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Wigglesworth Pitching, Lesser Slam Propel Pittsfield in District Final Series
By Stephen Dravis, Sports
07:48PM / Wednesday, July 10, 2024
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. – The Pittsfield Little League All-Stars have been nothing short of dominant in the Don Gleason District 1 Tournament.
Dominant, but not perfect.
And there was a moment in Tuesday’s 11-0, four-inning win over Dalton-Hinsdale that gave Pittsfield coach Ty Perrault a chance to help his 12-year-olds learn to be just a little bit better.
With two out in the top of the second, Dalton-Hinsdale’s David Duquette reached second base on a hit deep to left field.
Pittsfield starter Weston Wigglesworth got the next hitter to pop up and went on to sit down six more in a row in a 10-strikeout performance. So no damage was done.
That did not stop Perrault from gathering some of his players outside the dugout before the bottom of the second to talk about how the extra-base hit could have been prevented – and a base could be saved down the road for Pittsfield.
“In between innings, I try to talk about it,” Perrault said. “Because, getting old, I don’t have the memory I had before. But coming off the field every inning, I try to go over anything that we may see like that. That was not a good route to the ball. So we went over that with all four kids who might play left field.
“Just like with the [runner] interference call, we went over that, just because he didn’t know what he did wrong. We’re all committed to getting better each chance we can.”
Kody Lesser went 2-for-2 with a grand slam to lead an 11-hit attack for Pittsfield, which scored all 11 runs in the first two innings to take a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three championship series.
Dalton-Hinsdale and Pittsfield will meet again on Thursday at 5:30 at Deming Park for Game 2. If DH wins, the rubber match will be on Friday at 5:30 to decide who moves on to the Section 1 tournament.
Wigglesworth went the distance on the mound on Wednesday, getting 10 of his 12 outs by way of the K.
He also went 2-for-2 at the plate and scored twice.
Wigglesworth started the six-run first inning with a single. Lesser, Spencer Kotski, Jeremiah Bullett and Jake Merwin each singled, and Logan Slater hit an RBI double in the rally.
In the second inning, Mike Ressler was hit by a pitch, and Wigglesworth, Sawyer Layne and Shayne Clairmont hit back-to-back-back singles to start a five-run rally.
Kody Lesser’s blast to right-center field capped the inning and gave Wigglesworth more than enough offensive support on a night when Perrault had his ace working on improving his game, too.
“[Pitching coach Tanner Hanford] is out of town,” Perrault said. “It’s the first time since I’ve had him that I had to call the pitches. We’re trying to get [Wigglesworth] to throw a little more breakers than he has been, only because we want to ramp that up so he has three pitches instead of one. And he’s doing well with that.
“He’s just a competitor. He just wants to do better and better, which is the kind of kid you love to coach.”
Ryker Williams worked a two-out walk for Dalton-Hinsdale in the first inning, and Duquette recorded the two-out double in the second.
Duquette also went to the mound in relief of starter Cam Sievers to start the third inning and pitched around Bullett’s leadoff single, retiring three batters in a row and stranding Bullett at third base.
DH coach Dustin Sievers said that Duquette’s shutout inning does give the team something positive to build on going into Thursday evening.
“He did a phenomenal job coming in to pitch,” Sievers said. “We like our defense a little better with the rotation that we did there. [Thursday] night, we’ll have another pitcher coming in where David [Duquette] can go back out in center, so we’ve got our outfielders.
“So we feel a little better about that, too, tightening up. But then the other thing was, we’ve got to get the bats on the ball. We preach to them: Wigglesworth is an amazing pitcher, first pitch strikes. And we were just a little hesitant.”
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