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Pittsfield Babe Ruth 13s Fall One Short of World Series
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
02:46PM / Thursday, July 29, 2021
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WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Norwalk, Conn.’s, Chase DePalma started Thursday’s Babe Ruth 13-year-old New England Regional championship game with a strikeout.
 
He ended it seven innings later with his second strikeout of the game.
 
In between, DePalma served up a steady diet of ground ball outs and held the Pittsfield 13s to just three hits in leading the Connecticut state champions to a 8-0 win and a berth in next month’s World Series in Jamestown, N.Y.
 
DePalma needed to throw just 76 pitches in the complete-game gem. In the fifth inning, he threw just seven, and in the sixth, he needed just four in a pair of 1-2-3 efforts.
 
“I think it’s a combination of things,” Pittsfield Manager Elmar Uy said. “[DePalma] was really efficient. I mean, I watched him throw a couple of times in the tournament, and he’s always around the strike zone.
 
“We always tell our guys to be aggressive at the plate. So I’m not upset that they were out there swinging first pitch, second pitch. We want them to be aggressive.”
 
In the top of the first, Connor Devine worked a one-out walk and Morrie Fried singled with two out to put runners at the corners. But DePalma got the next batter on a groundout to the right side.
 
In the top of the third, Quentin Christopher delivered a two-out single, and Devine reached on an error. Eventually, Pittsfield had two men in scoring position, but DePalma induced a fly ball out to end the threat and keep it a 0-0 game.
 
His offense rewarded him in the bottom of the frame with a three-run rally that benefited from three walks, a hit batter and an error.
 
Pittsfield committed four errors in the game, including one in each of Norwalk’s run-scoring innings.
 
“Unfortunately, they were untimely errors,” Uy said. “The capitalized when, you know, we fumbled a bit. It’s tough.
 
“They’re young. It’s hard to pick their heads up.”
 
Norwalk scored its eight runs -- four earned -- on eight hits but no extra-base hits against three Pittsfield pitchers.
 
Simon Mele got the start and struck out four in 3-⅓ innings. Cam Hillard was effective but was credited with two unearned runs pitching the fourth and fifth. Devin Reynolds came on to finish the game.
 
The last Pittsfield threat offensively came in the top of the fourth, down 3-0. Fried (2-for-3) led off with a double to right center. But he was immediately erased on a fielder’s choice. DePalma got the third out on a fly ball to left to strand a man at first.
 
He did give up his second walk of the game with two out in the seventh but struck out the next man swinging to end the game.
 
Pittsfield and Norwalk each went 3-0 in pool play at the regional, earning top seeds in the knockout phase and byes into Wednesday’s semi-finals, where Pittsfield topped Warwick, R.I., 8-6, and Norwalk shut out Eastern Mass Champion Norfolk, 8-0.
 
“These guys put up big numbers all week,” Uy said of his Pittsfield squad. “The first seven games [of All-Star season], it was something to be proud of. Unfortunately, like I just told them, statistically, we were bound to have one of these games. Unfortunately, it came in the championship
 
“But all week, they showed a lot of heart, and we’re really proud of them. Coach Stohr, Coach Lamoureaux and I, we’re really proud of them.”
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