Game 14
Midwest  7 vs. MidAtlantic 8

Sunday, August 17, 2003
8:00PM ET

Mastro-ful victory for Naamans

By David Graham-Caso
Special Correspondent

Neither team had any other option.

Going into Sunday’s nightcap at Lamade Stadium both the North Scott Little League from Eldridge, IA and the Naamans Little League from Wilmington, DE were 0-1. Each desperately needed a win to keep their chances of advancing beyond round-robin play. Both teams were anxious, and both teams played like it.

In a wild showdown where the teams combined for nine errors, Naamans own found a way to win, defeating Eldridge 8-7.

“We have played 20 ballgames, and I have never seen us play that sloppy defensively,” said Iowa manager Paul Tremmel. “It was a sloppy game, but I guess that is part of what made the game eventful.”

The game was anything but conventional from the first inning. Iowa hurler Elliot Schlabach dug himself a hole by loading the bases in the first, but narrowly eluded a catastrophe by getting Cory Firmani to ground into a fielder’s choice.

The bottom half of the first was just as tense. Delaware starter David Mastro struggled to find his control, and a combination of a hit-batsman, a walk, two wild pitches and an error provided Iowa with the early 3-0 lead.

Mastro made up for his shaky start on the mound by coming through at the plate. Mastro’s single up the middle scored two when it hopped through the legs of centerfielder Adam Netwal.

“We had a tough start,” said Delaware skipper Joe Mascelli. “We had some base running errors and some mental mistakes early.”

Mastro ran into more problems on the mound in the second when four Eldridge hits (two of them doubles) brought in two more runs for the Midwest champions, giving them a comfortable lead.

The lead became a little less comfortable for Schlabach in the top of the third. With two away, Firmani hammered a Schlabach fastball into the outfield bullpen. Firmani’s first round-tripper of the tournament made the score a narrow 5-3.

“I haven’t been hitting real well lately,” Firmani said. “So when I saw it go out I was real glad.”

Errors plagued the Mid-Atlantic champions in the bottom of the third. With two outs and Blake Anderson on first, Delaware had the opportunity to close out the inning when Netwal hit a ground ball to third baseman Danny Frate. Frate made a good throw, but first baseman Scott Doughtery could not squeeze the ball, and the inning continued. Anderson slid into home safely on yet another Mastro wild pitch and then a Vince Russomagno error at short brought in Netwal. The nightmare inning finally ended when Mastro got Cody Ashby to whiff on a 2-2 fastball.

Delaware would simply not go away. Dougherty in the top of the fourth ripped a bases-loaded single over the leaping right fielder P.J.Mills to bring in two more Wilmington runs, again pulling Delaware to within two. The next batter, catcher Kip Skibicki followed in suit, crushing a two-run double to the leftfield wall and tying the game.

Naamans did not stop there. Frate, the next batter to face Schlabach was hit by a pitch, then Firmani singled up the middle, scoring Russomagno and giving Delaware its first lead of the game. After Firmani’s RBI single, Schlabach was pulled from the mound in favor of Greg Daniels. Daniels didn’t receive any aid from his defense either, and a Jimmy DiFrieze error kept the inning alive. It took Frate being caught in a pickle while trying to tag up from third to mercifully end the inning. The five-run, five-hit inning was enough for Delaware to take a 8-7 lead.

As much as Mastro struggled early in the game, he seemed to settle down after his offense got him a lead. He struck out the side in the fourth and retired the side in order in the fifth. Mastro struck out 13 overall, including seven of the final 10 batters that he faced. \“Mastro just got stronger as the game went on,” Tremmel said.

“I was not throwing good in the start of the game, but I think I finished up pretty well,” the winning pitcher said.

Delaware next faces Richmond, TX in another do-or-die game. The winner of Tuesday’s contest will advance to the U.S. semi-final, the loser will go home.

The Iowa team, now mathematically eliminated from contention, will face undefeated Arizona Tuesday at 7 p.m. Tremmel expects his team to continue their daring play in their final game as Little Leaguers.

“We are still playing for each other,” Tremmel said. “If you love the game, you are going to go out there and give it your best shot, and that is what we are going to do.”


US Midwest - North Scott( Home) vs. US Mid-Atlantic - Naamans (Visitor)
Aug 17 2003 8:13 PM To 10:27 PM Lamade Stadium, So. Williamsport, Pa.

Game Scoring By Inning:

1
2
3
4
5
6
R
H
E
US Mid-Atlantic - Naamans
0
2
1
5
0
0
8
10
4
US Midwest - North Scott
3
2
2
0
0
0
7
6
5
 

Home Team Box Score:

US Midwest - North Scott
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Schlabach, Elliott
p-cf
3
2
2
0
4
4
0
0
Ashby, Cody
c
4
0
0
1
4
0
8
0
DeFrieze, Jimmy
ss
4
1
2
1
4
1
4
3
Petersen, Matt
1b
2
1
1
0
3
0
2
0
Daniels, Greg
3b-p
3
0
0
0
3
0
1
0
Anderson, Blake
lf
2
1
0
0
3
0
0
0
Mills, P.J.
rf-ph
3
0
0
0
3
0
1
0
Paulsen, Connor
2b
3
1
1
0
3
1
0
0
Netwal, Adam
cf-3b
3
1
0
0
3
1
1
2
Cranston, Michael
1b
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Harris, Nick
2b
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Voss, Ryan
rf
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
Totals
27
7
6
2
30
7
18
5
 

Visiting Team Box Score:

US Mid-Atlantic - Naamans
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Mastro, David
p
4
0
2
1
4
0
1
0
Russomagno, Vince
ss
3
1
1
0
4
2
0
1
Dougherty, Scott
1b
4
1
1
2
4
0
2
1
Skibicki, Kip
c
2
1
1
2
4
0
13
1
Frate, Danny
3b
2
0
1
0
4
0
1
0
Firmani, Cory
rf
4
1
2
2
4
0
1
0
Czachorowski, Kevin
cf
3
1
0
0
3
0
0
0
Carney, Jarad
2b
2
2
2
0
2
0
0
1
Marcin, Tim
lf
2
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
Julian, Michael
dr-2b
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
Fournaris, Constantine
lf
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Lopes, Zachary
dr-cf
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Totals
29
8
10
7
34
2
18
4
 

Winning Pitcher: Mastro, David Losing Pitcher: Schlabach, Elliott

IP
R
ER
ERA
H
K
BB
HP
TP
KP
BP
US Midwest - North Scott
Schlabach, Elliott
3.3
8
5
9.00
9
3
3
2
100
61
39
Daniels, Greg
2.7
0
0
0.00
1
3
0
0
37
22
15
US Mid-Atlantic - Naamans
Mastro, David
6.0
7
3
3.00
6
13
2
1
119
73
46

ERA computed assuming 6 innings per game

Boxscore produced by Score-It: www.scoreit.com

© 2003 Little League Baseball Incorporated