Champs go head to head

Marlins come away victorious in historic ballgame  

Union City Little League Marlins coach Dennis Sigetti fires up his team June 21 at the Joe Joy Complex in Naugatuck during a game versus the Peter J. Foley Little League Indians. The game was the first-ever meeting between the major division champions of the two borough Little Leagues. The Marlins won, 8-2. –KEN MORSE

Union City Little League Marlins coach Dennis Sigetti fires up his team June 21 at the Joe Joy Complex in Naugatuck during a game versus the Peter J. Foley Little League Indians. The game was the first-ever meeting between the major division champions of the two borough Little Leagues. The Marlins won, 8-2. –KEN MORSE

NAUGATUCK — In the first-ever match-up of Naugatuck Little League champs, Union City’s Marlins came out ahead.

The Marlins defeated the Peter J. Foley Little League Indians, 8-2, June 21 at the Joe Joy Complex on Morris Street.

Derrick Jagello tossed a complete game and slammed a two-run homer to help lead the Fish to an historic victory. The victory capped a successful season for the Marlins, who finished the season 21-1.

“We learned earlier in the season to respect every opponent and not take anything for granted,” Marlins manager Dennis Sigetti. “This team has played great all year.”

There was a buzz in the air as the two teams took part in special game on the first day of summer.

The two leagues had competed in district all-star tournaments and “Mayor’s Cup,” end-of-the-year games featuring all-star teams, but never had regular season teams squared off in a championship game.

Jagello was up for the moment. He struck out 10, didn’t issue a walk and allowed four hits. He also put the Marlins on the board first.

“Derrick has improved each year he’s played for us,” Sigetti said. “He’s just been a fantastic player and he showed it again today.”

In the bottom of the first, Josh Redding tripled for the Marlins and Jagello hit his ninth homer of the year on to the berm beyond the left field wall. Ryan Sutherland delivered an RBI single following base hits from Adam Ferrara and Alvin Torres to give the Marlins a 3-0 edge.

Stephan Bergeron answered in the top of the second with a solo home run half way up into the trees in the left center area.

“Stephan crushed that ball, definitely one of the longest little league home runs I have seen,” Indians manager Chip Delaney said. “I was very happy for Stephan to get himself a home run that he will remember for the rest of his life for sure. Stephan is a gamer, he deserved a moment like that, glad he got it in his last game as a little leaguer. Unfortunately for us, that was about all the offense we could muster up today.”

The Marlins tacked on another run in the second inning with a Devin Conway RBI single after hits from Ryan Maguire and Ty Coney.

In the fourth, Mason Audi singled home John Braziel for the Indians other run. In the bottom half, Torres added a two-run single, Jeff Schebell had a sac fly and Antonio Reyes had an RBI single for the Marlins.

The Indians won three straight games in the last week to win the Foley postseason tournament.

“These kids persevered and showed a lot of grit during the regular season,” Delaney said. “They put together a memorable championship run, playing their best baseball in late May and June when it mattered most.”

Both managers appreciated the moment of the game.

“Congrats to the Marlins, they were the best team in Naugatuck all season long, and they solidified that today,” Delaney said. “I think this was a very special day for Naugatuck Little League. I am happy to say my team was a part of this first annual game. Hopefully this becomes a tradition that lasts for many years to come. This was a big step toward the two leagues continuing to work together for the betterment of Naugatuck baseball as a whole.”

Sigetti gave credit to the Indians and said his team felt some butterflies prior to the game.

“We had a confident group of kids,” Sigetti said.  “But you actually felt the nerves because the game was something different, something exciting, it’s the last game of year.  The kids were nervous, but they were an excited nervous.  It’s cool to say this team is the actual champ of Naugatuck. It’s something special and hopefully we can continue this game for years to come.”

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