Game 28
United States Semifinal
New England 14 vs. Southwest 13
Thursday, August 21, 2003
7:00PM ET
Lamade Stadium

Saugus tops Richmond in Instant Classic
New England champs advance to U.S. Championship game

By Mark Rogoff
Special Correspondent

The situation was all a Little Leaguer could ask for – bottom of the 7th, winning run on third, 2 outs, 3-2 count, and 28,000 enthusiastic baseball fans on their feet.

Saugus’s David Ferriera found himself right in the middle of that circumstance Thursday night in one of the U.S. semifinals. This, after his Saugus team blew a 6-run lead in the 6th, and this, after his Saugus mates had tied the score with 3 runs after Richmond had jumped out to a 13-10 lead in the top half of the 7th.

Ferreira, who was looking for that solid, right-on-the-sweet-spot, clutch hit got exactly that. Well, almost.

Ferreira’s ever-so-slow roller down the 3rd base line scored Dario Pizzano for the winning tally as Ferreira narrowly beat the throw to first. Final score: Saugus 14, Richmond 13, in what was perhaps the greatest, most exciting Little League World Series game of all time.

“I thought it was foul,” said Ferriera, who hesitated out of the batter’s box. “I saw it go fair so I just tried to run my hardest. I was scared that I was going to get out.

“It feels wicked good.”

Saugus head coach Rob Rochenski had similar feelings. “We had that game all the way,” he said sarcastically. “That’s probably the most exciting game I’ve ever been a part of. It’s tough for us (coaches), too. I just couldn’t believe what was happening.”

Matt Muldoon, who was summoned to pitch in the 6th after starter Michael Scuzzarella allowed a 2-run homer to Rondal Grichuk that pulled Richmond to within 10-6, redeemed his blown save by knocking a 2-out, 2-strike single to left that plated 2 runs. Muldoon got credit for the RBI that pulled Saugus to within 13-12, while the tying run came across on the throw from the outfield that got past catcher Marcus Martinez.

Muldoon’s heroics also came with Saugus down to its last strike.

Said Ferriera of hitting behind Muldoon in the order: “He gets on base a lot, and I can get hits.”

Muldoon gave up 3 runs in the extra frame after allowing the 3 in the 6th to that pesky Texas offense. He kept his cool despite his ineffectiveness, and showed little emotion when talking to reporters following the game.

“I closed a couple games before,” he said, when asked about his mentality during save situations. “I just wanted to get outs and keep the ball down to get groundouts.”

Scuzzarella did pitch well enough to win, giving up 6 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks in 5.0+ innings of work.

“I knew he didn’t have his best stuff,” Rochenski said. “But usually half of his best stuff is good enough.”

Richmond second baseman Eli Sepulveda scorched a triple to right-center with 2 outs in the 7th to bring home Jimmy Michalek for the go-ahead run. Cody Robinson’s 2-run home run a batter later was thought to be the clincher.

Rochenski was envious of the Texas-sized comeback.

“That’s incredible,” he said of the Richmond effort. “To come back after being outmatched for the first 5 innings was incredible. Hats off to them.”

Said Richmond head coach Jim Michalek: “I could never articulate the guts that they showed tonight. I’m incredibly, shockingly pleased with those kids.

“Kids have an incredible desire to compete. You cannot teach that in kids. It’s not learned.”

Saugus’s 6-run 3rd inning cracked open the game – for the time being – as the New England champs sent 9 batters to the plate. Joseph Kasabuski’s 3-run homer to left had capped off the scoring.

Richmond chipped away at Saugus’s lead after the 6-run outbreak. Randal Grichuk hit a solo shot in the 4th. Sepulveda, who hit a one-out triple in the 5th, scored on a Tyler Calla throwing error for Richmond’s 4th run.


US New England - Saugus American (Home) vs. US Southwest - Lamar National (Visitor)
Aug 21 2003 7:11 PM To 9:45 PM Lamade Stadium, So. Williamsport, Pa.

Game Scoring By Inning:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
R
H
E
US Southwest - Lamar National
0
2
0
1
1
6
3
13
13
2
US New England - Saugus Amer.
2
2
6
0
0
0
4
14
12
4
 Home Team Box Score:
US New England - Saugus Amer.
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Grillo, Tyler
rf-1b
4
2
2
1
5
1
0
0
Pizzano, Dario
cf-rf
5
2
3
2
5
0
1
0
Kasabuski, Joseph
2b
4
2
1
4
5
0
1
0
Muldoon, Matthew
1b-p
5
1
2
1
5
1
3
1
Ferreira, David
lf
5
0
2
3
5
1
4
1
Cole, Craig
ss-cf
4
0
0
0
4
2
1
0
Calla, Tyler
c
3
2
2
0
4
0
6
1
Petruzzelli, Sebastiano (Yano)
3b
3
0
0
0
3
2
3
1
Scuzzarella, Michael
p-ss
1
2
0
0
3
0
2
0
Bateman, Ryan
dr-lf
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
DiSciscio, Anthony
ph
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
Sacco, Mark
ph
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Totals
34
14
12
11
41
7
21
4
 Visiting Team Box Score:
US Southwest - Lamar National
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Michalek, Jimmy
ss
4
2
0
0
5
2
1
0
Sepulveda, Eli
2b
4
3
3
1
5
2
1
0
Robinson, Cody
cf-p-3b
4
2
1
2
5
0
3
0
Staudt, Garrett
1b
4
2
1
0
5
0
7
0
Psenka, Robert
lf-rf
5
0
1
1
5
0
1
1
Foster, Brian
p-rf
2
1
1
2
2
2
0
0
Grichuk, Randal
rf-3b-p
4
2
3
3
4
1
0
1
Martinez, Marcus
c
3
0
1
0
3
0
7
0
Rodgers, Brady
3b-p
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
Smith, Chris
rf-cf
2
1
1
1
2
0
0
0
Hollek, Brandon
ph
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Willis, Wayne
ph-lf
3
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
Totals
36
13
13
10
41
8
20
2
 

Winning Pitcher: Muldoon, Matthew Losing Pitcher: Grichuk, Randal

IP
R
ER
ERA
H
K
BB
HP
TP
KP
BP
US New England - Saugus Amer.
Scuzzarella, Michael
5.0
6
4
4.80
7
1
3
0
76
44
32
Muldoon, Matthew
2.0
7
3
9.00
6
3
2
0
54
40
14
US Southwest - Lamar National
Foster, Brian
2.3
6
6
15.43
6
2
3
0
56
27
29
Rodgers, Brady
2.7
4
3
6.75
3
2
1
0
51
32
19
Robinson, Cody
1.3
3
2
9.00
0
3
3
0
35
15
20
Grichuk, Randal
.3
1
1
18.00
3
0
0
0
15
10
5

ERA computed assuming 6 innings per game

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

© 2003 Little League Baseball Incorporated