WILLIMANTIC, July 29 – Max Sinoway-North Haven pitcher Joe Mastroianni allowed five hits and struck three to lead his Little League baseball team to a 3-0 win over Simsbury Monday night in the Final Four of Connecticut’s Major Division state championship tournament at Lower Legion Field.
The win puts Max Sinoway (11-2) into the state championship final against Madison on Tuesday night. Max Sinoway needs to beat Madison twice to win the state title.
Simsbury (10-3) was eliminated with a second straight loss despite a complete game performance from pitcher Lucas Gifford (1-1), who allowed just four hits and struck out seven. By losing in the consolation final, Simsbury finished third.
It was the deepest run in the state tournament for a Simsbury program since 1998 when the Simsbury Nationals beat Trumbull American, 2-1 in a best-of-three series to win the state title.
Max Sinoway took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. With two outs, Mastroianni singled and scored on Nate Acevedo’s two-run home run to centerfield.
Max Sinoway extended the lead to 3-0 in the third inning. Jaden Wells led off the inning for the North Haven squad with a double and scored on an error.
Simsbury pitcher Lucas Gifford went the distance for the District 6 champions. Gifford (1-1) became just the third Simsbury pitcher to throw a complete game in the Little League tournament this summer. Gifford scattered four hits and struck out seven. He didn’t allow a single walk.
Simsbury did threaten in the sixth inning. With two outs, Maxwell Williams and Gifford each singled but Mastroianni got a strikeout to preserve the victory. Williams was 2-for-3 for Simsbury while Gifford and Hunter Anastasio each had singles.
This is Max Sinoway’s first state tournament appearance since 1967 when the North Haven club won their last District 4 championship. Max Sinoway and Madison are both seeking their first-ever Little League state championship title.
Max Sinoway 3, Simsbury 0
Simsbury (10-3) 000 000 — 0-5-1
Max Sinoway (11-2) 201 00x — 3-4-0
Lucas Gifford and Patrick Matyczyk; Joe Mastroianni and Chris Cretella; WP: Mastroianni; LP: Gifford (1-1); 2B: Jaden Wells (MS), HR: Nate Acevedo (MS)
Major Division baseball (ages 11-12)
Final Four tournament (double-elimination)
At Willimantic (Lower Legion Field)
Saturday, July 27
Game 1: Madison (D9) 5, Brooklyn/Pomfret (D12) 3
Game 2: Simsbury (D6) 5, Max Sinoway-North Haven (D4) 4 (8)
Sunday, July 28
Game 3: Madison 6, Simsbury 2, winner advances to final
Game 4: Max Sinoway 3, Brooklyn/Pomfret 1, Brooklyn/Pomfret eliminated
Monday, July 29
Game 5: Max Sinoway-North Haven 3, Simsbury 0, Simsbury eliminated
Tuesday, July 30
Game 6, Final: Max Sinoway-North Haven 6, Madison 4
Wednesday, July 31
Game 7: Final: Max Sinoway-North Haven vs. Madison, 6 p.m.