Five Keene errors ended up costing the Elm City nine a championship berth as Pittsfield, Mass., posted a 5-4 win Tuesday in the losers’ bracket finals of the 15-year-old New England Babe Ruth Baseball Regional Tournament at Adams Field in Quincy, Mass.
Keene finished the tournament 2-2, beating Quincy, Mass., and Pittsfield, Mass., before losing to Waterford, Conn., and Pittsfield.
The Bay Staters took advantage of errors as Alex Carusotto reached on an infield miscue to start sixth frame for Pittsfield in a 3-3 game. Carusotto stole second, advanced to third on a single from Devon Johnston and scored on a sacrifice fly from Bobby New.
In the home sixth, Keene’s Spenser Heise cranked a one-out triple, but never got home.
Pittsfield scored the eventual winning run in the seventh inning. Chad Shade was hit by a pitch to start the inning and advanced to second on a single from Mitch Clary. An outfield error by Keene on a ball hit by Anthony Jones allowed Chade to score, giving Pittsfield the 5-3 lead.
In the home seventh Keene fought to the end. Mason Blanchard singled and went to second on a two-out single from Stephen Bianco. On a 2-2, Ben Mallet walloped a double, scoring Blanchard and sending Bianco to third, representing the tying run. But Keene’s comeback bid ended when Isaiah Singer flied out to center.
Down 3-0, Keene tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Austin Phillips started the rally with a lead-off single and advanced to second when Zach Wullbrandt reached safely after his sacrifice bunt forced a fielding error in front of the plate. Derek Greenwood of Keene tried another bunt, but Phillips was forced out at third base, leaving runners at first and second.
Keene ended up loading the bases when Blanchard reached on an outfield error. After an infield fly out, John Link pounded a two-out single, plating Phillips and Wullbrandt. Bianco followed with an infield hit that allowed Blanchard to score the tying run. But Pittsfield infielder Pat Latini was credited with saving another run by keeping the ball in the infield. Mallet flied out to end the inning, leaving the game knotted at 3-3.
Pittsfield, Mass. scored three runs in the first inning, taking advantage of two Keene errors as Mitch Clary (RBI triple, scored on error) and Josh Berthiaume (RBI single) cashed in with key hits.