Westfield defeats Post 68 to set up elimination game
PITTSFIELD -- The bats of Westfield Post 124 led the way in a 10-3 victory over Pittsfield Post 68 in the American Legion state playoff tournament on Saturday at Clapp Park.
Post 68 starter Steve Witkowski avoided allowing a big inning early in the game, but after taking a line drive off his leg in the third, the right-hander was not the same. Westfield tagged Witkowski for six runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings before he was lifted.
"He wasn’t right after [being hit]," Post 68 coach Pat Bassi said. "He wasn’t hitting his spot all day. It wasn’t one of his better outings. They hit the ball and you’ve got to give them credit."
Trailing 6-0 in the fourth inning, Post 68 attempted to mount a comeback. Andrew Winston, who had walked, scored the first run on an error by Westfield third baseman Brent Houle. Mitch Clary, who singled, scored on a ground out by Brian Malloy and Brian Bonacquisti also scored on an error, cutting Westfield’s lead to 6-3.
That was all the scoring Post 69 could muster, however, as Westfield starter Matthew Plasse did a good job of keeping batters off balance. He pitched seven innings, allowing only four hits and striking out four.
"Our boys were ahead of the ball all day," Bassi said. "They were hitting a lot of balls off their front foot. ... [Plasse] pitched a good game. You’ve got to give him kudos."
In the sixth inning, Westfield scored five runs on five hits, including four hits in a row. Robert Sullivan led Westfield going 3 for 4 with two doubles. Colin Dunn had two hits and Jeff Hockenberry Jr., had two hits and two runs scored.
The loss sets up an elimination game between Pittsfield and Westfield Monday at 7 p.m. at Bullens Field in Westfield. The winner advances to the district finals.
Alex Carusotto will take the mound while the team will have to make due without position players Myles Candelet and Kevin Squires for the second consecutive game. In addition to Witkowski being added to the list of injured, Jose Berthieume hurt his ankle and had to leave the game.
"We got beat fair and square," Bassi said. "Even though we were short-handed, we’ve got an opportunity to come back on Monday."
Westfield 012 304 0 -- 10 15 4
Pittsfield 000 300 0 -- 3 4 0
Matthew Plasse and Cameron Robitaille. Steve Witkowski (4 2/3), Kyle Card (1 2/3), Nick Rufo (1 2/3) and Brian Bonacquisti. 2B -- Westfield 4 (Dunn, Connor Sas, Sullivan 2); Pittsfield 1 (Alex Carusotto).
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