Game 1
Great Lakes
1 vs. New England 2
Friday, August 15, 2003
3:00PM ET
Saugus in a squeaker!
Bats explosive but nothing to show for it

By Mark Rogoff
Special Correspondent

The opener of the 2003 Little League World Series pitting Saugus, MA and Tallmadge, OH didn’t exactly feature overpowering pitching performances.

While the box score may suggest otherwise with so few hits in the hit column, both offenses were putting the ball in play. Balls were hit hard, but they just weren’t finding the holes. Saugus junk baller Michael Scuzzarella and Tallmadge lankly lefty Jake Mays pitched effectively, yet struck out only a combined 7 batters.

The game remained scoreless until the 6th when Saugus plated 2 runs off Mays. And despite a comeback effort from the Ohio state champs in the bottom half, Saugus was able to hold off Tallmadge to take the Pool A opener 2-1 in front of 4,800 at Volunteer Stadium.

“We got away with one,” said Saugus head coach Rob Rochenski. “I think it’s going to be like this all the way through. I don’t think there’s going to be too many blowouts here.”

After an intentional walk to Matthew Muldoon put runners on first and 2nd in the Saugus 6th, David Ferreira singled to left as Dario Pizzano came around to score on a fielding error by left fielder Paul Pakan. Tyler Grillo then singled home Muldoon, and was thrown out trying to advance to 2nd on the play.

“(Ferreira’s hit) got our confidence back in us,” said second baseman Joseph Kasabuski.

That confidence was needed after knocking out only 2 hits in the first 5 innings and experiencing a build up of frustration after multiple hard hit balls couldn’t find their way to the outfield grass.

Coach Rochenski tried to explain the lack of run production in Game One after scoring nearly 200 runs in their previous 19 post-season games.

“It was tough,” he said. “It’s a totally different atmosphere here. It was real tough to get going with nerves, excitement, and all that.”

The real excitement began in the bottom of the 6th after a fielder’s choice and a single put Tallmadge runners on first and 2nd. Catcher Jake Jamieson singled to right to score Matt Keen. And with runners again on first and 2nd, Rochenski tried to bring in Muldoon to close the door. Because of an earlier substitution and the mandatory playing rule, Muldoon was not allowed back into the game and Scuzzarella had to return to the mound. In one pitch he got the job done, inducing Pakan to ground into a game-ending double play.

“(I had) to clean up the mess,” Scuzzarella said.

Added Rochenski, “That was all a master plan,”

And asked if he was worried Scuzzarella might not be able to hold the lead, Yano Petruzzelli said, “No, because I knew they weren’t going to score 2 runs. Scuz was pitching a gem for us.”

“I’m just glad the kids stepped up in the end,” Tallmadge head coach Randy Keen said while fighting back tears. “They could have gone 1-2-3 and rolled over and played dead.”

The Massachusetts state champs threatened first in the 5th frame when Mays walked leadoff man Tyler Grillo. Grillo advanced to 2nd on pinch hitter Mark Sacco’s sacrifice bunt. He then took 3rd on Tyler Calla’s ground out to Tallmadge 2nd baseman Keen. Grillo was left stranded after Scuzzarella grounded to 3rd to end the frame.

Tallmadge put together a threat of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Andrew Payne worked a leadoff walk and one out later advanced to 2nd on a passed ball. Pinch hitter D.J. Radcliffe then grounded to third baseman Yano Petruzzelli, who faked a throw to first to invoke Radcliffe to head to 3rd. It worked, as Petruzzelli tossed to shortstop Craig Cole, who was covering 3rd on the play, for the tag.

“I’ve pulled that off 3 or 4 times the last 2 years,” Petruzzelli said.

Coach Keen was impressed with the defensive effort turned in by the occupants of the 3rd-base dugout.

“New England played great defense,” he said. “I don’t know how many times I had to tell that 3rd baseman, ‘Good play, good play.’”

Saugus next plays Richland, WA Sunday at Lamade Stadium, while Tallmadge returns to action Saturday against Boynton Beach, FL.

US Great Lakes - Tallmadge(Home) vs. US New England - Saugus Amer.(Visitor)
Aug 15 2003 3:10 PM To 4:47 PM Volunteer Stadium, So. Williamsport, Pa.

Game Scoring By Inning:

1
2
3
4
5
6
R
H
E
US New England - Saugus Amer.
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
5
0
US Great Lakes - Tallmadge
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
4
1

Home Team Box Score:

US Great Lakes - Tallmadge
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Keen, Matt
2b
3
1
0
0
3
5
3
0
Thompson, Nick
ss
3
0
1
0
3
2
1
0
Jamieson, Jake
c
3
0
1
0
3
1
4
0
Pakan, Paul
lf
3
0
0
0
3
0
0
1
Volcheck, Andrew
rf
1
0
1
0
2
0
1
0
Patrick, Jake
cf
2
0
0
0
2
1
0
0
Payne, Andrew
1b
1
0
0
0
1
0
9
0
Cochran, Joe
3b
2
0
0
0
2
1
0
0
Mays, Jake
p
2
0
1
0
2
3
0
0
Powelson, Andrew
rf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Williams, A.J.

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Radcliffe, D.J.
ph
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Totals
21
1
4
0
22
13
18
1

Visiting Team Box Score:
US New England - Saugus Amer.
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Cole, Craig
ss
3
0
1
0
3
1
2
0
Pizzano, Dario
cf
2
1
0
0
3
0
2
0
Kasabuski, Joseph
2b
3
0
0
0
3
0
2
0
Muldoon, Matthew
1b
2
1
1
0
3
0
3
0
Ferreira, David
lf
3
0
1
0
3
0
1
0
Grillo, Tyler
rf
2
0
1
1
3
0
2
0
Petruzzelli, Sebastiano (Yano)
3b
1
0
0
0
1
4
2
0
Calla, Tyler
c
2
0
0
0
2
0
3
0
Scuzzarella, Michael
p
2
0
1
0
2
1
1
0
Bateman, Ryan
dr-lf
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
DiSciscio, Anthony
dr
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Sacco, Mark
ph
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Totals
20
2
5
1
24
6
18
0

Winning Pitcher: Scuzzarella, Michael Losing Pitcher: Mays, Jake
IP
R
ER
ERA
H
K
BB
HP
TP
KP
BP
US Great Lakes - Tallmadge
Mays, Jake
6.0
2
2
2.00
5
4
3
0
83
52
31
US New England - Saugus Amer.
Scuzzarella, Michael
6.0
1
1
1.00
4
3
1
0
72
42
30
ERA computed assuming 6 innings per game
 
Boxscore produced by Score-It: www.scoreit.com

© 2003 Little League Baseball Incorporated