2007 Massachusetts State Little League® Tournament Results
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Massachusetts State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

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Massachusetts State Tournament
Host - Pittsfield (District 1)
At Mark Belanger Field

Participating Teams
Section 1 Champions Pittsfield South (District 1)
Section 2 Champions Tom Wallace Barnstable American (District 7)
Section 3 Champions Walpole American (District 11)
Section 4 Champions Peabody Western (District 15)

Click here to view 2007 district tournament results for Massachusetts.

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
Walpole American 8, Peabody Western 5
Pittsfield South 10, Tom Wallace Barnstable American 2

Elimination Bracket Semifinals (four teams remain):
Peabody Western 2, Tom Wallace Barnstable American 1 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Finals:
Walpole American 10, Pittsfield South 6

Elimination Bracket Finals (three teams remain):
Peabody Western 17, Pittsfield South 16 (elim.)

Championship Game:
Walpole American 10, Peabody Western 0 (5 innings; TITLE)


Leadoff hitter Tim Sullivan homered three times and drove in nine runs, and pitcher Sam Falkson threw a one-hitter as Walpole American Little League rolled past Peabody Western Little League, 10-0 in five innings, in the Massachusetts state championship game at Mark Belanger Field in Pittsfield.

With the win, the team's eleventh without a loss since the start of international tournament play, Walpole American advanced to the New England Region tournament in Bristol, Connecticut. Before the summer ended, Walpole American went on to reach the Little League World Series.

"Three home runs and nine RBIs?" said Walpole American manager Brian Oberacker of Sullivan's prolific performance. "That's something he'll never forget. That's unbelievable."

Sullivan's first home run gave Walpole American all of the offense it would need. Falkson opened the second inning with a single, then walks to Kyle Donnelly and P.J. Hayes loaded the bases with one out. Sullivan followed by driving a two-strike pitch well beyond the left field fence.

Donnelly added a solo home run to straightaway center field in the third, and after Joey Guarino singled and Hayes reached on an error, Sullivan delivered a three-run homer to dead center field.

In the fifth, Brendan Donovan drew a walk, and Sullivan capped the scoring by lining a 3-0 pitch over the center field fence.

"If he doesn't show up, it's a 1-0 game," said Oberacker of his 95-pound leadoff hitter. This kid has been in the zone all summer long."

Falkson's sparkling effort suggested that one run may have been enough. The right-hander allowed a first inning double to Genaro Ciulla, then held Peabody Western without a hit for the remainder of the game. Falkson struck out seven batters, walked none, and needed just 49 pitches over the course of five innings against an opponent that averaged more than ten runs per game during the international tournament. Peabody Western was 24 hours removed from winning the highest-scoring game in Massachusetts state tournament history.

"Falkson pitched himself one heck of a game," Peabody Western manager Danny Marchese said. "We have hitters, as you've all seen at one time or another. And to ... silence these bats, which they did completely, is a feat to that young man. He just did a great job."

"The first time he came out on Thursday night, he didn't have his best stuff," said Oberacker of Falkson, who allowed runs in each of the first four innings and twice surrendered leads in Walpole's 8-5 opening round win over the same team. "He was getting used to the mound. But tonight he said 'Coach. I'm feeling good.' And I said 'you're looking good Sammy -- keep it up.'"

Walpole had a more difficult time overcoming Peabody Western in the teams' first meeting, using a pair of sixth inning home runs to emerge with the win.

Johnny Adams delivered the first late-inning home run, opening the sixth by lashing a 2-0 pitch over the right-center field fence to snap a 5-5 tie. Later in the inning, Mike LaVita singled, then Falkson slammed a two-run home run to nearly the same spot and effectively seal the win.

"I was looking up at the scoreboard after the fifth inning, and there were all these fives up there, and number five (Adams) was at the plate," said Oberacker. "And I said, 'We haven't hit a home run yet.' But he sat on one and really sparked us."

Walpole American had pushed across an unearned run in the first inning, but Peabody Western tallied single runs in each of the first three innings to take an early lead. Walpole rallied, converting five walks, two hits and a pair of errors into a four-run rally in the fourth before Peabody Western tied the game on Ciulla's opposite field, two-run homer in the bottom of the inning.

Walpole rebounded from an early deficit again the next day, overcoming a 4-0 deficit and moving into the championship game with a 10-7 win over Pittsfield South Little League.

Pittsfield South grabbed its four-run advantage in the second inning, and pitcher Mike Carpenter held Walpole hitless through the game's first three innings. But Walpole's bats awakened following a pitching change, and the District 11 champions took command with a seven run burst in the fourth.

"We had him on 45 pitches," said Pittsfield manager Ty Perrault, referring to the pitch count limit Pittsfield's coaching staff placed on Carpenter. "We were hoping to get three innings out of him, and that's what we got. He's only been (throwing) 60-70 pitches before. We knew he wasn't going to go the distance."

Matt Bender and Adams opened the decisive inning with base hits, then Mike Rando's bunt single loaded the bases. LaVita walked to force in Bender, and a one-out single to Donnelly added a second run. After a strikeout, Rando scored on an error, then Sullivan drove the first pitch he saw over the center field fence for a lead-changing grand slam.

Pittsfield South narrowed the deficit to 7-5 with a run in the bottom of the inning, but Adams' two-out, two-run double fueled a three-run rally in the sixth to seal the win for Walpole.

The loss dropped Pittsfield South into an elimination bracket matchup with Peabody Western, which staved off elimination after a dramatic finish in a 2-1 win over Tom Wallace Barnstable American Little League. Peabody scored twice in the first -- three infield hits and a pair of bases loaded walks provided the offense -- then held off a series of threats as Barnstable American left the bases loaded in each of the game's final three innings. The game ended when reliever Scott Betts registered a swinging strikeout on a 3-2 pitch to Barnstable's cleanup hitter.

"I feel ten years older," said Peabody coach Joe Turco, "but I'll take it."

Peabody got no respite from drama the next day, as the Section 4 winners rallied for two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to edge Pittsfield South, 17-16. The matchup -- which eclipsed a 16-14 victory by Swampscott over Medford North in a 1978 semifinal round matchup as the highest-scoring game in the 51-year history of the Massachusetts state tournament -- saw five lead changes, twelve different pitchers, eight home runs, and a combined 28 hits.

Pittsfield South trailed 7-1 after three innings, 14-8 after four, and 15-10 after five, but took a 16-15 lead after a pair of three-run home runs in the top of the sixth inning. Brian Salvie connected for the first homer, then Tom Cracolici briefly rescued the Western Massachusetts team with a two-out, three-run shot of his own later in the inning.

Ciulla opened the bottom of the sixth with a double, and Cameron Borelli followed with a single to center. After a passed ball and a pitching change -- Pittsfield's seventh of the game -- Jake Freedman drove a full count pitch off the base of the center field fence to drive in the tying and winning runs.

"All along, we've stressed playing six full innings," said Marchese, the Peabody manager. "That's what it took to win this game, and put us right where we wanted to be. We just wanted another opportunity to face (Walpole) again."

David Bornstein's three-run homer spurred a seven-run rally for Peabody in the third, while back-to-back blasts from Ciulla -- a grand slam -- and Cameron Borrelli keyed another seven run rally in the fourth.

"We finally got the bats going," Marchese added. "The pitching for both teams wasn't as sharp as usual, but take nothing away from Pittsfield. They hung in there the whole game, and it was back-and-forth. We had two big leads, but they fought back. That's the kind of thing you expect in an elimination game."

"In a game like this, you want to get as many runs as you can," said Pittsfield South manager Ty Perrault. "We knew our pitching wasn't going to blow by anyone today, so we had to come through at the plate."

Pittsfield sandwiched a seven-run rally of its own between Peabody's two big innings, with Hayden Jarck's grand slam giving the District 1 champions a brief 8-7 lead.

"The big thing is that I'm proud of them for coming back not once, but twice," said Pittsfield South manager Ty Perrault. "They pulled ahead, we take the lead. All year long, every single kid on our team has been a threat to hit the ball hard."

Perrault's words were also an apt description of the eventual champions. Walpole's heavy lumber helped the team to tally eight or more runs in ten of the team's fourteen victories against Massachusetts competition, including all three state tournament wins. The Massachusetts winners later hit six home runs in their national television debut, a 14-4 victory over Shelton National (Connecticut) Little League in the New England Region tournament championship game.

That win lifted the Massachusetts champions into the Little League World Series, which Walpole helped to kick off in grand style: Rando's leaping catch for the game's final out pulled back a would-be home run and preserved a 3-2 victory over Hamilton (Ohio) West Side Little League in the tournament's opening contest. The Massachusetts team finished the series with a 1-2 record.

Follow Walpole American at the New England Region Tournament -- click here to view results.

2007 Massachusetts District Champions and Sectional Tournament Results:

District Champions
in Section 1
District Champions
in Section 2
D1 - Pittsfield South
D2 - Westfield South
D3 - Pepperell
D4 - Joe Schwartz (Worcester)

Section 1 Tournament
Championship Game Host - Joe Schwartz (Worcester) (District 4)

Tournament Results:
1 - Pittsfield South 11, Westfield South 6
2 - Joe Schwartz 6, Pepperell 0 (5 innings; rain)
3 - Pittsfield South 4, Joe Schwartz 1
4 - Westfield South 7, Pepperell 2 (elim.)
5 - Joe Schwartz 5, Westfield South 2 (elim.)
6 - Joe Schwartz 5, Pittsfield South 2
7 - Pittsfield South 10, Joe Schwartz 5 (TITLE)

D5 - Auburn
D6 - Taunton West National
D7 - Tom Wallace Barnstable American
D8 - Braintree American

Section 2 Tournament
Championship Game Host - Braintree (District 8)
Championship Game at Hollingsworth Park

Tournament Results:
1 - Auburn 7, Taunton West National 4
2 - Tom Wallace Barnstable American 10, Braintree American 2
3 - Tom Wallace Barnstable American 10, Auburn 7
4 - Braintree American 10, Taunton West National 0 (elim.)
5 - Braintree American 8, Auburn 2 (elim.)
6 - Tom Wallace Barnstable American 7, Braintree American 0 (TITLE)

District Champions
in Section 3
District Champions
in Section 4
D9 - Charlestown
D10 - Parkway National (West Roxbury/Roslindale)
D11 - Walpole American
D12 - North Medford

Section 3 Tournament
Championship Game Host - Newton North (District 10)
At Murphy Field; Albermarle Park

Tournament Results:
1 - North Medford 2, Charlestown 1 (7 innings)
2 - Walpole American 11, Parkway National 1
3 - Walpole American 9, North Medford 4
4 - Parkway National 14, Charlestown 1 (elim.)
5 - Parkway National 6, North Medford 0 (elim.)
6 - Walpole American 2, Parkway National 1 (7 innings; TITLE)

D13 - Wilmington
D14 - Andover National
D15 - Peabody Western
D16 - Saugus National

Section 4 Tournament
Host - Tewksbury (District 14)
At Tewksbury Little League Complex

Tournament Results:
1 - Peabody Western 7, Saugus National 1
2 - Andover National 3, Wilmington 1
3 - Peabody Western 13, Andover National 1
4 - Saugus National 8, Wilmington 0 (elim.)
5 - Saugus National 11, Andover National 1 (4 innings; elim.)
6 - Peabody Western 2. Saugus National 1 (TITLE)

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Toward the present

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Last revision: 05/28/2008