American Builders eliminates Howell Smith in Darlington

American Builders eliminates Howell Smith in Darlington

PAWTUCKET - After getting out to an early lead, American Builders followed suit with dominant pitching and defense to close out the first round of the Darlington American Little League Major Division playoffs with a 24-3 thumping over Howell Smith last week.

The young Howell Smith team put up a fight but in the end could not string enough together.

"I had a good group of kids who tried hard," Howell Smith head coach Peter Botelho said. "They improved on their level of effort and never gave up."

With only three teams in the major division there is one round of playoffs before the best-of-three championship series.

The American Builders made sure they only needed two games to eliminate Howell Smith. On the previous Monday they won 21-2 and put an exclamation point on the final game.

"They (Howell Smith) gave us 10 outs an inning," American Builders head coach Scott Brunelle said. "Cam (Wilson) pitched well. He had one shaky inning but recovered."

Wilson pitched the first three innings while Dylan Emery closed things out in the fourth. Not deterred by being down 9-0 in the first inning, Howell Smith came out in the bottom of the inning swinging. On the first pitch he saw, C.J. Cullen ripped a double to left and then stole third. Jacob Knox struck out, but attempted to reach first on a drop third strike allowing Cullen to score. Wilson got the next two outs on groundouts to end the inning.

Howell Smith tried to mount an epic comeback in the second inning after being down 17-1. They sent eight players to the plate and scored two runs. Xavier Botelho started things off with an infield hit to deep short and he stole second. Sean Filipe earned a walk before Bruce McGuire was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Ethan Karsulavich then walked to force in Botelho giving Howell Smith its second run. The number nine batter struck out before Cullen popped out to first. With the bases still loaded Knox walked to score Filipe but Howell Smith's rally came up short as Ilyas Torres' grounder forced out Knox to end the inning.

From there Wilson struck out the side in the third and Emery had a one-two-three fourth to give American Builders the win.

While Wilson had one shaky inning on the mound, Howell Smith had to use five pitchers. Filipe started for Howell Smith and learned quickly that walks can kill.

He walked Jaden Delomba to start the game before giving up a double to Brendan Kinch.

Wilson hit a fly to left field that went in and then out of the fielder's glove allowing Delomba and Kinch to score. Scott Brunelle continued things with a double down the right field line giving the American Builders the 3-0 lead.

Filipe was able to get two outs, a liner to first and a strikeout but gave up nine runs. He had given up two more walks while three runners reached on errors.

During his second at bat of the inning, Wilson hit a double to left forcing Filipe from the mound.

Knox stopped the bleeding with a strikeout to end the inning but faced his own troubles in the second.

Knox lasted through six batters in the second getting one out, a pop out to second. He gave up three walks and two bloop hits before being relieved by Torres. Botelho tried his hand in the third inning and gave up five runs of his own while Cullen pitched the fourth and gave up two runs.

Batters one through nine scored at least once for American Builders. Kinch was the only player to score four runs after getting five chances at bat. Delomba, Wilson, Brunelle, Emery and Cameron O'Brien all scored three times.

"We hit while walks really hurt Howell Smith," coach Brunelle said. "Now we move on to M&H which will be a tough task. We play them well though."