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Arlotta's Home Run Fuels Harrison to 13-10 Win

WHITE PLAINS, NY -- Michael Arlotta knew it as soon as he hit it. His two-run clout Tuesday highlighted a nine-run fifth inning as Harrison rallied to a 13-10 victory over Eastchester in the District 20 Little League Baseball 9-10 year-old winners’ bracket final at Gedney Park in White Plains, Harrison advances to the final, Saturday, at 4 p.m. at Gedney Field. Harrison will await the winner of Eastchester-White Plains, which will be played Thursday, 5:45 p.m., at Eastchester’s O’Rourke Field. These teams met last week with Eastchester winning a slugfest, 11-8.

Harrison trailed 8-4 entering the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, Joe Tiburzi began the rally with a single to center. Joe Reilly was safe on an error. Jack Wolf laced a double to left, scoring pinch-runner Joe DiDonato and Reilly.  Wolf’s hit was contagious as the hitting bug spread throughout the lineup. Noa Oki singled to center, chasing Wolf home and setting the stage for Arlotta. In his previous at-bat, Arlotta popped up, which did not make him happy.

 “I chased a high pitch and got under it,” said Arlotta, who was enjoying a donut in celebration of teammate Derek Ferraro’s birthday. “My dad showed me the pitch was high and told me I should not have swung at it.”

Prior to his at-bat, Arlotta said the team had regained the momentum. “Jack’s hit got us more pumped up and psyched in the inning,” Arlotta said. Arlotta was looking for a first-pitch fastball and he received it. He stepped into it and lined a home run over the fence in left center. His mother, Lisa, retrieved the ball and he was proudly holding it after the game.

 “Their pitcher put it right down the middle,” Arlotta said. “It felt good coming off the bat. I hit it right in the middle of the sweet spot.”

Arlotta’s rip gave Harrison a 9-8 lead. Billy O’Meara and Tiburzi added run-scoring singles and Christian Pizzutello drilled a run-scoring double. Matt Rinaldi had a pair of two-run doubles for Eastchester. Matt Zingaro doubled in a run and Anthony Chiodi scored two runs.

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