Remarkable run ends for SW Nats

HARWINTON – The South Windsor National Little League all-star team’s amazing summertime run that produced championships on the district, divisional and sectional levels ended on Sunday afternoon at the Harwinton Sports Complex when Fairfield American swept South Windsor in the best-of-three state championship series. South Windsor finished the tournament season at 12-2.

 

South Windsor lost 10-0 on Saturday and by 12-2 on Sunday with both games being called in Fairfield’s favor through the invoking of the 10-run mercy rule when one team leads by 10 runs or more at any point after the fourth inning has started.

 

All of South Windsor’s players, coaches and manager were distracted by the potentially-serious injury to starting third baseman Zach Hoffman, who was struck on the eye with a line drive in the bottom of the second inning on Saturday. The game was interrupted for almost 15 minutes while paramedics and the coaching staff tended to him. He was taken to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in nearby Torrington and was later transferred to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital where he was cared for by eye specialists. Hoffman got his glove up but the force of the hit drove the glove into his face, opening a gash under his eye.

 

“We’re hoping for the best for Zach,” South Windsor manager Steve Curtis said after Saturday’s game. “He was hurt really bad. When Zach went down, the team was pretty upset. They thought more about their teammate than the game, which is understandable.”

 

On Sunday, South Windsor players all had No. 15, Hoffman’s uniform number, drawn on their faces in black marker.

 

South Windsor held a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the third inning on Sunday. But Fairfield scored eight runs in that half-inning, then added four more in the fourth to win by mercy. Ethan Grade started for South Windsor and pitched well for two innings.

 

Brady Ward started for the Nationals on Saturday but was out dueled by Fairfield starter Sam Davenport, who threw a two-hitter. Julian Palladino had both hits in that game for South Windsor.

South Windsor National Little League all-star starting pitcher Ethan Grade on the mound Sunday in the first inning of the state Little League championship series at the Harwinton Sports Complex. Grade pitched four plus innings and gave up nine runs on seven hits and five walks, while striking out two in Fairfield's 12-2 victory that clinched the state Little League championship for the Americans. South Windsor finished the tournament season with a 12-2 record.

South Windsor National Little League all-star starting pitcher Ethan Grade on the mound Sunday in the first inning of the state Little League championship series at the Harwinton Sports Complex. Grade pitched four plus innings and gave up nine runs on seven hits and five walks, while striking out two in Fairfield’s 12-2 victory that clinched the state Little League championship for the Americans. South Windsor finished the tournament season with a 12-2 record.

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