Edgewood turns back Westport Little League in Sectional finals
Updated 11:13 pm, Thursday, July 21, 2011
Edgewood proved to be the bete noire for the Westport 10 year olds Little League All-Star team.
Westport won every time since it selected the all-star team -- except when it faced Edgewood. After going 3-1 in pool play, Westport lost 5-1 to Edgewood Wednesday at P.J. Foley Field in Naugatuck in the Section 1 Sectional championship game.
With the victory, Edgewood heads to the State Championship round. Westport, who was 7-0 in district play, lost 11-10 to Edgewood in the final at-bat July 14 and on another day, the outcome could have been different. Proof of that was the fact Edgewood, who was also 3-1 in pool play, lost 14-7 to Orange, a team Westport defeated 21-3.
"I'm a little disappointed but their kid pitched his heart out and pitched a great game," Westport Coach Tim Rogers said. "We didn't beat ourselves and that's all I can ask for."
Rogers was referring to Edgewood starting right-hander Noah Plantamuro, who silenced Westport's bats. Before losing in the pinnacle game to the ace, Westport's bats were on fire, scoring at least 10 runs in every game during pool play, grabbing its three wins through the mercy rule (winning by 10 runs or more). Plantamuro was too much for Westport as he threw 79 pitches and allowed one run on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
"Our pitching and defense was great," Rogers said. "We didn't strike out much and the balls we hit found their gloves and they made the plays, including some outstanding ones. Plantamuro was their ace. For a 10 year old, he's a great pitcher. He throws a breaking ball and a changeup and he throws them for strikes."
Plantamuro was helped when Westport's Alex Reiner hit a shot to left in the bottom of the fourth, but was robbed when left fielder Josh Nohilly made a diving catch. Westport was also denied when Alec Burns hit one to center in the sixth, but center fielder Macgregor Goulet made a running catch on it. In the second, Sean Hogan lined a shot that second baseman Jack Denote caught.
Edgewood, on the other
Edgewood, on the other hand, had 10 hits, but three of them didn't leave the infield and a fourth one was a popper that just dropped in shallow left field. After allowing those hits, Edgewood followed with a few hard-hit legitimate singles to the outfield.
Although Westport starting right-hander Chad Knight gave up four runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts, he still pitched a good game and his statistics are deceiving. All four runs were earned because Westport had no errors, but Knight wasn't rocked at all.
"They hit some balls that found holes and got four of their runs with two outs," Rogers said. "That's good timely hitting."
Knight retired the first two batters of the game but after allowing an infield hit on a slow roller, Edgewood had two more hits to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Chris Drbal led off the bottom of the first with a double to center for the only extra base hit of the game but he wasn't able to advance.
Westport played well defensively all game. Max Popkin made a catch in right field in the top of the second. For the most part, it prevented Edgewood from taking the extra base on shots to the outfield.
After Edgewood loaded the bases with no outs in the third, Knight induced a popup to catcher Matt Stone and with one out, Popkin, who moved to third base, threw out the runner at home with Stone making the tag for the force out. However, on a 1-and-2 pitch, Shane Caron pulled a ground ball down the third base line into left field for a two-run single to make it 3-0.
Jack Lieder (2-2) led off the bottom of the third with a double to left and advanced to third on Drbal's groundout. Drew Rogers plated Lieder for Westport's only run of the game with a single to center field.
Edgewood scored a run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly, but on the play, Westport alertly saw that another Edgewood runner tagged up early after left fielder Will Smith threw it to Stone. Stone then threw it to Knight, who threw it to Drew Rogers at first and Rogers tagged the bag to complete the double play.
Lieder singled in the fifth but Westport couldn't convert it into a run.
The right-handed Burns relieved Knight in the fourth and pitched two innings. He walked three and struck out three and allowed a run on one hit in the sixth.
Knight had an infield single in the sixth and right-hander Dave Bernier relieved Plantamuro. Bernier allowed Reiner's single to put runners on first and second but closed out the game.
"It was a tremendous run," Tim Rogers said. "I couldn't be more proud of the boys. They played their hearts out with great sportsmanship every time they stepped onto the field the last month."