Slamming success

WESTFIELD – With the bases loaded and the game tied at one apiece, Liam Poole had the perfect opportunity to blow the game wide open; and he did just that. Poole took a fastball for a ride as the ball went soaring over the center field fence and gave Westfield American a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
Poole’s grand slam ended up being enough to give Westfield American the 7-4 victory over Westfield National in the 12-Year-Old Little League Championship at Ralph E. Sanville Field on Cross Street Friday evening.

The Westfield American 12-Year-Old Little League All-Stars enjoy a victory lap with the banner after capturing the District 2 championship with a 7-4 win over Westfield National Friday night at Ralph E. Sanville Field on Cross Street. (Photo by Marc St. Onge)

“Tonight we made every single play on defense, and that was the difference,” said Westfield American Manager Mike Raposo.
Poole was due for a big hit and it could not have come when the stakes were higher.
“He’s really wanted it (grand slam) for a while so I was happy to see him get it tonight at such a big stage,” said Raposo.
In the bottom of the third inning, leading up to Poole’s grand slam, Jay Scherpa walked, which was followed by a single to center field from Caden Matuszczak. Jacob Wagner then caused the bases to be loaded with an infield single.
Later in that inning, Westfield American had the bases loaded yet again, and Scherpa was able to draw his third walk of the contest and put the lead at 6-1.
Scherpa had a dominant performance on the mound as he went 4 1/3 innings strong, giving up two runs and four hits, while striking out six batters.
“I felt his performance was great,” said Poole. “It might not have been as good as he wanted to at the plate, but he made up for it on the mound.”
For Westfield National, Ryder Pieczarka pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits. In the top of the first inning, National got on the board first with a triple from Cody Collins that scored Josh Sturmer.
Westfield American then tied up the game in the bottom of the second inning when Jax Grady doubled down the right field fence to score Alex Provost.
Westfield National was able to push another run across in the top of the fourth when Mason Pereira homered to left field and cut the American lead to 6-2.
National’s best opportunity to climb back into the game came in the top of the fifth inning when they had the bases loaded with one out. A wild pitch allowed Collins to score and put the American advantage at 6-3. But, Scott Hepburn, who came in relief for Scherpa, struck out a batter and then recorded the final out of the fifth with a pop up to third base.
Moving forward Westfield American will play in the state sectionals against either Pittsfield National or Pittsfield American on Wednesday in the double-elimination style tournament.

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