GLOUCESTER — Pittsfield American scored six unanswered runs to upend Middleboro and finish pool play with a 3-0 record.
American will play in the state championship at noon on Sunday following Saturday's eight-inning, 7-2 win.
Pittsfield's Christian Barry struck first, starting the game with a home run. Middleboro answered in the bottom half of the first by scoring two runs.
With just three outs to work with, still trailing 2-1, Sebastian Herrera singled to start the top of the six. Kevin Konefal made contact on the first pitch he saw, ripping a double that was deep enough for Herrera to score. That tied the game and sent it to extras.
The eighth inning started just like the sixth. Herrera singled and Konefal doubled to left field. Robby Bazinet and Ryan Stannard each singled in the frame as Pittsfield's lead ballooned to 7-2.
Bazinet kept the game close and earned the win with a strong performance on the hill, holding Middleboro scoreless in three-plus innings of work in relief. Cam Blake started for Pittsfield, striking out eight batters before exiting with one out in the sixth.
The Little League 12U state championship game will feature Pittsfield (3-0) and Peabody West. Pittsfield and Peabody West have met in the championship game before — exactly two decades ago. Pittsfield South at the time with Al Bianchi at the helm, beat Peabody West 2-0 (2-1, 8-0) in the 2001 Massachusetts State tournament series. Pittsfield's Jeff Fields threw a two-hit shutout in the championship-clinching game at Reinfuss Field in Lynn.
Pittsfield beat Peabody West in the pool play opener on Thursday night, 4-0.
Sunday's championship game is slated for noon.