MASSENA - The Massena Little League Minors All-Stars moved one win away from a District 37 Playoff championship on Thursday after rallying to a 4-3 decision over North Central South at Leo LaShomb Field.
Coached by Chris Herrick, the locals opened the district tournament with a 4-2 win on the road over Lowville on Tuesday and will now get set to face South Jefferson in Pulaski on Saturday at 10 a.m. in a game that will decide the District 37 bid to the sectional round of the state tournament.
In Thursday evenings win over NCS of Port Leyden, the Massena Minors built a 2-1 lead through the first two innings but allowed unanswered solo runs in the third and fourth innings to fall behind 3-2. They tied the game in the bottom of the fifth then pulled out the win after generating another solo run in their final at-bat.
Adam Peets picked up the win in relief of starter Zack Monacelli, who fanned six batters through the first four innings before leaving the game due to his pitch count. Peets notched another four strikeouts in two innings of scoreless relief.
Lead-off batter Chris Page sparked the Massena offense, going 3-3 with two runs scored and five stolen bases. Monacelli (RBI) had two hits along with Zack Goolden while Mikey Kuhn and Garrett Engstrom both singled and scored a run. Adam Peets (2 RBI), Anthony Weegar and Ryan Herrick connected for one hit apiece.
Drew Crofoot pitched five solid innings in taking the loss played a lead role offensively with a triple and two runs scored.
The teams traded solo runs in the first inning before Massena went ahead in the bottom of the second when Kuhn raced home in front of ground-out by Peets. NCS tied the game in the top of the third when Crofoot successfully stole home then before pushing across another solo run in the fourth to go up 3-2.
Page led-off the bottom of the fifth with his third hit of the game then stole second before being driven home on a single by Monacelli.
In the sixth, Engstrom struck for a one-out single and stole secondbase before moving to third on a single by Weegar. Peets then stepped up and drilled a clean single to leftfield to deliver Engstrom home with the winning run.
WIN AT LOWVILLE
On Tuesday in Lowville, Engstrom (6K), Alex Rusaw and Goolden (2K) combined to pitch the win as the locals worked their way to a 3-0 lead through three innings then held on for the victory.
Hutchinson anchored the Massena offense with a single, double and run scored. Page and Monacelli both singled and scored a run. Ethan Miller singled and drove in a run while Rusaw came around to score the other run.