Post 68 wins American Legion playoff opener over Longmeadow
Photo Gallery | Pittsfield Post 68 beats Longmeadow
PITTSFIELD -- Heading into the American Legion Western Massachusetts playoffs, Pittsfield Post 68 coach Pat Bassi said he was confident in his team's pitching.
On Wednesday, in the first game of pool play, Bassi's confidence was justified by a strong outing from starter Alex Carusotto. Carusotto pitched seven strong innings, striking out nine batters and leading Post 68 to a 3-1 win over Longmeadow.
Post 68 will meet Westfield today at 5 p.m. at Clapp Park. Westfield beat East Springfield 6-1 on Wednesday.
"With Alex on the mound, I know I'm going to get a well-pitched game," Bassi said. "Alex was in control of the game."
Post 68 provided just enough offense for Carusotto, as the team's bats took a while to heat up. An errant pick-off attempt allowed a Longmeadow runner to score from third base in the second inning. Carusotto helped his own cause with an RBI double in the bottom half of the inning, plating Joey Dewey.
After the second inning, Carusotto allowed just two hits. He struck out nine and scattered four hits.
Post 68 took the lead in the fifth, as three straight hits loaded the bases. Andrew Winston scored from third on a wild pitch and Josh Berthiaume plated Mitch Clary with a sacrifice fly, putting the team up 3-1. Clary went 3 for 4 with three singles. Brian Bonacquisti also added three hits.
With the playoffs being a pool-play format, run differential is important if a tiebreaker arises. Post will take the win, but the team stranded nine runners on base.
"I wish we hit a little bit better tonight," Bassi said. "We hit some pretty well-hit balls, but they were right at guys a lot of times. I can't really complain about that."
"[Today] we've got to come right off the bat in the first inning and get some runs. It's important," Clary said.
Longmeadow 010 000 0--1 4 2
Pittsfield 010 020 x--3 7 2
Blain and Shea. Alex Carusotto and Brian Bonacquisti. W--Carusotto. L--Blain. 2B--Pittsfield 1 (Carusotto).
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