NUTLEY, NJ- It was a battle of cross-town rivals as Nutley American defeated Nutley East in a 2-0 thriller during 12-year-old District 8 Little League All-Star Tournament match-up this morning at Nutley American Field.
The fast-paced, hour and five-minute game was a pitcher’s dual with the only scoring coming in the bottom of the 5th inning as American’s Kevin Jiratatprasot launched a two-run homer over the centerfield scoreboard.
East threatened in the top of the sixth inning after a hit batsman, a stolen base and a walk gave them runners on first and third with two outs. But Jiratatprasot shut down the rally with a groundball force-out to second base to end the game.
The lefty Jiratatprasot threw a complete-game one-hitter for American, following up his perfect game in last Saturday’s 6-0 tournament win against Livingston. Righthanded pitcher Michael Zitola for East gave up only five hits, including the deciding two-run homer.
It was the third game for each team in the pool-play tournament that involves eight teams from surrounding towns. Pool A consists of Bloomfield, Caldwell, Ironbound and North Ward. Pool B is made up of Nutley American, Nutley East, Belleville and Livingston.
East was 2-0 entering today’s game, with previous wins over Belleville last Friday and Livingston on Sunday. The two teams return to action next week in the last of their four pool games on Thursday, July 5, as Nutley American hosts Bloomfield, and Nutley East hosts North Ward. Both games begin at 6 pm.
The top team from both Pool A and Pool B will meet in the District 8 Championship on Monday, July 9, 6 p.m. at Nutley American Field.
Meanwhile, in the 10-year-old District 8 All-Star Tournament, Nutley East defeated Belleville 16 to 7 last night. East was powered with five runs in both the second and fourth innings to give Belleville the loss.
Nutley East is now 2-1 in the tournament, having beaten North Ward on Monday, but losing to Livingston on Wednesday. Next up for Nutley East is a game against Nutley American this Monday, July 2, 6 p.m. at Nutley East Field.
There are seven teams in the 10-year-old pool-play tournament, including Nutley American, Nutley East, Belleville, Livingston. Caldwell, Ironbound and North Ward. The top two teams meet in the final on Wednesday, July 11, 6 p.m. in Livingston.
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