HARWINTON, July 14 – In the first four games of the District 6 Little League baseball tournament, Avon’s Major Division team (ages 11-12) scored 29 runs and gave up just two. Avon manager Mark Olson said it was pitching and defense that carried his team to victory.
The Avon Major Division Little League baseball team celebrates a District 6 championship.
In the final two games of the District 6 tournament, Avon had to survive rallies and get creative with the lumber. Avon outlasted an undefeated Granby squad, 10-6 and then captured its fifth D6 tournament in the last eight years by holding off the Torrington Americans, 11-7 in a hard-hitting championship game.
In the final, the two teams combined for 28 hits but it was undefeated Avon (7-0) with the key hits. First baseman Sean Delgallo had three doubles and two RBI for Avon while teammate Ian McDonald had a single, double and four RBI. Second baseman Chris Jacobs had two singles and an RBI, shortstop Justin Olson was 3-for-4 with two doubles while centerfielder Joseph Suski ripped an RBI triple to left field.
Avon won its fifth District 6 title in the last eight years and its first since 2009. Avon was making its eighth straight appearance in the finals against a spunky Torrington Americans team seeking its first title since 1996.
Avon will begin play in the Section II state tournament with six other teams Wednesday in Montville. The winner of the Section II and Section I tournaments meet in a best-of-3 for the state title and a berth in the Eastern Regional tournament.
Thirteen district teams began the District 6 tournament and after four games, the top five teams entered a double elimination tournament. Torrington lost its first double elimination game to the Simsbury Americans 6-4 but won three straight to earn a shot at Avon.
In the victory, Avon had 15 hits including five in a key fourth inning rally when they scored five runs and erase a three-run Torrington lead.
“This team was tough but we put the bat on the ball and put into play,” Mark Olson said. “They kept the pressure on us for the entire game.”
Avon took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning with a two-RBI double from McDonald and a RBI ground ball by Jack Prete. But Torrington rapped out 13 hits in the contest, including six in the first inning when they took a 5-3 lead. Torrington added another run in the second inning for a 6-3 advantage.
Avon pitcher Kyle Emery wasn’t wild but the Americans seemed to find the gaps. Emery pitched four innings, struck out four and allowed 10 hits but he left with the lead.
Down by three, Avon began the fourth with a single from Ryan Nolan and a RBI triple from Joseph Suski that chased Torrington’s starting pitcher Jake Reynolds from the game. The next pitcher didn’t have a much success, either.
Justin Olson got a walk and scored on Delgallo’s double. Another run scored on a passed ball. After a strikeout, Emery singled. Avon took the lead when two runs scored on an error. An RBI single from Jacobs made it 8-6. Avon extended its lead to 10-6 in the fifth on a two-RBI single from McDonald.
Players perform well in D6 tourney
In the District 6 tournament, four Avon players hit over .500 in their seven games. Ian McDonald hit .708 with 17 hits, including two doubles, a triple, two home runs and a team-leading 16 RBI. Justin Olson hit. 565 with 14 hits and four doubles. Sean DelGallo hit .542 with 13 hits, four doubles, a triple and 10 RBI. Kyle Emery hit .529 with nine hits, a double and two home runs.
As a team, Avon hit .389 in seven games with 13 doubles, three triples and 10 home runs.
On the mound, Olson was 3-0 in 14 innings pitched with 21 strikeouts, seven hits allowed and a 1.29 ERA. Emery was 2-0 in 12.3 innings pitched with 26 strikeouts and 17 hits allowed. Andrew Marshall threw 8.75 innings in six games, allowed five hits and struck out 10. He has an ERA of 0.69 and one save.
Avon 11, Torrington Americans 7
Avon (7-0) 300 521 – 11-15-1
Torrington (6-3) 510 010 – 7-13-3
Kyle Emery, Andrew Marshall (5) and Evan Deckers, Ryan Nolan (4); Jake Reynolds, Brandon Bolesh (4), D.J. Reynolds (5) and Pierce Pyrzenski (6) and Levi Humprey; 2B: Justin Olson (A) 2, Sean Delgallo (A) 3, Ian McDonald (A), Jessie Williams (TA), Riley Shreders (TA); 3B: Joseph Suski (A)