By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Since 2010, the programs from Edgewood Little League have won five out of the last eight City Series championships.
And with the team’s 6-1 win over the McCabe-Waters White Sox on Monday, Aug. 20 from Frazier Field, the Edgewood Cubs were off to championship round and looking to add to its trophy collection.
The Cubs (2-0 in City Series play) needed to defeat the Forestville Pirates once over the final two games of the tournament to bring home the City Series title.
Against McCabe-Waters, Edgewood played well in all facets of the game, scoring timely runs, chasing down balls in the outfield, and hustling out every play.
“We preach defense, good mental toughness at the plate and hustle on the base paths,” said Edgewood manager Ryan Jaswell. “We’ve always been a team that takes advantage of mistakes, runs the bases hard and tries to get the extra base whenever we can. We’ve got a lot of speed on this team even though we’re a big team, we’re actually really fast and we work on that in practice and try to catch every extra base we can.”
The White Sox (0-2) rallied late in the game, scoring a run, and putting two on base before simply running out of gas.
“We just came up a little short today,” said McCabe-Waters manager Jeff Simard. “Our defense struggled a little bit. Our bats came alive at the end but it just wasn’t enough.”
Winning pitcher Jacob Stringer was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI while teammate Austin Childers was also 3-for-4 with three singles and an RBI.
Ryan Stickels went 2-for-2 for the Cubs as the program tallied 10 hits in the game.
“They all hit the ball,” said Simard of Edgewood. “Most of all, they’ve got one of the better defenses I’ve seen all year. They’re defense is awesome.”
McCabe-Waters’ pitcher Christian Stafford saw a runner get on board in the top of the first via an error and when Stringer tallied an infield hit, two were on for the visitors.
But the chucker struck out Gabriel White to end the half inning as the home team came up to bat.
And then Stafford (2-for-3) led off the bottom of the first with an infield hit but when he got caught stealing, the inning was quickly over and the scoreless stalemate was maintained.
Edgewood put two on in the top of the second when Austin Childers reached base via error and Stickels plucked a single up the middle with two outs.
But a 1-6-4 fielder’s choice ended the stanza without the benefit of a score.
For the White Sox in the second, Al Bruton walk and Jake Devo reached base via walk but Stringer, however, struck out the side as Edgewood came up to bat in the third.
In the bottom of the tilt, errors led to two runs for the Cubs.
Stringer doubled to the fence in left-center to get on base, arrived at third on a passed ball and scored when a pop-up to third base was dropped.
Then with Cameron Roy on at first base, a single to left by Austin Childers was booted, allowing Roy to score, as Edgewood snared two important runs.
“That’s what it is, the defense,” said Simard. “You’ve got to have a good defense. We had it most of the year but we just had a rough day. But we made it here, had a great bunch of kids, they never gave up and I’m very proud of them.”
Stringer posted strikeout six and seven in the bottom of the third and going into the fourth stanza, Edgewood was still leading 2-0.
“Well, last game the White Sox played they got [mercy ruled] against Forestville so I had my thoughts about how the game was going to go,” said Stringer. “I was pretty confident.”
And that score doubled in the fourth to 4-0.
Stickles dropped in an infield hit to second base and with two outs, Connor Cyr and Stringer plated back-to-back RBI doubles to give Edgewood a little insurance.
“We always seem to connect with the ball even if it’s a bad pitch,” said Stringer. “We usually can always get on base somehow.”
Bruton singled with one gone in the bottom of the fourth for White Sox and when Jake Devo walked, two were on and the tying run was on deck.
But Laprise, now the pitcher of record, fanned Billy Zabowa to keep that 4-0 lead intact.
In the top of the fifth, Edgewood was threatening again.
Austin Childers singled to center field and when Meyers’ fly to center was dropped, two were on with one out.
After one final K by Stafford, he was lifted for Seth Bissonnette with two outs.
But Stickels was hit-by-pitch and the bases were juiced.
Bissonnette then struck out Laprise to get out of the jam but McCabe-Waters was still in charge by four runs.
Once again, the White Sox threatened but that elusive run remained elusive.
Kurt Radcliffe walked and with one down, Stafford singled to center as two runners were on as White was the new pitcher of record for Edgewood.
And he ended the frame with two big strikeouts as Edgewood was about to add two more runs to the mix.
“My hat goes off to them,” said Simard of Edgewood. “They’re pitching was outstanding.”
Roy’s infield single to third scored Cyr and an RBI single by Austin Childers ended the scoring and the White Sox entered the bottom of the sixth down six runs.
But McCabe-Waters made a run at it and when Bruton walked, the squad was in business.
Hunter Devo-Wells lofted a single to center and the lead runner moved to third base on a throwing error.
Jake Devo grounded out to White for an out but the tally led to Bruton scoring as the home team was trailing 6-1.
White then proceeded to walk Zabowa but the pitcher struck out the final two batters he faced as Edgewood was off to the finals and a showdown against the double-tough Pirates with its 6-1 win over the White Sox.
“We got a tough challenge against the Pirates,” said Jaswell. “They’ve got a couple really good pitchers that they threw at us last time. They’re really good. They throw a lot of strikes. They throw hard, they’re a good, tough team so we’re going to go out there and battle.”
Comments? Email mletendre@BristolObserver.com.