By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – The City Series championship once again belongs to Edgewood Little League.
Over the last two seasons, that title was won back-to-back times by the Edgewood Rangers.
This time around, it was earned by the Pirates.
And against the double-tough Yankees from Forestville, the Pirates easily played its best game of the year and wrapped up the championship with a stirring 11-1 win from Breen Field in Bristol on Tuesday, August 28.
The Pirates, ending the City Series with a stellar 3-1 ledger, banged out 11 hits in the contest and played error free baseball until the final frame of action.
Once Edgewood scored four runs in the top of the third to take command of the game, the Pirates simply raised its level of play.
“I’m very proud,” said Pirates coach Jay DeNote of his championship squad. “They hit the ball. They were cold the first two innings and then they hit the ball. And that’s how we hit all year. Those were clean hits.”
Five players had two hits in the game for the Pirates as Gary Gagnier, Mac Goulet, James Dauphinee, Sean Arasimowicz, and Alex DeNote led the vicious onslaught.
In the field, Edgewood was near perfect until the sixth tilt when a couple of mistakes and miscues occurred but had little impact on the final score.
The squad ran the bases crisply, advanced when necessary, and looked poised to score at every instance.
“This team played great defense,” said DeNote. “They had a lot of clean hits, very few errors, and were aggressive on the bases.”
To make it all happen, Gagnier was near brilliant on the mound to finish City Series play at 3-0.
He tallied nine strikeouts, refused to walk a single battle, and gave up only three total hits against the Yankees.
The one run Gagnier yielded was of the unearned variety.
Dauphinee came in to pitch the final 0.2 innings, giving up one hit, and striking out one to put a little icing on the cake.
“I have to give credit to Gary, again,” DeNote said. “It was a heckuva pitching performance. James Dauphinee closed every game for us this series for us, including the first game against McCabe-Waters.”
The Yankees, down 11-0, put together a late rally and even though it didn’t dent the lead much, Forestville certainly never quit in the series.
“They’re a good ball team,” said Forestville coach Marcel Dionne of Edgewood. “Gary’s a phenomenal pitcher. We just didn’t hit him like we did the last time.”
Jordan Cyr and Bryce Beebe each smoked doubles for Forestville while Zach Bartolome had the other tally for the Yankees.
Gagnier and Forestville starting pitcher Chris Kavanaugh went nose-to-nose over the first two scoreless frames before the Pirates opened things up in the third.
Gagnier started it off with a double and scored via two wild pitches to make it 1-0.
Later on, Dauphinee drilled in a run off a double to the gap in right and when Jaylen Dias smoked a grounder to second base, his RBI tally made it a 3-0 affair.
Finally, an RBI single by Alex DeNote scored Arasimowicz and the Pirates were in front by a 4-0 tally.
“They weren’t taking their normal swings,” said DeNote early in the game. “They loosened up and they were on the pitches. If (Forestville) was throwing strikes, they were hitting the ball somewhere. We found the holes today. We couldn’t buy one the other day but today, we found (the holes). That was huge.”
In the fourth, Edgewood looped in three addition runs to make it a 7-0 contest.
An RBI single by Dauphinee and an RBI groundout from Jack Turner were the big hits in the stanza and the Yankees were looking up at a 7-0 deficit.
In the fifth, another RBI groundout – this time by Gagnier – and an error led to two additional runs to make it a 9-0 tilt after five.
Finally in the sixth, a two-RBI single by Alex DeNote and an RBI single to centerfield by Cameron Mace ended the scoring for Edgewood and with just a half inning left to play, Forestville had a uphill climb to get back into the game.
But the Yankees gave it a run and brought a little excitement back to the game.
Bartolome smashed an infield hit to third base to start the final frame while off an error, Cyr reached base safely to put two runners on.
“These kids didn’t want to give up,” said Dionne. “They didn’t want to give up. They came up here and started to swing the bats.”
With runners on second and third base, Kavanaugh drilled a grounder to shortstop to score a run. But the ball was bobbled as he arrived on base safely and the game became an 11-1 contest.
With two outs, Nate Dionne drew a walk and the bases were quickly loaded up for Forestville.
“Our parents, they thought we were actually going to come back again,” said Dionne. “I was like I don’t it was going to happen this time.”
Bella Marrotti struck out for the final out of the contest as the Pirates won the game by ten runs.
“All these kids came through,” DeNote said. “It’s just a great group of kids. I’m really, really proud.”
Edgewood won the City Series Championship in four of the past five seasons.
And this Edgewood edition proved to be just as tough as any outfit the Little League program has provided over the years.
“It’s fun,” said DeNote. “It was an outstanding performance by the entire team. They’re a great group of kids here.”
Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver. com.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE