramer said that after the two-a-day practices and the team's strong run through the district tournament, he knew they had a good chance of winning the state title.
"We made some great plays throughout the year. I knew we were good enough to play in the championship and we won," he said. "[After] winning districts, when we run-ruled all the teams. ... I knew we were pretty good and I knew we had a chance to win it all."
In the game-opening rally, South's hitters showed patience at the plate, scoring three runs with only one hit. The rally started with Brendan Stannard being hit by a pitch. London Steinman, Mia Potash and Bernardo all followed with walks to score Stannard.
Andrew Watkins added an RBI single, and Pittsfield scored its final run on a passed ball.
Sam Taylor grounded into an RBI fielder's choice for the team's final run in the third.
That was all the help Bernardo, who didn't allow a walk, needed.
"[Shane] threw strikes to get ahead of the batters and threw his slider to keep them off balance," Pittsfield coach Pat Bramer said.
Bernardo also helped his own cause on defense, starting two 1-6-3 double plays with the help of Bramer and first baseman Steinman in the first and fourth innings.
Offensively, Bramer, Watkins, Bernardo, Kaden Codey and Ed Mullins all had singles.
When Pittsfield recorded its final out, Bramer said it felt good to see his hard-working group of players become champions.
"The kids worked hard the last six weeks," he said. "They've got good chemistry, everybody got along well and now they're state champs."
Andover 000 010 -- 1 7 1
Pittsfield 301 000 -- 4 5 0
Shane Bernardo and Kaden Codey. Michael Greco (1/3), Gerofallo (3 2/3), Wolf (2) and Schermer.
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