Kiwanis beat heat, BIG

WESTFIELD – Kiwanis staved off sweltering temperatures and elimination last night in the Amanti Cup tournament to remain alive in the Babe Ruth 13-14 postseason for at least another 24 hours.

Kiwanis built an early 7-0 lead, used a combination of five pitchers, and survived a game filled with its fair share of wacky plays. The red-and-white jerseyed diamond dazzlers advanced over Berkshire Insurance Group, 9-3.

In the second inning, Kiwanis’ Matt Hannoush led off with a single and Sam Brochetti earned a free pass when hit by a pitch. With the assistance of some sloppy infield play from Berkshire Insurance, both runners scored. Another run made it 3-0.

Kiwanis added three more runs in the third with an RBI hit from Christian Hoiberg, and two run-scoring errors, and Brochetti’s RBI ground out.

In the fourth, BIG (Berkshire Insurance Group) came up really big.

Collin Burns drew a one-out walk to begin the fourth. Zack Jarvis and Scott Walsh followed with consecutive singles to load the bases. Noah LaPlante laced a two-run double to left field. Tanner Hart hit a sac-fly to left field to pull BIG within four runs of a tie.

It appeared that Berkshire Insurance would cut into the lead a bit further with bases loaded in the fifth, courtesy of three straight walks. But a fourth walk was reversed when the umpire ruled that the batter leaned into a pitch on a 3-2 count, and an “out” was called. An ensuing line drive hit from Jarvis smacked the baserunner in the leg for the final out of the inning.

Kiwanis responded.

In the fifth, JD Huntley, who nearly gunned down a runner attempting to score an inning earlier, and LaPlante hit back-to-back singles. After sliding over to second and third, both runners scored on a Brochetti’s one-out, two-run base hit.

Berkshire Insurance turned a double play, its second on a sharp hit ball to a pitcher in the sixth after Sean Murphy doubled to begin the inning.

Hoiberg started the game on the mound for Kiwanis, giving way to Jake Colapietro in the third, Nick Cleg in the fifth, Murphy with one out and the bases loaded in the fifth – he escaped unscathed, and Hannoush to begin the seventh.

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