Ellington/Somers’ Improbable Run Ends With A State Title

By Adam Betz

TheSportsDept.com

MIDDLETOWN – The American Legion U17 State Championship game was a wild one to say the least.

Ellington/Somers won the championship by defeating Stratford 13-10 in nine innings at Palmer in Middletown Sunday afternoon. The championship is the first in program history.

Ellington/Somers twice took leads into the final half inning only to see Stratford scrap and claw its way back in. But Ellington, which narrowly qualified for the tournament after finishing the regular season 11-10 showed its resilience time and again in the final couple of innings.

In the top of the eighth, Logan Macaluso drove in two runs with a base hit to stake E/S to a 7-5 lead. Later in the inning Samuel Corriveau, hit a grounder to second. The ball took a big hop and ended up in the outfield. Two runs scored on the play as Corriveau made it to second, extending the E/S lead to 9-5.

One more run scored in the inning on a fielder’s choice hit by Jacob Schlenner.

E/S was three outs away from clinching the title but Stratford rallied scoring five times to tie the score.

Ellington quickly broke the tie In the top of the ninth as Chris Wrona picked up an RBI grounding into a fielder’s choice, giving E/S an 11-10 lead. Justin Schneider drove in another run with a single, to make it 12-10. After two balks by Stratford pitching put E/S runners on second and third, Corriveau singled in the third E/S run of the inning to make it 13-10.

Stratford managed to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but Ellington escaped without any further damage. Ellington manager Jim Laughlin said he had full confidence in his players.

“I didn’t have to say much (to the team) remarkably, because this team has fought so much in the last half of the season,” Laughlan said. “And the guys, we didn’t have to say much, they knew that we were going to fight to the end.”

Caleb Spielman and Macaluso were named the most outstanding pitcher and tournament MVP respectively.

“We started the season 1-5. We essentially had to win-out near the end to get into the tournament,” Laughlan said. “I’m so proud of this group, and we can’t wait to get to Maine.”

Both teams will play in the regional tournament in Bangor, Maine next week. E/S will play the Massachusetts state tournament runner-up in its first game on Friday.

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