WLLers stay alive

Westfield Majors pitcher Joe Maffia winds up during Monday evening’s Little League Baseball District 2 loser’s bracket final against Amherst at Ralph E. Sanville Memorial Field on Cross Street. (Photo by Chris Putz)

WESTFIELD – …Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive. Ah, ha, ha, stayin’ alive.
The Bee Gees don’t have anything on the Westfield Little League Baseball Majors (12U) All-Stars.
Westfield won a wild-and-crazy game in the loser’s bracket final portion of the District 2 tournament 5-3 over Amherst Monday night to stave off elimination at Ralph E. Sanville Memorial Field on Cross Street.
The real drama unfolded in the top of the sixth inning with the game tied 3-3. Westfield’s No. 8 batter Patrick Willard ran out a dropped third strike. Willard’s hustle paid off as the first base umpire ruled the base runner safe. Agawam’s players and coaches at first appeared baffled by the call and then lost their focus. Westfield took advantage of Agawam’s defensive letdown as Ben King came all the way around to score the eventual winning run from second base. An Ethan Connors infield single made it 5-3.
Westfield pitcher Joe Maffia struck out five batters while scattering five hits in a gutty effort on the mound.
Maffia got into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the fifth inning, putting runners on first and second with no outs but battled back by getting a strikeout and fly out. Amherst’s Eli Kern followed with a single through the right side, but Connors came up throwing and nailed the would-be, go-ahead run at the plate to end the threat. Westfield’s Ben King stranded two runners in relief while recording the final two outs.
Westfield showed determination from beginning to end.
Nate Blackak knocked in Connors with a single through the left side to put Westfield out front early 1-0 in the top of the first. Amherst responded with a run in the second inning, and two more in the third.
Refusing to go away, Westfield sliced the deficit to 3-2 on a Nick Gauger single in the fourth. Willard then came around to score on a wild pitch to knot things up at 3-3 in the fifth, setting the stage for the late heroics.
Blackak and Gauger finished with two hits apiece.
Westfield advances to the District 2 championship against Agawam at Memorial Field Wednesday at 6 p.m. A win would force a winner-take-all game back at Ralph E. Sanville Memorial Field on Thursday. A loss would eliminate the Whip City from the 11-12-Year-Old postseason.

Westfield 19, Agawam 10

Westfield rallied from a 3-2 deficit, scoring four runs in the third and five runs in the fourth to take an 11-7 lead that they never relinquished the rest of the way.
Katie Bouchard went 1-for-1 with four walks and five runs scored to lead the Westfield offense.
Sydney LaPanne, Kaleigh Little and Emma Nelson each had two hits and walk. Nelson scored four runs, and Little and LaPanne had three runs apiece. Jaylianie Santiago had a hit and scored two run, and Julia Bonfitto had a hit and a run scored. Gianna Capua had a walk and a run.
Bonfitto went the distance on the mound again for Westfield. Despite battling some control problems, Bonfitto fought through it, shutting down Agawam when it mattered most. She allowed three hits and 16 walks, while striking out 14 batters.
Westfield will attempt to close out the series against Agawam Thursday at Sadie Knox.

Pittsfield Suns 10, Westfield Starfires 4

Caeden Trenkle (2-for-5) blasted a home run, scored two runs, and drove in two runs; Matt Malcom went 3-for-4 with with two doubles, a walk, run and RBI; Jack Culumovic (2-for-5) scored two runs; and Jack Khawly had a hit, two walks, two runs, and two RBIs to lead Pittsfield (19-13).
Tommy Quinn (2-for-3) hammered a solo home run and Danny Crossen had a two-run double for Westfield (10-23).

Belchertown 6, Westfield 3

For five innings Monday night, Westfield (4-6-1) held on to a slim 2-1 lead thanks to timely pitches and decent defense. All that changed in the top of the sixth inning when Post 124 unraveled. Belchertown scored three times, taking advantage of four errors and three unearned runs on the night.
Ironically, Westfield’s three runs were also unearned, following a pair of Belchertown errors.
Westfield took a 2-1 lead in the first inning when a hard-hit single from Logan Krol went under the left fielder’s glove, allowing Spencer Cloutier (hit by pitch) and Jack Blake (walk) to score.
In the sixth, Krol walked. Pinch-runner Anthony Piquette stole second, moved to third on a fielding error and scored on Steve McKenna’s sacrifice fly.
Westfield plays its fourth game in four days July 9 against Pittsfield at Jachym Field at 5:45 p.m.

Late Results
Sun., July 7
Joe Schwartz (Worc.) 9, Westfield 1

Francie McMahon dominated Westfield for the second time in a week, throwing a no-hitter to eliminate the Whip City’s star Little Leaguers from the 12U softball tournament in the sectionals.
McMahon struck out 12 batters, walked two and hit one.
Joe Schwartz took advantage of some shaky Westfield defense, scoring three runs in the first inning. The Worcester-based team added two runs in the second before breaking the game open in the fourth with four more runs.
Westfield pitcher Shea Hurley went the distance against a tough Joe Schwartz attack, scattering eight hits and four walks while striking out nine.
Campbelle Lemelin scored the only run for Westfield following a walk and a series of wild pitches.

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