BANGOR, Maine — Kennett Square, Pa., the U.S. East champions, took another step toward sewing up a berth in the Senior League World Series semifinals on Tuesday night as they received 3 2/3 innings of one-run relief from Ryan Barrett and Tucker Reese and broke open a close game with five seventh-inning runs to beat Clear Ridge from Chicago 9-4.
Kennett Square is now 3-0 in Pool B with a game remaining against 2-0 Latin American champs Panama on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Clear Ridge is 0-3 and will conclude its tournament with a game against Europe and Africa winner Emilia, Italy, at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Barrett protected a 4-3 lead by hurling 2 2/3 innings of two-hit one-run ball before Reese got the final three outs courtesy of a double-play ball and a groundout.
Kennett Square turned the 4-3 lead into a 9-3 advantage with the five-run rally in the seventh before Clear Ridge pushed one across in the bottom of the seventh.
“I just threw strikes and stayed around the strike zone,” said Barrett, who retired the first seven hitters he faced including five via ground balls. “My fastball and curve were both going good.”
“Ryan is our closer and he’s great in those situations,” said Joe Zirolli, who was the starting pitcher and went the first 3 1/3 innings.
Kennett Square parlayed six singles into four first-inning runs but Clear Ridge rallied for a pair in the bottom of the first and another in the third to pull within 4-3.
Clear Ridge pitcher Quinn Snarskis settled down and fired five shutout innings thanks to his impressive sweeping slider and his three-quarter arm delivery before the East winners erupted in the seventh.
Zirolli triggered the rally with a single to left-center and Reese blooped a single to right.
After a passed ball, Andrew Jones’ shallow pop fly between the second baseman and right fielder was dropped for an error to allow one run to score. Eric Takoushian’s infield single delivered the second run and Dan Garver ripped a sharp RBI single to right.
Joey Madera came on in relief because Snarskis had reached the 95-pitch limit and RBI singles by Jake Freeman and Drew Jarmuz capped the uprising.
Jarmuz’s single was his seventh hit of the tournament.
“I just went out and tried to throw my best stuff. My endurance got down [in the seventh]. I tried to do my best but they got to me,” said Snarskis.
“We’ve never seen a pitcher put our order down like he did,” said Kennett Square manager Todd Duerr. “His slider was catching the front part of the plate and breaking outside. There was no way for our guys to get it. But we finally figured it out and got it going.
“Throughout our tournaments, our bats have tended to come back alive in the sixth and seventh innings. We rally around each other,” added Duerr.
Kennett Square opened the game with consecutive infield singles by Jarmuz, Alex Pechin and Eric Duerr before Zirolli followed with an RBI single to left.
Reese’s fielder’s choice, Jones’s single and Takoushian’s fielder’s choice delivered the other runs.
“My slider wasn’t working real well in the first inning. I was hanging it and they were getting some good pieces [of the bat] on it,” said Snarskis. “But I settled down and tried to get more spin on it.”
A walk, singles by Ryan Kramer and Snarskis (RBI), a wild pitch and an error produced the two runs in the bottom of the first for Clear Ridge.
In the third, Kramer singled, Snarskis was hit by a pitch and Kevin Aderman had an RBI single before Zirolli retired the next three hitters to preserve the lead.
Garver and Duerr had three singles apiece for Kennett Square while Zirolli, Takoushian and Jarmuz had two singles each. Takoushian had two runs batted in while Jarmuz, Zirolli, Reese, Jones, Garver and Freeman had one each.
Kramer had two singles and scored twice for Clear Ridge while Snarskis and Aderman contributed RBI singles.
In Pool A action, U.S. Southeast champ Martinez, Ga., scored five runs in the first three innings en route to a 10-0 victory in 4 1/2 innings over Canadian champ Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, in the day’s first game while U.S. West champ Pearl City, Hawaii, blanked Asia-Pacific champ Makati City, Philippines, 11-0 in six innings in the nightcap.
Hawaii improved to 3-0 and Georgia to 1-1, while Canada slipped to 0-3 and the Philippines to 0-2.
Evan Krenz sparked Georgia’s early start with an RBI double in the first inning and Isaiah Davila added an RBI single. Brandon Hensley doubled twice and drove in two runs.
Tyler Avret turned in a strong 3 1/3 innings for Georgia as he didn’t allow a run, walked one and struck out five.
Kenzie Lahey and Tyler MacKinnon each doubled for Nova Scotia.
Brandon Henderson sparked Hawaii in the nightcap during a four-run sixth with an RBI triple. Colby Hirano added an RBI single, Kawaiola Takemura contributed an RBI double and Matthew Tsutomi had a sacrifice fly in the inning.
Henderson was also strong on the mound with four shutout innings while giving up three hits and striking out six.