Diamondbacks win Union City title

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NAUGATUCK — The Diamondbacks won the regular season baseball title at Union City Little League, and captured the postseason tournament last week.

The D-Backs held off the Yankees, 8-7, on June 21 to take the title after back-to-back close games between the two teams. The Yankees finished third during the regular season.

In the deciding game, the Yankees fought back from an early 5-0 deficit to tie the game and force a dramatic last at-bat. Ross Via pitched out of a first-and-second, no-out jam to record the final out and earn the win.

Ted McCarthy had three hits, including the go-ahead, two-run hit in the top of the fifth to give the D-Backs an 8-7 lead.

The Diamondbacks scored four runs in the top of the first inning. Joel Guzman led off with a double. Jonathan Vincent singled him home before McCarthy and Elliott Via loaded the bases. Ross Via then singled home two runs and Jay Mezzo finished up the scoring with an RBI single.

Starting pitcher Jonathan Harris struck out the side to escape a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the first.

In the second, the Diamondbacks’ Nick Boudreau lined a hard single to right, stole second, and later scored on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 5-0.

The Yankees, who had 10 hits, answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the second with a walk to Troy Poppel and singles by Tommy Stroher, Zack Starziski, and Nik Mayo.  Mayo had two hits in the game.

The Diamondbacks scored again in the third on a single by McCarthy, who stole second and third. McCarthy scored on a single by Harris to increase the lead to 6-3.

The Yanks tied the game with three runs in the fourth before the D-Backs scored the eventual winning run in the fifth on the McCarthy hit that scored Vincent and Nate Goodall.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees threatened, putting runners on first and second with no outs. The Diamondbacks’ defense dug in.

Two hard ground balls to McCarthy at third base resulted in two force plays at second. A fly ball to Vincent, who had five putouts on the day in center field, ended the game and the season.

Ryan Shemanski and Cody Tribble also provided stellar defense during the game for the D-Backs. Colin Sheedy started for the Yankees, while Alex Kosciuszek finished the game in relief.

On June 20, the Yankees forced a deciding game with a 6-2 win. They erased a 2-0 deficit and Mayo pitched complete game for the victory. Kosciuszek led the Yankees with two hits and four RBIs, while Sheedy, Corey Grohs, Mayo and Justin Papp all had hits.

Guzman started and struck out nine for the D-Backs.  Elliott Via singled and Tyler Blair doubled in the loss.

The Yankee defense was stellar and held the Diamondbacks scoreless for the last five innings, including an outstanding running catch in center field by Nick Testone to end the game.