GLEN ALLEN, Va. — Christian Barry hit an RBI triple in a three-run second inning Sunday, and the Pittsfield Babe Ruth 13-year-old All-Stars defeated the Virginia State Champions, 4-1, at the World Series.
Pittsfield improved to 2-0 with two games remaining in round-robin pool play at the event. They take the field again on Monday morning against another Virginia squad, Southeast Regional champion Winchester, at 10 a.m.
On Sunday, Pittsfield did all its damage early, taking a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second and relying on Connor Paronto and Cam Hillard to do the rest on the mound.
"I think these guys after a day off [Saturday] got some swings in early," Pittsfield Manager Ben Stohr said. "When we got to the field today for [batting practice] at 2:30, it looked like half the team was already hitting with their parents.
"It was good to see them come up strong."
For second game in a row, the New England Regional Champs got things started with a run in the first inning.
Barry led off the bottom of the frame by working a seven-pitch walk.
He then stole second and came home on Eddie Ferris' RBI double to center field.
"Speed on the base paths has helped us," Stohr said. "There were a couple of miscues there late. We were trying to scrape together more. Three runs is really never enough. We tried a few things that didn't go our way."
Pittsfield ended up 2-for-4 in stolen base attempts on the afternoon.
Defensively, Pittsfield catcher Jackson Almeida held the team from Manassas, Va., to 1-for-2 on the base paths.
Pittsfield expanded its lead with a three-run second inning.
Brenden Socie got things started with a leadoff single. He moved up on a groundout from Robby Bazinet and got to third with Pittsfield's second stolen base of the day.
After Ryan Stannard drew a walk, Socie came home on a balk, and Barry tripled home Stannard to make it 3-0.
With two out, Morrie Fried doubled to center field to drive in Barry.
That did it for Pittsfield's offense, which got 2-for-3 days from Fried and Luke Ferguson.
On the mound, Paronto stranded two runners in the first and two in third to keep the Virginians scoreless.
In the fourth, he gave up a walk and a single to start the inning.
Manassas' Nick McKinney hit an RBI single to get his team on the board.
But Paronto got the next batter looking at a called third strike, Almeida threw out a runner attempting to steal third on the front end of a double-steal, and the final out popped up to Barry at shortstop.
Getting out of the early jam with just one run allowed was key and showed the trust that Stohr has in Paronto.
"I think that's part of those guys' success," he said of Paronto's and Hillard's success with runners on base. "They've seen that if things aren't going their way, it's just on to the next batter and trust their defense.
"Unfortunately, they've worked with a lot of runners on base, but it also makes them more comfortable in that situation. We tell them to just go play catch with the catcher back there, and Jackson is a great backstop."
Paronto finished with one strikeout and one walk while scattering five hits.
Hillard did not allow a hit but walked two batters in three innings of work to close out the game.
Stohr said Hillard is available for Monday's 10 a.m. first pitch, but the plan is to give the ball to Fried.
"Morrie has thrown a lot of good bullpens for us and threw a couple of times in regionals," Stohr said. "He has excellent stuff when he's on."
iBerkshires.com's coverage of the Babe Ruth World Series is sponsored by General Dynamics.
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