MERIDEN — The Meriden City Series Championship is set, as South Meriden rode a huge game offensively to defeat defending champion Jack Barry 12-1 on Sunday at Habershon Field.
“It was good,” South Meriden head coach Gabe Zamorano said. “It was nice to see the kids come here a little bit more alert and awake versus yesterday [against Ed Walsh].”
South Meriden will face Ed Walsh Little League in Wednesday’s championship game at Habershon after Ed Walsh defeated Jack Barry 9-5 on Friday and South Meriden 5-4 on Saturday.
It was an offensive onslaught from South Meriden as they scored 10 runs in the bottom of the first inning.
“I really think that’s where we have the advantage with our bats,” Zamorano said, channeling his inner Aaron Boone. “We’re here to hit and we’re savages in the box.”
After a pair of Jack Barry errors plated two South Meriden runs, the bats came alive with two outs.
Ashley Stimpson (walk) and catcher Andres Gutierrez (hit by pitch) loaded the bases for Dylan Link.
Link drove Jack Barry reliever Gio Gilberti’s first pitch back up the middle for a two-run single to make it 4-0 South Meriden.
Carter Modica followed with a walk to reload the bases, setting up another two-run single, this time by leadoff hitter Jayden Gaither.
David Stimpson doubled off the wall in left center to score Modica, putting two runners in scoring position for Jesus Arraez with South Meriden leading 7-0.
Arraez built off his three RBI day on Saturday, crushing his second homer of the tournament well over the left field fence to cap the 10-run inning.
Arraez got it done on the mound as well, striking out four over the first two innings before being lifted for pitch count reasons.
“[Arraez] normally plays on a bigger diamond,” Zamorano said. “So, for him to adjust from a 60-90 field and adjust ten feet, to make that adjustment is tough.
“He had some pitches that were high to some of the batters but once he zoned in he was lights out. We’re looking forward to that on Wednesday.”
South Meriden will have both Arraez and David Stimpson (three scoreless innings in relief Saturday) available for Wednesday’s championship game.
Jack Barry got on the board in the third against Gaither, who came on in relief for South Meriden.
Leadoff hitter Ethan Walton doubled to left center and advanced to third on a throwing error. Josh Reyes workeda walk setting up a first and third situation.
Reyes attempted to steal second and was thrown out by Gutierrez but it allowed Walton to score from third to make it 10-1.
Gilberti tossed a scoreless second and third before another two-out rally by South Meriden in the fourth.
Braelen Silverio picked up and infield single with two outs to start the rally. Ashley Stimpson and Gutierrez hit back-to-back doubles to give South Meriden a 12-1 advantage.
“It was funny with Andres, everyone yelled warning track power,” Zamorano said. “But it was nice to see bat come alive. He didn’t do very well yesterday but today just to see him hit, they were all into it today.
In its second year after an 11-year hiatus, the Meriden City Series will be crowning a new champion on Wednesday with Jack Barry eliminated from contention.
Zamorano hopes that his team can carry over the same habits and success from Sunday’s victory into the championship.
“That’s the team I expect to see on Wednesday,” Zamorano said. “I’m super proud of them they played great today.”
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