Walk-off double denies comeback
The West Haven Little League 12-U All Star team saw its season come to a heartbreaking end last week with a 9-8 loss to Orange in the District 4 quarterfinals in Orange.
Despite an incredible comeback which saw the Westies fight back from a 6-0 deficit and ride the relief pitching of Chase Supan, the Westies were unable to close the deal.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, the Westies were within one strike of advancing several times, but each time, Orange battled and hung on, until a two-out, two-run walk-off double ended West Haven’s dreams of advancing.
Supan may have been the story of the game for West Haven as he entered in the second inning after Orange had batted around and scored six times. Supan recorded a strikeout to end the frame, then went on to allow just two baserunners through the fifth inning, and finished with six strikeouts.
Supan’s effort allowed the Westies to battle back as they got right back in the game with five runs in the third, evened the contest in the fifth, and took a two-run lead in the sixth.
In the third, Haygen Axelrod and Mike Madera opened with singles and both advanced on a grounder to second by Evan Jones. Will Panza followed with a single to score Jones and Madera, K.J. Harp walked, and Supan hit a two-out double to plate Panza and Harp. When Supan scored later in the inning on an error on a ball hit by Gabe Santarcangelo, West Haven was within one run.
The Westies had a golden opportunity to even the game in the fourth inning when Madera, Jones and Panza reached to load the bases with one out. Orange escaped without any damage, but was not as fortunate in the fifth as Jesse Buonocore ripped a long two-out homer to left to even the game at six.
With all the momentum on their side, the Westies took an 8-6 lead in the top of the sixth. Madera led off with a single to left, moved to second on a sacrifice by Jones, and scored on a double by Panza. With two outs, Ray Gilbert and Supan singled to score Panza for a two-run lead.
After Anthony Constantinople walked to load the bases, West Haven looked as if it would build on the lead, but Buonocore’s long fly ball to right was tracked down for the final out of the inning.
Panza led the Westies with four hits and two runs scored, while Madera and Jones each added a pair of hits and two runs scored. Supan added a pair of hits and scored once, while Axelrod singled, walked and scored.
10-U lose to Sinoway
The West Haven Little League 10-U All Star team surprised a lot of teams in its tournament this past week. The team was led by the arms of Hudson Axelrod and Connor Hume, before losing a heartbreaking, 8-7 game to a Max Sinoway team, who eventually played in the district championship game.
Timely hitting by Jeremiah Kavanah and Matt Suchy, mixed with solid defense from Colin Murray and Cam Lipford led West Haven into the cross-over tournament, before eventually getting eliminated via walk-off by a tough Max Sinoway team, which nearly went all the way.