The West Haven 12-U All-Stars advanced to the playoff portion in tournament play this week. The Westies split their first two games of the week to secure a spot in the playoff portion of the tournament.
The Westies opened the week with a 5-0 victory over Branford at Morse Park last Monday evening. Anthony Constantinople was in control from start to finish on the hill, limiting Branford’s offensive attack. KJ Harp closed the door in the last inning of a solid pitching performance.
Mike Madera led the offensive attack with four hits, while Will Panza, Harp, Constantinople, and Gabe Santarcangelo each reached base twice. Panza and Harp each walked and singled, Constantinople doubled and reached on an error, and Santarcangelo singled twice.
West Haven took a 3-0 lead in the third as Santarcangelo and Madera opened the inning with singles, and both scored on a double by Evan Jones. Jones moved to third on a grounder by Panza, and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Harp.
The Westies increased the lead to 5-0 with two more runs in the fifth. Panza opened the inning with a single and Harp followed with a walk. With one run in, Constantinople’s double extended the margin to five runs.
The Westies fell to 2-2 after falling to Milford 3-0 Thursday evening in Milford. Jesse Buonocore pitched well in the loss.
After giving up two runs in the first and another in the second, Buonocore and Harp, who relieved in the fifth, allowed just two baserunners over the next three innings. West Haven had its opportunities to get back in the game, but could not get the timely hit in the last four innings.
The Westies had a chance to get back in the game in the third as Haygen Axelrod was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Madera followed with a one-out walk. Panza singled with two outs, but a perfect throw nailed Axelrod at the plate to end the frame.
Harp and Ray Gilbert reached base to open the fourth, but went no further, before Madera singled with one out in the fifth and Panza drew a two-out walk. Milford again escaped without any damage, getting a hard hit grounder to short to end the frame.
Gilbert led off the sixth with a double to left, but only got as far as third as the Westies fell by three runs.
Madera reached base three times, while Panza and Gilbert each reached twice in the loss.
The Westies closed round-robin play with a 9-8 loss against Annex. In a game which saw the Westies take an early three-run lead, then battle to even the game at four, West Haven rallied late, but fell just short. Jones, Panza, Harp and Gilbert led the Westies with two hits apiece.
Panza, Harp and Gilbert had run-scoring hits in the first inning for a 3-1 lead, before Jones singled and scored to even the game at four in the third.
After the Westies went quietly over the next two innings and were sloppy on defense, they entered the last inning trailing 9-4. A one-out walk by Chase Supan was followed by hits from Constantinople and Axelrod.
A fielder’s choice by Cam Cruz plated a run, before Madera knocked in another with a single. A single by Jones, and an error on a ball hit by Panza scored Madera and had two runners in scoring position, but the Westies fell just short.