The West Haven Little League 10-U All-Star team split its first two games of the opening round of the Connecticut District 4 tournament. The Westies opened play Thursday evening at Morse Park and earned a thrilling 9-8 victory over East Haven. On Saturday, West Haven dropped a 10-0 decision to a strong Milford National Lou Gehrig team at Lou Gehrig Field in Milford.
In game one, West Haven came out swinging in the top of the first inning. Thomas Porto ripped a leadoff double which was followed by run-scoring singles from Brady Price and Hunter Axelrod. Axelrod stole home and the Westies had a 3-0 lead.
After East Haven scored in the bottom of the inning, Josh Osborne laced a double for West Haven and Porto singled him in for a 4-1 advantage. Axelrod led off the third inning with a long home run to right and the Westies were up 5-1.
East Haven made it 5-4 in the fourth, before West Haven erupted for four runs in the top of the fifth. Porto singled and scored, Cameren Lipford stroked a sacrifice fly to center, and Osborne crushed a two-run triple to cap the scoring.
Price came on in relief of Axelrod, who had six strikeouts in four innings pitched, to start the fifth for West Haven. Despite giving up four runs, he struck out the final batter of the inning with the tying run on third. Price then pitched around a one-out single in the sixth to close out the victory for West Haven.
In the second game of the four-game bracket play, the defensive play of starting catcher Price led West Haven in the early innings. He threw out two runners trying to steal and also made a nice grab of a pop up in front of the plate.
Starting pitcher Osborne and second baseman Sean Studley also made nice plays in the infield. With the game scoreless and two outs in the third inning, MNLG rallied for eight runs to take a commanding lead. Porto and Price had the only hits in the game for the Westies.
The WHLL 10-U All Stars will resume play at Morse Park on Friday at 5:30 p.m. against Milford International Little League. The Westies complete first-round action on Sunday, July 9 at noon at Annex Little League.