SHELTON — Beacon Falls’ Robert A. Cole Little League 9-10-year-old all-stars claimed the league’s first District 3 championship at Sunnyside School in Shelton last Saturday by defeating Ansonia, 7-3.
Beacon Falls went 4-0 in the tournament, outscoring the opposition, 30-7, including a convincing, 13-1 win over Ansonia in the first game of the tournament.
The team, coached by Adam Laput, Corey Tomasella and Bob Bennard, will now advance and play in the sectional tournament that will get underway this week at Peter J. Foley Field in Naugatuck.
“This is a great achievement for the kids and our league,” RACBL president Scott Szturma said. “We have only been in the Little League organization for three years and this shows tremendous progress not only for the kids but the dedicated coaches in the league.”
Beacon Falls came into the championship game swinging hot bats, scoring 23 runs in three games, and getting solid pitching, allowing just four runs. That was the combination that carried the locals to the championship as Zach Bedryczuk went 4 2/3 innings on the hill, scattering just four hits.
Justin Butterworth came on in relief and struck out the side in the final inning to secure the victory as the rest of the all-stars charged out of the dugout for the celebration at the mound.
After the awards ceremony the team took a victory lap around the field displaying the 2011 District 3 championship banner as the crowd of well-wishers cheered them on.
“This is a great group of kids,” Laput said. “They came out here in this tournament and they swung the bats with confidence. The pitchers did an outstanding job and I can’t say enough about our defense. These kids just flat out made all the plays in the field.”
Beacon Falls erupted for five runs in the second inning. Bedryczuk, Kyle Macek, Tyler Tomasella and Zach Bennard all came around to score with Butterworth coming through with a two-out, two-run double. Albert Pangrac plated the final run of the outburst with a RBI single to right.
Armed with a 5-0 lead, Bedryczuk came out and struck out the side in the third to serve notice to Ansonia that the end was near.
Beacon Falls tacked on a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the third as Zach Laput led off with a bomb that settled into the right-field corner for a triple. Macek drew a walk and the locals pulled off a delayed double steal with Laput swiping the home plate.
Macek went on to steal his second base of the inning. Jackson Henry didn’t waste the opportunity as he jumped all over a fastball, sending a run-scoring single to center.
David Kiernan singled and stole a base to set up runners at second and third before Ansonia closed the door on the rally. When Ansonia came to bat in the fourth inning, it was staring down the barrel of a 7-0 deficit.
Bedryczuk was on his game, recording all three outs on the hill and Beacon Falls was just two innings away from its first ever district championship.
A leadoff walk and a single by Stephen Sulkowski set up Ansonia in the fifth inning. Mike Mankulics unloaded a two-run hit to cut the gap to 7-2. But Justin Marks came off first base and hauled in a foul pop-up down to end the uprising.
Beacon Falls tried to get something going in the bottom of the fifth with Ryan Rovasio and Ryan Swanson reaching on fielder’s choices. Ansonia got a run back in its final at-bat before Butterworth struck out the side to secure the win.
“We knew coming into this tournament that we would be competitive,” Laput said. “The dedication of our coaches all season long had these kids ready to play. I’m so proud of each and every one of them. They all contributed to this victory.”