IPSWICH— Early on in the District 15 Williamsport Little League baseball tournament walks really hurt Manchester Essex. In fact free passes may have led to its only loss in the tournament so far.
After Thursday's 6-2 win over Gloucester National at Bowen Field in Ipswich, it's pretty safe to say Manchester Essex has solved the problem. Pitchers Cosmo Pallazola, Tate Oswtrowski and Robbie Sarmanian combined to walk just three batters all game and allowed just three hits.
With the win Manchester Essex finishes pool play at 2-1 and will play again tonight at Boudreau Field in Gloucester against Amesbury in the double elimination knockout round. Gloucester National is eliminated with an 0-3 record. Gloucester American also qualified for the knockout round and they will play on Saturday at Brown Field in Danvers (12:00 p.m.) against the winner of Danvers American and Middleton, who play today at Boudreau Field (5:30 p.m.).
"Early in the tournament we allowed five runs in an inning and allowed just one hit, the rest were walks," Manchester Essex manager Matt Ostrowski said. "Today our pitching was great, we pounded the strike zone all game, got ahead in the count and kept them off balance with off speed pitches. It was just the type of pitching performance we were looking for."
Pallazola picked up the win allowing a run in three plus innings. Ostrowski came up big in relief pitching out of a fourth inning jam.
Ostrowski entered the game with two on and nobody out and got out of the inning allowing just one run when Chris Cassaterri drove in Sam Poliskey who walked on in infield single.
"That was the game right there," Matt Ostrowski said. "There was two on and nobody out and we needed to get out of that inning without a lot of damage. We got some big outs."
Manchester Essex took control early plating four runs in the first three innings.
Harry Painter, who led Manchester Essex with three hits on the day, gave his team a 1-0 lead when he doubled in Ethan Ketchum in the top of the first inning.
Manchester Essex answered right back in the top of the second when Tate Ostrowski singled in Jake Athanas who also singled making it 2-0.
Mitch Paccone delivered what turned out to be the winning runs with a two run homer to left center field extending his team's lead to 4-0.
Gloucester answered back with a run in the fourth and a run in the fifth on a Mark Turner solo home run to make it 6-2, but that's as close as Gloucester National would get.
Manchester Essex now turns its attention to Amesbury, Matt Ostrowski says the team is going to have to continue to get timely hitting and play lights out defense.
"We are in pretty good shape because we don't allow a lot of runs," he said. "Our defense is what has carried us and it's going to have to continue to carry us. I don't think we made any defensive mistakes today."
Manchester Essex 6 Gloucester National 2
at Bowen Field, Ipswich
ME: Ketchum cf 4-1-1, Ostrowski ss/p 4-0-1, Painter 3b 3-1-3, Sarmanian c/1b/p 1-0-0, Levendusky 1b 0-1-0, Julian c 1-1-0, Paccone rf 2-1-1, Pallazola p/ss 3-0-0, Garlitz 2b 3-0-0, Athanas lf 1-1-1, Janowicz lf 2-0-1. Totals 24-6-7.
GN: Lyons c 2-0-0, Cameron 2b 1-0-0, Sperry 3b/c 3-0-1, Turner ss/2b 3-1-1, Mortillaro rf 2-0-0, Lowe 2b 1-0-1, Reardon p 2-0-0, Pascucci 3b 1-0-0, Jaramello 1b 2-0-0, Karioris cf/ss/p 3-0-0, Cassaterri lf 2-0-1. Totals 22-2-3.
RBI: ME, Paccone 2, Painter, Oswtrowski; G, Turner, Cassaterri.
WP: Pallazola; LP: Reardon
Records: ME, 2-1; GN, 0-3.