Downtown Danny O’s claimed the 2012 Connecticut ASA State Wood Tournament championship in an all-Valley final with a 9-3 victory over Traitor Softball from Shelton.
The young bucks from Downtown Danny O’s emerged as the cream of the crop from a field of 11 teams, the largest field in the five-year history of the tourney.
Contingents from Clinton, Southington, West Haven, Milford, Monroe, Stratford, Norwalk and the Valley participated.
After the teams traded zeroes through the first two innings of the championship game, Traitor broke through by stringing together six straight two-out hits in the third to produce three runs.
Those three runs held up until the bottom of the sixth, when the dormant Danny O’s offense awoke to plate nine runs. Key hits in the game-deciding rally were two-run singles by Mike Pearson and winning pitcher Bill Manion.
Mark Shevlin and Ant Santacroce garnered three hits to lead Danny O’s.
The final game was actually the if-game that Traitor forced when it came out of the loser’s bracket to edge Danny O’s, 2-1 in eight innings.
Danny O’s began its march to the state crown with a 5-0 win over their older brethren from Downtown Danny O’s. Craig Chapman led the way at the plate by going a perfect 3-for-3.
In the winner’s bracket semifinal, Danny O’s left little doubt as to the game’s outcome, scoring seven times in the first and five times in the second en route to a 12-2 triumph over Space-Craft of West Haven.
The well-balanced offense had Dan Matosian, Josh Cone, Luca Durante, Joe Czarnecki, Charlie Eye and Chapman all contributing two hits apiece.
The winner’s bracket final had Danny O’s downing Traitor, 9-3. Danny O’s took a 2-1 lead after one and gradually upped its advantage to 9-1, before Traitor plated the game’s final two runs in the sixth.
Santacroce enjoyed a 4-for-4 game, while Shevlin banged out three hits to pace the winning attack.
Santacroce compiled a .750 batting average and Shevlin a .588 average for the entire tournament. Bill Manion was on the mound every game.
Others contributing to the championship run were Chris Castaldi, Jay Wilson, Jeff Putnick, Mike Benoit and Mike Santacroce.