Pittsfield American tops Dalton-Hinsdale in Little League District 1 championship
PITTSFIELD — For two innings, the Dalton-Hinsdale and Pittsfield American 12-year-old All-Stars were locked in a defensive battle.
The game appeared to be shaping up as a pitchers' duel, but in the third inning the Pittsfield American offense sprung to life.
The Americans sent 16 batters to the plate, collecting 10 hits for an 11-run inning. That was all the offense Pittsfield needed, as the Americans earned an 11-0 run-rule victory at Deming Field, Thursday.
"I think we needed some luck," Pittsfield manager Joe Skutnik said. "The first two innings we hit the ball OK. We put it in play, we were just hitting it to people. When the third inning hit, we started to bunt a little bit, we put a little more pressure on them, plus the hits started going through. That's what we needed to happen.
"The last [win] is the toughest one to get as Dalton showed. They're a scrappy group."
The win clinches a District 1 championship for Pittsfield. Pittsfield advances to the Little League Sectional Tournament. Its first game is Wednesday against Amherst, at Amherst.
Before Pittsfield's bats caught fire, Dalton-Hinsdale flashed the leather in the field defensively.
Dalton-Hinsdale used two nifty double plays to get out of jams. First baseman Ryan Marauszwski turned the first double play, catching Braedyn Melle's throw from short and firing to third for the 3-5 putout in the first inning. In the second, pitcher Ryan Adams snagged a liner and quickly threw to Patrick McLaughlin at third to double up the runner.
Pittsfield second baseman Nick Brindle turned a double play of his own to end the top half of the third. Brindle led off the bottom half of the inning with a single. Ben Jacob followed with a bunt single. Evan Blake drew an intentional walk, loading the bases for Antonio Scalise. Scalise put Pittsfield on the board with a two-run single, effectively opening the floodgates for the host.
Tommy Mullin drew a walk and Cam Sime followed with an RBI bunt single. Owen Salvatore helped his cause with a two-run double into left field. Roshan Warriar added an RBI bunt single and Walker Abdallah singled in another run, making it 8-0 with nobody out. Brindle, Scalise and Sime added RBI hits in their second at bats of the inning, putting Pittsfield up 11-0.
Mullin said the team did a great job of firing up their teammates from the bench during the rally. Once the momentum shifted, the Americans fed off the energy from their bench and the home crowd.
Brindle went 3 for 3 with two runs scored and a RBI. Scalise went 2 for 3 with three RBI. Sime went 3 for 3 with two RBI and a run scored. Warriar added two hits and two RBI.
Salvatore was one out away from a no-hitter before McLaughlin legged out an infield single. The crafty lefty issued a walk and hit a batter to load the bases, but he recovered, getting a strikeout to end the game. He finished with five Ks.
After a two week break between starts, Salvatore answered the call in the championship game. His ability to throw multiple pitches for strikes kept the visitors off balance.
"From the first batter I was getting in there, all my sliders and fastballs were working," he said. "It's amazing. You dream of games like today. It was a big game, we needed a win today. They called on me to pitch and I just did what they told me to do and we got the win from it."
Dalton-Hinsdale 000 0 — 0 1 0
Pittsfield 00(11) x — 11 15 0
Ryan Adams (2+), Tommy Dunham (1) and Matt Kinzer. Owen Salvatore and Antonio Scalise. WP — Salvatore. LP — Adams. 2B — P 3 (Evan Blake, Salvatore, Scalise).
Akeem Glaspie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @TheAkeemGlaspie on Twitter and 413-496-6252.
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