Westport advances to championship by showing no mercy
Published 3:21 pm, Tuesday, July 19, 2011
One more win.
That's what the Westport 10 year old Little League All-Star team needs in order to win the Section 1 Sectional Tournament and qualify for the best of three State Championship finals.
Westport clinched a berth for tonight's Sectional Championship game Monday with a 12-0 victory over North Stamford at P.J. Foley Field in a game that ended after four innings because of the mercy rule to finish pool play with a 3-1 record. North Stamford ended pool play at 1-3.
"It feels good, especially after the second game [of pool play]," said Westport Coach Tim Rogers, who was referring to his team's lone blemish, an 11-10 setback to Edgewood Thursday.
Westport has hit well in all four games at Sectionals, scoring at least 10 runs in every game and its all three wins ended after four innings via the mercy rule. Scoring in the first inning has fueled Westport in the last week and Monday's win over North Stamford was no exception, opening the game with four runs in the top of the first.
The first five Westport batters had base hits with Chris Drbal and Drew Rogers setting the tables with singles and Chad Knight followed with a double. Matt Stone and Alex Reiner followed with singles and with two outs, Harry Azadian hit an RBI single to make it 4-0.
"We hit in all four games and the bats have been great," Tim Rogers said. "The bats at Sectionals have been better than it was at Districts [Westport won districts before advancing to sectionals]."
Drbal hit a double in the second but Westport didn't score in the inning. In the top of the third, Westport erupted for eight runs with Knight hitting grand slam homer over the left-center field fence. Drbal, Reiner and Alec Burns hit singles in the inning as Westport took advantage of walks and a hit batsman.
The righty Azadian started on the mound for Westport and pitched three innings in getting the win. He allowed two hits, walked three and struck out four. Fellow right-hander Burns pitched the fourth, allowed no hits, walked one and struck out two.
"We are blessed with good pitching and have four to five pitchers we can put out there," Tim Rogers said. "Other teams have a big drop off between their No. 1 and 2 or their No. 2 and 3 pitchers."
Westport hopes to avenge its 11-10 loss to Edgewood when the two teams meet at 6:30 at Foley Field. Coach Rogers knows his team didn't play its best game the first time against Edgewood and is confident going into it.
"If we play our game, I like our chances," he said. "Hopefully, it [fielding] won't be an issue and I hope we don't play like we did Thursday."