LONGMEADOW, Mass. -- Sebastian Herrera started Thursday’s game by striking out the first four men he faced.
And he kept up the momentum from there.
Herrera struck out 13 in five innings of work to lead the Pittsfield Little League American Division 12-year-old All-Stars to a 9-0 win over Longmeadow in the Section 1 tournament.
Christian Barry reached base three times, scored three times and drove in three runs with a fifth-inning moonshot over the fence in left center as Pittsfield stayed in the winner’s bracket in the double-elimination tournament and earned a day off on Friday.
Herrera was the star, allowing two hits and stranding six runners, including a man on second in the fifth by ending the starter’s night with K No. 13.
“I can’t say enough about the job that he did,” Pittsfield Americans Manager Ty Perrault said. “He battled. I mean, the strike zone was tough out there today. It was the toughest zone he’s see.
“He showed very little emotion. He just worked it, hit his spots and each time he got in a slight jam, he battled a little extra hard through the jam.”
Herrera struck out two men with runners on first and second in the second and two men with runners on first and second in the third.
After Herrera struck out four -- one reaching on a ball to the backstop -- in the top of the first, Barry led off the bottom with a walk. He then stole his way around the bases, including home plate, to give Pittsfield a 1-0 lead.
“We like to use Christian’s speed whenever we can, and we kind of manufactured that first run,” Perrault said. “That’s what we like to do. That’s one of the reasons he’s at the top of the order.”
Barry showed another reason late in the game.
In between, the Americans scored two in the second, one in the third and two in the fourth to build a 6-0 lead.
Sam Glockner came off the bench for a pinch-hit RBI double in the third.
In the fourth, Cam Blake followed Barry’s second leadoff walk with an infield single. Herrera singled to left center to drive in Barry and send Blake to third; he scored when Kevin Konefal reached on a fielder’s choice.
In the fifth, Jon Jon Mullen and Micah Roberts worked one-out walks ahead of Barry, who homered for the second time in two days to provide the game’s final runs.
Longmeadow moves on to an elimination game Friday against the winner of Thursday’s matchup between Rutland and Lunenburg. The winner of Friday’s game moves on to face the Americans on Saturday at Deming Park at 2 p.m. in the tournament’s final round.
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