AVON, August 31, 2020 – The Avon Little League baseball team erased a six-run deficit to beat Canton, 8-7, on Monday night at Sperry Park and remain alive in the District 6 Major Division (ages 11-12) tournament.
Canton had a 7-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning before Avon (1-1) rallied with seven runs to earn the victory. Canton made some outstanding defensive plays in the game that kept Avon off the scoreboard.
But Avon began to get through in the fifth inning. With one out, Avon’s Brendan Mahoney walked and advanced to third base on two wild pitches. After a strikeout, Avon’s Ryan Fitting hit an RBI double to cut the lead to 7-2. Fitting eventually scored thanks to a few wild pitches.
Avon’s Mason Gordon drew a two-out walk and Jimmy Walsh followed with a monstrous two-run home run to centerfield to cut the Canton lead to two runs, 7-5.
Avon reliever Ethan Lavore gave up one single in the top of the sixth inning but fanned the final two batters of the inning to give Avon an opportunity in the bottom of the sixth inning. Lavore, who earned the win, struck out five in 3 2/3 innings of work.
Lavore led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a home run to right center field to trim the lead to one, 7-6. Avon teammate Owen Gawitt followed with a single before Tommy Mango grounded into a fielder’s choice for the first out of the inning.
That left Mango on first base but he eventually made it to third base thanks to a pair of wild pitches. Brendan Mahoney walked to put two men on base. Canton reliever Austin Senecal got a strikeout for the second out but Fitting came up and ripped a hard two-out single that tied the game at 7-7.
A walk to Mason Gordon loaded the bases before Mahoney scooted home with the game-winning run on a ball in the dirt that got away from the Canton catcher.
“Canton played an absolutely tremendous game,” Avon manager Don Mahoney said. “Their defense was really unbelievable for the entire game. (Starting pitcher) Beckett Ryan pitched his tail off and the kids behind him all did a great job.”
“We hit the ball hard quite a few times in those first four innings and they just wouldn’t let it hit the grass,” Mahoney said of Canton. “So, it’s a great win for our kids but the Canton guys deserve a ton of credit for the way they battled.”
Avon advances to face Litchfield-based Tri-Town (1-1) on Tuesday night in another elimination game.
Canton (0-2) jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning. After loading the bases with a walk, single and a hit batter, Canton second baseman James Canny hit a grand slam over the right field fence for a 4-0 lead.
Canton added another two runs in the top of the third inning thanks to a leadoff walk by Ryan and consecutive singles from George Redford, Ryan Zapata and Ian Flink for a 6-0 lead.
Avon got on the board in the third inning. William LaMadrid singled to right field and moved to second on a wild pitch. He scored on a single from A.J. Zappone.
Avon’s Logan Royer walked. With Zappone on third and Royer on second base, Fitting hit a hard line drive to right center that looked destined for the fence but Canton right fielder Oden Berg made an amazing diving catch and doubled Royer off second to end the threat.
Redford drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning to extend the Canton lead to 7-1.
Canton’s defense made some good plays in the fourth inning. Canny snared a line drive off the bat of Avon’s Bennett Evanko at second base and center fielder Ramon Zapata made a nice catch of hard hit ball by Gawitt to end the inning.
Avon 7, Canton 6
Canton (0-2) 402 100 — 7
Avon (1-1) 001 043 – 8
2020 District 6 Tournaments
Major Division Baseball (ages 11-12)
Sunday, August 30
Tri-Town 5, Torrington 2
Burlington 4, East Granby/Granby 3
Steve Blass NW Connecticut (Falls Village) 9, Canton 8
Simsbury 10, Avon 0 (5)
Monday, August 31
Torrington 6, East Granby/Granby 5, EG/Granby eliminated
Avon 8, Canton 7, Canton eliminated
Burlington 7, Tri-Town 1
Simsbury 11, Steve Blass (NW Connecticut) 1
Tuesday, September 1
Game 9: Steve Blass NW CT at Torrington, loser eliminated, 5:30 p.m.
Game 10: Tri-Town (Litchfield) at Avon, loser eliminated, 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 2
Game 11: Simsbury at Burlington, winner advances to final, 5:30 p.m.
Game 12: Winner game 9 at winner game 10, loser eliminated, 5:30p.m.
Thursday, September 3
Game 13: Loser game 11 at winner game 12, 5:45 p.m.
Friday, September 4
Championship: Winner game 13 at winner game 11, 5:45 p.m
Saturday, September 5
Championship: Winner game 13 at winner game 11, if necessary