Police Dept. team beats Parkside to win Pittsfield Little League National Division crown

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PITTSFIELD — Eventually, the hats and gloves flew in the air, just the way one is supposed to celebrate a championship.

Even in a summer where they might not have thought they would play.

"No, not at all," said Quinton Christopher, the winning pitcher for the Police Dept. team in the Pittsfield National Little League.

Christopher took a no-hitter into the fourth inning and struck out 12 as the Police made it three straight National Division championships with a 7-5 win over Parkside in the National Division's championship game Wednesday night.

Had Parkside won, there would have been the "if" game scheduled for Friday.

"I'll tell you what. Being able to play baseball this summer was unprecedented. We didn't think we were going to have a season," Police manager Seth Christopher, Quinton's father, said. "We were able to start the season and finish the season. Our Police Dept. team went 12-0 this year, won the National championship for the third straight year.

"This season means the world to the kids, the world to the parents and the world to the coaches."

Devin Reynolds and Quinn Ives each went 3 for 3 as the Police Dept. pounded out 10 hits. Caio Lahey was 2 for 3 with two runs batted in.

Prior to the game, Quinton Christopher was named Pittsfield National's most valuable player, and the right-hander looked like it out of the gate.

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Christopher got the start on the mound in the championship game and needed only 11 pitches to set the side down in order, striking out two. Through the first three innings, he had not given up a hit, had walked only Finn Dunham in the second inning, and struck out eight. Four of the strikeouts were swinging and four were looking. In fact, only Luke Ferguson put a ball in play over the first three innings, flying to Marco Jones in center field.

"I just took my time, threw strikes and just wanted to get this game over with," the pitcher said.

The Police Dept. manager expanded on that.

"We wanted to make sure that we mixed up his curveball with the big hitters and then go after everybody else with his fastball," Seth Christopher said. "He had great control and command tonight."

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The Police Dept. pitcher needed to be good because Parkside starter James Smith put zeroes up on the scoreboard in each of the first two innings. Smith did give up a two-out triple to Devin Reynolds in the first and a leadoff single to Ives in the second, but neither runner crossed the plate. That all changed in the third.

Marco Jones led off the home half by walking and was forced out at second by Cade Demary. Demary took second on a wild pitch, and after Christopher popped out to Ferguson at shortstop, Smith was one pitch away from a scoreless third.

That one pitch turned out to be an RBI double by Reynolds, who scored on an RBI double by Lahey. And by the time Cam Reynolds singled home Ives, four runs had scored, and the Police Dept. never trailed.

Parkside parlayed two bloop doubles and an RBI single by Maverick Roberts into two runs, making it a 4-2 game after four.

The eventual National Division champions put three runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth, with Spencer Talis' RBI triple making it 7-2.

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Parkside answered with three runs off of reliever Reynolds in the top of the sixth. An RBI single by James Smith and an RBI ground out by Roberts cut the lead to 7-5. James Smith had two of Parkside's four hits. But Devin Reynolds struck out the side to end the game, and end a regular season unlike any other.

"It was 50-50 at best back then," Pittsfield National president Darren Lee said when asked if he thought he'd be in the Myron Gray Field press box on Aug. 12.

"We were able to get it going, get the tryouts going, and here we are," Lee said. "The group that's most thankful are the 12-year olds. The 12-year old in your Little League season is just magical. You're a leader. You're usually the best players around. It means a lot to walk into the park and be a leader on a team.

"For those guys, it was very, very important that we got this done".

———

Parkside     000     203     —     5     4     1

Police Dept.     004     03x     —     7     10     0

James Smith (4 1/3), Kevin Smith (2/3) and Jackson Almeida. Quinton Christopher (5), Devin Reynolds (1) and Cam Reynolds. W — Christopher. L — J. Smith.

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.

Police Dept.     004     03x     —     7     10     0

James Smith (4 1/3), Kevin Smith (2/3) and Jackson Almeida. Quinton Christopher (5), Devin Reynolds (1) and Cam Reynolds. W — Christopher. L — J. Smith.

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.

James Smith (4 1/3), Kevin Smith (2/3) and Jackson Almeida. Quinton Christopher (5), Devin Reynolds (1) and Cam Reynolds. W — Christopher. L — J. Smith.

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.


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