Offensive explosion backs American perfect game

WESTFIELD – Kyle and Jay Scherpa’s rendition of the national anthem on the trumpet and trombone finished on a high note before Westfield American’s 9-and-10-year old All-Stars’ first district pool play game against Gateway, and the rest of the team turned in a near flawless performance afterwards.
J. Scherpa and Connor Niemiec combined for a perfect game on the mound and the offense batted around its order four total times in the game to give the designated visiting team a commanding win Friday evening at Cross Street.
“I thought the sportsmanship that Westfield showed for 9-and-10-year olds was great,” said Head Coach Tom Flaherty. “They were a good team and it allowed us to get a lot of kids multiple at-bats. We got those first-game jitters outs (and) there were lots of good things to boost their confidence.
“It’s hard for the team in that situation to keep their heads in the game. I was proud of the kids defensively because every player in the field’s head was in the game (for every pitch), which is really hard at this level.”
The American pitching duo faced the minimum 12 batters during the four innings played, striking out 11 Gateway batters, with the only hit ball resulting in a groundout to the first baseman to end the second inning. Both pitchers had efficient outings, allowing themselves to be ready for American’s next game.
The American offense allowed plenty of run support and then some for J. Scherpa and Niemiec, batting around their lineup four times in the game. After being designated the visiting team after the coin flip, American scored 15 runs in the first inning to cruise to a comfortable victory.
Every player recorded at least one hit for American, which recorded 34 hits overall, and every player scored at least one run as well. Scott Hepburn led the attack as a substitute, driving in five runs, while Kyle Scherpa, Jacob Wagner and Patrick Flaherty each added four RBIs to spark the American attack.
“The team has reacted very well to our practice schedule and our regimen this week,” said Flaherty. “Right now, I think if any team can bounce back and be ready for the next game, it’s going to be this team.”
The American All Stars will have a day off before their next district game Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Cross Street against Southampton.

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