Little League: Nationals downed in District final
Just two days after defeating crosstown rival Shelton American, manager Bill Ciccone’s Shelton National team fell to Seymour by a score of 7-1 in the District III Little League championship game on Saturday at the Nike Complex.
The decision gave Seymour its third consecutive District III title, and they will move on to face District V in the state tournament in Thomaston.
Colin Mengold took the mound for Shelton National, tossing four innings and allowing seven runs and 12 hits. He was relieved by Anthony Steele, who threw a scoreless fifth inning and struck out one.
Seymour set the tone early on, scoring four runs in the top of the first on three hits, including RBI doubles by Keegan Kennedy and Cody Guillette.
Shelton put 10 batters on the bases, but managed only a single run.
Bobby Lee led off the game with a double on a 2-2 count, but never got past second.
Mengold and Santino DeFilippo reached base on a single and a walk in the top of the second.
In the third, Colin St. Pierre and Robert Ciccone knocked back-to-back singles, but were both left stranded.
Steele singled and DeFilippo drew a walk to put two runners on with no outs in the top of the fourth, but once again Shelton National couldn’t manufacture a run.
Seymour tacked on a run in the bottom of the third with back-to-back singles by Kennedy and Guillette and a double by Brian Romaniello, extending its lead to 5-0.
Seymour’s starter Jack Crocamo turned over the reins to reliever Bailey Newman in the top of the fifth.
Austin Jose singled off Newman on a 1-2 count with two away, but Newman struck out the following batter and worked his way out of the jam.
Steele came in to pitch the bottom of the fifth and handled Seymour easily, striking out the first batter and working a one-two-three inning.
Shelton’s last chance to put together a rally came in the top of the sixth.
Leading off and swinging on an 0-2 count, the lefty-batting Steele made contact off the end of the bat and launched an unusual opposite-field home run into the trees beyond the left-field fence, cutting the deficit to 7-1.
The run seemed to reinvigorate Shelton. DeFilippo, worked the count full before drawing a base on balls. Mengold followed with a hard-hit grounder to second that was mishandled, putting runners on first and second.
The baseball gods weren’t in Shelton’s favor on this day, however.
Hudson Meyer connected for a searing line drive that was snagged at second, and a pair of tough infield outs ended the 11th-hour threat.
“We though we could handle them, but they came at us pretty strongly,” Ciccone said. “Even so, I couldn’t ask for a better group of players — they’ve got good heads in their shoulders, and even though they lost today, they hold their head high and respect the sport — that’s what matters.”