BEVERLY — Much like the fireworks that lit up the sky across the country this weekend, the opening game of District 15 Little League’s second round of Williamsport all-star play was a display of power.
Host Beverly managed to hold off Danvers American, 10-8, at Harry Ball Field Saturday night in the first game of the double-elimination format to determine the district champion.
Trying to keep their pitchers’ pitch counts down and keep them available to pitch again tonight, both Beverly and Danvers American used three pitchers. Beverly (now 6-0 in all-star play) broke open a 5-5 game by scoring twice in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth before holding off a furious Danvers rally.
“This was a well-played game except for a couple of errors by both teams,” said Beverly manager Jim Petrosino. “It was a gutsy win for us, a good all-around effort.”
Each team is back in action tonight at Harry Ball as Beverly takes on fellow unbeaten Hamilton-Wenham (5:30 p.m.) while Danvers American takes on Gloucester (7:30).
Beverly, which won all five of its game in Pool 2 play to reach the second round, jumped out to a 2-0 lead Saturday in the bottom of the first inning when Brayden Clark (who finished 3-for-4) led off with a single and Matt Ploszay followed with a hit to left field. Tyler Petrosino ripped a hit up the middle to score Clark, and Ploszay came home on a Bryce Kopack sacrifice fly.
Ploszay was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate on the evening, scoring three runs and driving in two.
Beverly added three more in the third inning when Ploszay led off with a solo homer and Kopcak belted a two-run monster shot to stretch the lead to 5-0.
“We made a couple of mistakes and they turned them into runs,” said Danvers American manager Scott Palladino, his team now 3-3 in all-star play after finishing second in Pool 1.