LYNN — Peabody West Little League all-star Josh Cerretani apparently didn’t want last night’s Section 4 tournament game to go any deeper into the night.
So in the bottom of the eighth, he launched the baseball deep into the night sky.
Cerratani’s extra inning 2-run homer lifted Peabody West to a 3-1 win over Weston at Reinfuss Field. The victory makes the Tanner City kids 2-0 with one game to go in round robin play; a win tonight over North Andover (5:30 p.m.) would guarantee Peabody a spot in tomorrow’s Sectional final.
“Josh is clutch. He came up there in a big spot and he got it,” said Peabody coach Ed Aiello, with manager Frank Benea echoing, “We’re looking for somebody to do something, and Josh comes up and puts it over the fence.”
Weston (0-2) got great pitching throughout the game to hold off Peabody’s offense, and turned a pair of double plays. They also had baserunners in each of the last six innings, and the Tanner City all-stars got stellar pitching and defense of their own to get them off the scoreboard.
“This was a great game. Great pitching on both sides and so many good plays,” said Benea.
Jonathan Polignone struck out eight and threw to the 85-pitch limit for Peabody, allowing only a first inning homer to Weston’s Zaejan May. Dan Marshall and Cerretani each threw the maximum 20 pitches (so they can pitch today if needed), and John Mulready came on with a runner in scoring position and got the final out of the eighth.
“I thought we had a bunch of kids that are capable of pitching, and we do,” said Aiello.
Peabody trailed 1-0 until the third, when Mulready’s single and a pair of errors loaded the bases. On a passed ball, Mulready broke for home and was walked back up the line by Weston’s catcher; meanwhile, Chris Kwmuntis got stuck between first and second. Weston’s catcher threw to first to try to get Kwmuntis, which opened the door for Mulready to break home. He slid under the tag on the throw back to make it 1-1.