Prospect little leaguers win District 3 title

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The Prospect Little League 9-and-10-year-old all-stars celebrate their second straight District 3 tournament championship last week. –CONTRIBUTED
The Prospect Little League 9-and-10-year-old all-stars celebrate their second straight District 3 tournament championship last week. –CONTRIBUTED

SHELTON — Even at the all-star level, it still comes down to fundamentals.  

The Prospect Little League 9-and-10-year-old baseball all-stars won their second straight District 3 tournament championship last week. Their manager said it came down to executing in every aspect of the game.

The title game was a 1-0 pitcher’s duel. It came down to producing a run that started with an infield hit.

“At this level, we really teach the kids that it’s all about basic baseball,” Prospect manager Darren Bedard said. “If you ask any one of my players they will tell you that we preach that games are won and lost by basic baseball. That was evident in the championship game.”

In the final game, Prospect used its final at-bat to score the game-winner. Jacob Theroux led off with an infield hit and Drew Shea followed with a walk.

Next, Caleb Shirk drove the ball down the right field line to knock in the only run of the game. The victory marked Prospect’s fourth straight in an undefeated run through the Little League district that covers the Naugatuck Valley.

Jason Claiborn pitched the first three innings, Austin Bedard threw the fourth and fifth and Vinny Denze closed it out to earn the win.

The tournament run started with a 6-2 win over Peter J. Foley in Prospect. Bedard and Trey Mastropietro had two hits each, while Matthew Belcher, Ryan Montini and Kyle Simpson each had a hit of their own.

Jason Claiborn was the winning pitcher and also chipped in with a fifth-inning triple.

Prospect used a six-run fifth inning to defeat Robert A. Cole in its second game.

In its third game, Prospect defeated Seymour, the 2012 runner-up in the district tournament.

Denze also led off the sixth in that game with a base hit. Claiborn followed with an RBI single to score Denze.

Matthew Belcher drove in the winning run in the bottom of the sixth for Prospect.

In addition, Denze homered on a 3-2 count earlier in the game, driving a long home run over the left field wall for Prospect’s only homer of the tournament.

Prospect is scheduled to face Farmington Little League on Wednesday in the first game of the Section 1 tournament. Connecticut has two Little League sections, with the two tournament winners facing off for the state title.