HAWTHORNE, NY -- Javy Lopez delivered a huge hit in the first inning and would later close the door on a victory for White Plains in the District 20 Little League Baseball Majors winners bracket semifinal.
White Plains defeated Ardsley, 9-4 Friday at Sherman Park Little League. White Plains will play Eastchester, a 6-2 victor over Sherman Park, in the winners bracket final Friday at Harrisons Brentwood Park. Ardsley plays Harrison in a losers bracket game Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. at McDowell Field in Ardsley.
Lopez smacked a two-run homer in the top of the first inning, giving White Plains a 3-0 lead it would never relinquish. Lopez pitched the last three innings to earn a save for winning pitcher Dan Lotito.
Lopez, who said it was the first time he pitched in two weeks, did not allow a run and struck out three. The 12-year-old eighth-grader at Eastview Middle School said he was looking for a good pitch to hit in his first at-bat. He was not looking for a home run.
It was a changeup and I saw it good coming out of the pitchers hand, Lopez said. I just thought it was a hit because I was looking to get on base.
The clout, deep into right center, scored Lotito, who drove in Damian Vignone with a fielders choice. Vignone tripled with one out. White Plains extended its lead to 5-1 in the third, but Ardsley rallied with three runs. Jason Rosenfeld singled and scored, Ricky Chenard walked and scored and Yuhan Bae, who had a run-scoring single, scored the third run on a Mathew Miller single.
Our coach told us after that inning that we just needed to hit the ball and we needed to double their runs, Lopez said.
White Plains added single runs in the fourth on a Jack Ryan double and in the fifth on a Lotito single. The team tacked on two more, one on a Vignone sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Julian McGarvey doubled, singled and had an RBI for Ardsley. Brent Ito doubled and scored and Bae singled twice and scored a run.
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