BEVERLY — One night after an offensive slugfest, the Beverly Williamsport Little League all-star team played the style of game its manager, Jim Petrosino, prefers.
Shane Cassidy and Brayden Clark combined to keep the Danvers American bats in check, the defense made all the big plays, and the offense came through with just enough timely hitting to help Beverly advance to the District 15 final with a 3-1 win at Harry Ball Field last night.
Beverly advances to play Hamilton-Wenham tomorrow night (7:30 p.m. at Harry Ball Field). Having lost to Hamilton-Wenham in the winner’s bracket final Monday night (12-11), Beverly now needs to beat H-W twice to capture the district.
“I’d rather win games like this any day,” Petrosino said. “Our pitch count was great; we kept our pitchers where we wanted to. We had three (pitchers) ready but we only used two, so everybody is within the number for coming back if there is an ‘if win’ game (Friday). But the defense won it today and that’s what I want to focus on.”
Cassidy and Clark were very efficient, but not overpowering. They threw strikes and let their defense make the plays behind them.
Cassidy went 51/3 innings, allowing four hits and one run. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. Clark came on with one out in the fifth and ended up allowing just one hit with one strikeout and no walks in 11/3 innings.
Beverly made three key plays to prevent Danvers from potentially plating runs. With a runner on second base, 11-year-old third baseman Tyler Petrosino cut off a ground ball in the hole and threw to first for the initial out. First baseman Robby Black then fired over to third — covered by Clark, the shortstop — to cut down the runner attempting to advance.