VALHALLA, N.Y. -- Eastchester and Harrison were locked in a pitcher’s duel through three innings on Sunday when Eastchester’s bats became as sizzling hot as the weather.
Eastchester erupted for nine runs in the fourth inning in an 11-0 win over Harrison in a winner’s bracket semifinal of the District 20 Little League Baseball Majors’ Championship at Pat Henry Field.
The game was stopped after four innings because Nick Koutoulas crushed a three-run homer to provide the 10-run mercy-rule margin. John Doherty’s two-run single initiated the uprising.
Eastchester will play Ardsley in the winner’s bracket final, Thursday, 5:45 p.m., at O’Rourke Field. Harrison meets Scarsdale in a loser’s bracket game, Monday, 5:45 p.m., at Gedney Field in White Plains. The loser of this game is eliminated.
“We came in knowing this was not going to be an easy game. But we had confidence that we were going to play our best,” Koutoulas said.
Winning pitcher Tsubasa Yuhara, who allowed four hits and struck out five in four innings, crushed a two-run homer in the third, giving Eastchester a 2-0 lead.
Yuhara and Harrison starter Scotty Lobel were tough to hit through the first two innings. Each team had a few hits, but were unable to break through until Yuhara’s at-bat. Yuhara worked the count full before fouling off four consecutive pitches. On the 10 pitch of the at-bat, Yuhara deposited the ball over the fence in left field.
“I knew he wasn’t going to throw me a breaking ball,” Yuhara said. “He finally came inside with a pitch.”
Trailing, 2-0, Harrison threatened in the top of the fourth as Will Marriot led off with a single and Matt Donohue walked. Yuhara registered a srikeout and force out and then catcher Paul Puccini threw out Harrison’s pinch runner, at second base, to end the inning.
“We were practicing that play before the game,” Yuhara said. “We had confidence that we would make the play. That was a key play.” Alston Tarry doubled, singled and scored twice. Mike Cappelli, Matt Rose and Lobel also had Harrison hits.
Harrison 000 0 -- 0 4 0
Eastchester 002 9 -- 11 7 0
RBI -- Nick Koutoulas 3, Tsubasa Yuhara 2, John Doherty 2, John Satriale, Benny Salanitro. 2B -- E: Nick Koutoulas. HR -- Nick Koutoulas, Tsubasa Yuhara. WP -- Tsubasa Yuhara. LP -- Scotty Lobel.