SOUTHINGTON - Forestvilleâ€™s Aiden Lopez threw a one-hit shutout to defeat Southington North 2-0 in a key age 10-11 Little League District 5 Tournament pool play game on Wednesday evening.
With the win, Forestville improved to 2-1 and moved into second place in the pool standings, with the top two teams advancing to the knockout rounds.
Southington North fell to 1-2 with the loss, with each team having two games remaining in pool play.
Lopez struck out eight Southington batters. The one hit he allowed was a single by Southingtonâ€™s Aiden Halpin in the bottom of the sixth inning.
â€śHe was outstanding today,â€ť Forestville head coach Corey Simard said. â€śI am his head coach for the spring season, too. But that is the best game I have seen him pitch all year.â€ť
Forestville scored its two runs on a sacrifice fly by Noah Albert in the third inning and a pinch hit RBI double by Nick Zygiel in the fourth inning.
â€śWe have guys from top to bottom who can get it done,â€ť Simard said. â€śEven the subs do their jobs.â€ť
Southington was able to stay in the game due to great pitching and defense.
Adrian Pescetelli started on the mound and looked untouchable at the start. He did not give up a hit until the third inning.
In all, Pescetelli needed just 65 pitches to go 4 2/3 innings, giving up just three hits and two runs, one of which was earned. He also allowed just two walks and struck out five batters.
Pescetelli knocked himself for a throwing error he committed in the third inning that led to the unearned run, but was ultimately happy with the job he did on the mound.
â€śI think I did pretty good,â€ť Pescetelli said. â€śThose runs, that one on the errors. But they had some good hitters. I tried to throw hard. Sometimes I tried to overthrow and they kept swinging at them.â€ť
LaRosa praised his starting pitcherâ€™s performance and ability to keep the game close. But the most important thing he saw was Pescetelliâ€™s attitude.
â€śThe biggest thing about him is that he kept his composure today,â€ť LaRosa said. â€śNo matter what was happening behind him, he stayed focused on the batters. And most importantly, he was having fun.â€ť
The defesne came up big behind Pescetelli as well. The team made several great plays, especially in the outfield. Joseph Garofalo made two running catches deep in right field, including the sacrifice fly just in front of the warning track. Ryan Barnes also made a diving catch in right field in the fifth inning.
â€śHad it not been for the defense, I probably would have given up a lot more runs,â€ť Pescetelli said.
Tyler Roaix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org