It had been nearly three weeks since the Peter J. Foley little leaguers took part in live game action. Head coach Ron Plasky held a slight concern that his players, a hand-picked group of all-stars from the PJFLL, would come out of the gates slow.
Plasky found early on his concerns were null.
PJF, playing in their opening game of the double-elimination district tournament, trounced their competition in a mercy-rule shortened, 14-0 win over Seymour.
“We just put the ball in play and hit the ball hard,” Plasky said. “Up and down the lineup, one through 12, everyone can hit, and it showed today.”
Hits were abundant and coming from every angle. The driving force behind the star-studded offense though, was the power-hitting tandem of David Kloc and E.J. Gunnison.
The two sluggers combined to go 6-for-6, with two home runs and eight RBIs. Kloc recorded RBI doubles in the first and third while smacking a home run deep to right in the second, and Gunnison got things started in the first with an RBI double and sent his home run off the wall past the left field fence at PJF Field in the third inning.
“Those guys are great power hitters,” Plasky said. “They really got a hold of some of those balls and drove them.”
Seymour was held off the scoreboard by PJF pitcher Aaron Yourison, who threw a gem of a game, recording at least one ‘K’ in each inning and five on the night. He kept hitters guessing, working his fastball and complimenting it with a strong off-speed arsenal.
“Aaron kept the hitters off balance all day,” Plasky said. “He made adjustments, established his fastballs early and then worked in his changeup and curveball very well.”
The win not only sets a tone for the team going in, but in a double-elimination competition, a win is a huge step toward overall success.
This tournament will determine which team is to represent the district in the state little league tournament later this summer. The winner of the state will then go on to represent Connecticut in the northeast competition, in hopes of booking a ticket to Williamsport, Pa., and the Little League World Series.
PJF will take on Union City at Sunnyside Field in Shelton on Friday at 5:30 p.m.