New Hartford’s Jack Angelucci catches some air trying to score as Whitestown Catcher Cameron Hunter applies the tag for a first inning out at the plate.
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
The New Hartford Little League All-Stars took a major step toward the New York District 10 “A” All-Star crown this afternoon by defeating previously unbeaten Whitestown, by a score of 8-0 at Sauquoit.
Andrew Circelli had everything working on the mound for New Hartford, striking out 13 Whitestown batters in the complete game shutout win.
The big right hander yielded just three hits on the day and walked just one batter for New Hartford, which improved to (4-0) in tournament play.
New Hartford jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the home half of the first inning and never looked back.
Tyler Moran started things off by reaching first on a fielder’s choice and then Circelli helped his own cause by singling to right field, to put runners at first and third with one out.
After Whitestown pitcher, Bryce Gnatek, got David Antone to fly out to the first baseman for the second out, Josh Farmer tapped a grounder to the infield, but the ball was mishandled and Moran scored to make it 1-0.
This particular group of New Hartford players are no strangers to success in Little League All-Star play.
In 2010, as 9-10 year olds, pretty much this same group of players advanced all the way to the New York State Final Four after winning District 10 and Section 2.
Circelli went back to work in the top of the second, striking out the side on just 14 pitches, making it six consecutive strikeouts to open the ball game.
Both pitchers found a groove in the second and third innings. Gnatek, just an 11 year old who already has a no-hitter under his belt in this tournament, mixed a nice fastball with a very deceptive change-up, to keep New Hartford’s big bats quiet in innings two,three and four.
Andrew Circelli, meanwhile, didn’t allow a Whitestown hit until the top of the of the fourth, when Mike DeCrescenzo lifted an outside fastball into right field.
After Cameron Hunter was hit by a pitch, Circelli got Jake Montrose to ground out to end the inning, preserving the four run advantage.
Whitestown had another opportunity in the top of the fifth, on back to back two out singles by Colin McAndrew and Griffin Sciortino, putting runners at first and second with two away.
Circelli then had an extended battle with Whitestown leadoff man, Joey Panuccio. Circelli, the kid with the nasty fastball, won the war, getting the pesky Panuccio to fly out to right field to end the inning.
The New Hartford bats exploded in the home half of the fifth. Tyler Moran started things off in a dramatic fashion, when he hit a towering home run to right center field, just as the noon whistle came to life at the Sauquoit Volunteer Fire Department.
Up 5-0, Circelli then singled for his second hit of the ball game, following a key strikeout by Gnatek for the second out of the inning.
Josh Farmer then smacked a hard RBI single to left, scoring Moran to make it 6-0, New Hartford. Farmer ended up on third, when the ball was mishandled by the outfielder.
Matt Chiffy then tripled to right field, scoring Farmer and giving New Hartford a firm 7-0 lead.
Chiffy came in to score on a wild pitch, giving New Hartford an 8-0 lead, which is the way this one would end.
Whitestown, Tri-County and Marcy-Deerfield are the three teams remaining in the loser’s bracket.
The District 10 “A” All-Star Final will take place on Monday, July 8th at 6:00 p.m. back at Sauquoit.
Bryce Gnatek went the distance on the hill for Whitestown, yielding 6 earned runs, striking out 4 and walking 3.
Andrew Circelli, Tyler Moran and Josh Farmer all had two hits apiece for New Hartford.
New Hartford 8 Whitestown 0
1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Whitestown 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2
New Hartford 4 0 0 0 4 x 8 8 0