PLYMOUTH, July 14 – The boys in Canton have been playing Little League baseball for more than 60 years. In all of that time, Canton has won three district championships with the most recent appearance coming 29 years ago.
Canton is back in the state tournament. Canton won their first District 6 Major Division (ages 11-12) championship since 1988 with a 7-0 shutout win over Burlington Friday night in Terryville – their third shutout in seven games this summer. Pitcher Devin Brown improved to 4-0, striking out nine and allowing just one hit in five innings of work.
The winners had 10 hits led by Canton’s Shane LaPointe, who hit his third home run of the District 6 tournament to put Canton ahead for good in the first inning. His three-run shot over the left field fence gave Canton an early 3-0 lead.
Canton (6-1) advances to the Section II portion of the state tournament here in Terryville where they will face the District 5 and District 3 champions. The two teams with the best records will play for the Section II title and a berth in the four-team, double-elimination state final. Canton will open play against the District 3 champion on Thursday, July 20 at 6:30 p.m.
“They picked up right where they left off last year,” Canton manager Chris LaPointe said. A year ago, 12 of the 13 players on this Canton squad went 7-2 and won the District 6 title in Little League’s Minor Division tournament (ages 10-11). They lost to Farmington in the final of the Section II state tournament.
“They are a bunch of fighters,” LaPointe said. “Our goal (from the start) was to win the District.”
Burlington nearly beat Canton earlier this week in an 11-10 defeat. Burlington trailed by seven runs after two innings but rallied to take a 10-9 lead in the sixth inning. But Brown belted a home run to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning and won it with a bases-loaded walk.
Burlington (6-2) had trouble with Brown, who allowed just a single to Devin Dube in the third inning. He walked two. Still, Burlington had a chance to make it a game in the fourth inning.
Trailing by five runs, Dube reached base with a one-out single to left field and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Jaden Longdin drew a walk and each moved up a base on another wild pitch. Ben Rewenko drew a walk from Brown to load the bases with one out.
But Brown fought hard. He struck out Ryan McMurray and Jon Schibi to get out of the jam and keep Burlington off the board. Brown struck out 11 against Torrington earlier in the tournament in a complete game effort.
LaPointe’s home run capped off a two-out rally for Canton in the first inning. Brown walked and Andrew Coates reached on an error before LaPointe hit his home run. Canton had 10 home runs in seven District 6 tournament games.
Canton extended their lead to 5-0 in the second inning thanks to a Burlington error and a RBI single from Luke Maher. In the third inning, catcher Jack Biskupiak had a RBI double while the seventh run of the game scored on Burlington’s fourth error of the game.
Coates was 2-for-3 for Canton while Justin DiCarlo and Sammy Lincoln were each 2-for-2. Lincoln had one RBI.
The first championship in nearly three decades was sweet, too. “It was more incentive for them (to win),” manager Chris LaPointe said. “It’s a great feat by them.”
NOTES: Wallingford and Farmington are playing for the District 5 championship on Saturday night. Wallingford forced a final game for the title with a 3-2 victory on Friday night in an elimination contest. … Prospect and SALL are in the finals of the District 3 tournament. … Canton has won District 6 titles in 1988 and 1977. They also won a District 2 title in 1953. … Brown hit four home runs in the D6 tournament including one grand slam in a 16-6 win over Torrington. … Burlington was in the championship game for the third time in the last four years. The last time that Burlington brought home the D6 pennant was in 2013.
GAME PHOTOS: We’ve posted a few photos at our SmugMug site. We’ll post more photos in a few days.
Canton 7, Burlington 0
Burlington (6-2) 000 000 — 0-1-4
Canton (6-1) 322 00x — 7-10-0
Ryan Begert, Jacob Dorman (3) and Matt Smith; Devin Brown, Andrew Coates (6) and Jack Biskupiak; WP: Brown (4-0); LP: Begert; 2B: Biskupiak (C); HR: Shane LaPointe (C)
2017 District 6 Major Baseball (ages 11-12)
Sunday, July 9
Game 1: Avon 17, Granby 14
Game 2: Canton 16, Torrington 6
Monday, July 10
Game 3: Burlington 12, Avon 1
Tuesday, July 11
Game 5: Canton 11, Burlington 10
Friday, July 14
Game 8: Final – Canton 7, Burlington 0
Monday, July 10
Game 4: Granby 8, Torrington 6 (Torrington eliminated)
Tuesday, July 11
Game 6: Avon 9, Granby 7 (Granby eliminated)
Wednesday, July 12
Game 7: Burlington 16, Avon 4 (Avon eliminated)
Round robin play, final standings
x-advanced to double elimination portion of the tournament
Recent District 6 Major Division (ages 11-12) championship games
2017: Canton 7, Burlington 0
2016: Avon 12, SImsbury 2
2015: Avon 14, Burlington 2 (4)
2014: Simsbury 10, Burlington 1
2013: Burlington 8, Avon 6
2012: Avon 16, Burlington 2 (4)
2011: Avon 11, Torrington American 7
2010: Simsbury American 9, Avon 7
2009: Avon 12, Simsbury American 2
2008: Burlington 7, Avon 5
2007: Avon 8, Thomaston 0
2006: Simsbury National 4, Avon 3
2005: Avon 15, Simsbury National 5 (4)
2004: Avon 8, Simsbury American 2
2003: Simsbury American 12, Simsbury National 2 (5)
2002: Simsbury American 1, Avon 0
2001: Burlington 8, Torrington National 4
2000: Terryville 6, Torrington National 1
1999: Tri-Town 7, Granby 6
1998: Simsbury National 7, Tri-Town 6
1997: Simsbury American 8, Terryville 3
1996: Torrington American 10, SImsbury National 0