On Sunday, July 28, the Southington South All-Stars had a chance to make history, but officials waved off play when the locals fell behind by 10 runs. Newington had rallied to an 11-1 lead before play was called in the fourth inning.
There were no Southington players running onto the field with fists pumping wildly. There were no local parents cheering in the stands…but there were no tears either. Southington still has a chance at a state title with a victory in their next contest.
Nothing seems to stop this band of local ballers. It’s a group of all-star players from the 9-10 year old division of Southington South Little League, and the loss in the second game of the state finals was their first defeat in 12 postseason contests.
The run began in early July with a 5-2 victory over Berlin in the District 5 championship. With a lopsided, 17-6, win over Wallingford in the winner’s bracket and a 14-6 win in the rematch, Southington South came away with a District 5 title. But the boys were just getting started.
At sectionals, the team rallied for wins over Prospect (2-0) and Fairfield American (3-2) before besting Wilton (15-4) at the McCabe-Waters Little League Complex in Bristol to capture their second title in two weeks.
With an 11-0 all-star record, the team has already collected a District 5 and a Section I title. It was enough to propel them into a best of three series against Newington for a chance to claim the state title. This is the first time since 1969 that the league has sent a team into the final round.
“This feels awesome,” said Southington South head coach Chris LaPorte. “I don’t know what it is about this team, but it doesn’t matter what the score is, they just want to play baseball. They don’t look at the scoreboard. We hope this run continues.”
Members of the team are Daniel DiCorpo, Dylan Olson, Nicholas Buonanni, Jake Napoli, Drew Belcourt, Michael Gurzenda, Jake Neuman, Vincent Spizzoucco, Sean Olson, Jackson Cardozo, Shane LaPorte, Colby Powell, and Cole Matusik. The coaching staff includes Chris LaPorte, Erik Olson, and Chris Matusik.
On Saturday, July 27, the boys rallied past Newington, 13-3, in the opening game in Guilford. The following day, they suffered their first defeat. The two squads were scheduled to lock horns in a Tuesday finale after this article has gone to press.
Who knows? Southington might already be celebrating the victory.
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer John Goralski, email him at jgoralski@ southingtonobserver.com.