Cromwell 9/10s are tournament champs

Scoring ten runs in one inning helped the Cromwell Black 10U team take home the tournament title after beating West Hartford 14-9, at Gorman Park in East Hartford on Aug. 2.

Cromwell was first up and first on the board, putting 3 runs across in the first, but West Hartford looked like a good match for Cromwell in the bottom of the inning, making the most of a couple of fielding errors and getting four runs to take the lead.

West Hartford looked like they would run away with the game, after adding three more in the bottom of the second.

But, Cromwell’s Luke Tatro started a rally with an RBI single in the third. Then, Cromwell batters worked West Hartford’s pitching and scored three straight runs on bases loaded walks to tie the game at 7. Cromwell then benefited from an error, two more bases loaded walks, two passed balls and another RBI by Tatro to notch ten runs in the inning for a 13-7 lead.

Not willing to let West Hartford’s defense catch its breath, pitcher Soignoli came on and got three of the four batters he faced in the bottom of the third.

West Hartford loaded the bases in the fourth, but Soignoli and his defense again got out of the jam.

In the fifth, Cromwell’s Dave Weston made a trip around the bases. After hitting a single, Weston stole second, then scored on a fielder’s choice.

West Hartford looked like they might mount a comeback when they plated two runs in the fifth (and time-shortened final) inning, but Cromwell’s defense held on, including a spectacular two-out catch by centerfielder Sathvik Vakati (who also tripled in the game) that sealed the championship.

Coach Steve Barrett told his team that he was proud of how far they came from the beginning of the season.

“We’re a team that is primarily nine-year olds, in a 9-10 league,” he said, “so, we’re very young, but they developed and learned plays that they weren’t making in the spring. We learned to do cut-offs, what base to go to, outfield play, and not to throw the ball around. They learned to play with their heads, instead of just going out there and watching the game go by.”

“It’s almost a different team,” added assistant coach Geouge Mihalopoulos. “What they were five-and-a-half weeks ago, compared to now and who they beat, it was really nice to watch from our end.”

Barrett said his team knew that West Hartford could hit, and his team didn’t give them anything they didn’t earn.
“We knew they were going to get 8 or 9 runs, and we didn’t turn that into 15 runs by throwing the ball around,” he said. “We they got a hit, we got the ball to where we needed to, and we held them.”

Mihapoulos said the Cromwell players seemed understandably nervous in the early innings, but that dissipated.

“They settled down, they got into it, and they finished strong,” he said.

“They’re a great group of kids,” Barrett said. “They were a lot of fun to coach.”


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