Defense sparks offense as Shelton tops Monroe for District 3 Little League championship

Shelton celebrates its District 3 Little League championship Wednesday after defeating Monroe 5-0.

Shelton celebrates its District 3 Little League championship Wednesday after defeating Monroe 5-0.

Michael Fornabaio / Hearst Connecticut Media

NAUGATUCK — The teams’ third meeting of the District 3 Little League tournament turned in the third inning, with a cap flying off a head and a ball flying into the scoreboard, as Shelton defeated Monroe 5-0 Wednesday at Peter J. Foley Field.

Shelton had lost to Masuk earlier in the double-elimination tournament and won three games to get to the final. It beat Monroe 2-0 on Tuesday to set up the rubber match between two self-described tight-knit teams.

“It helps that we know each other,” said Shelton pitcher Jonathan DiCicco, who threw a three-hit shutout and hit a solo home run in the fifth. “Playing with each other a long time, we have experience with each other.”

They made some impressive defensive plays behind DiCicco, none bigger than the one that ended the top of the third and kept the game scoreless.

Monroe loaded the bases on a one-out double, single and walk. After a strikeout, a fly ball to shallow right-center might’ve brought in two, but centerfielder Andre Quick raced in, cap flying off his head, to line it up and make the catch as left fielder Brayden Thompson scooped up the cap to follow him toward the dugout.

“It hyped up everybody,” DiCicco said.

Quick led off the bottom of the inning with a single, and four straight one-out hits followed, including a DiCicco two-run double and Gianni Piscioniere’s two-run homer halfway up the scoreboard in center field.

Shelton advances to the Section 2 tournament next week. That begins with a round-robin: host Southington South, the District 6 champion, plays District 5 victor Burlington-Harwinton on Monday. Shelton will face Monday’s winner on Tuesday, and the other team on Wednesday. The top two teams meet Thursday for a spot in the four-team, double-elimination state tournament.

Monroe had a baserunner in all but one inning Wednesday but couldn’t scratch out a run.

“Yeah, we got guys on base and unfortunately didn’t get that one big hit to make things happen,” Monroe manager Dave Dellacato said. “We put guys on base even yesterday and unfortunately just didn’t didn’t get it done. But we gave it everything we’ve got.”

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp

SHELTON 5, MONROE 0

MONROE000 000—0 3 0

SHELTON004 01x—5 8 0

Batteries: M—Nate O’Hara (L), Trent Dellacato (5) and Teddy Walsh, Parker Driscoll; S—Jonathan DiCicco (W) and Jonny Rodrigues

Home runs: S—Gianni Piscioniere, DiCicco.