Coginchaug wins second straight state title

Coginchaug wins second straight state title


Kolby Pascarelli and John Vumback teamed up for a pair of solid pitching performances as Coginchaug swept the Connecticut Intermediate (50-70) Little League state championship over Fairfield American on Sunday at Peckham Park in Middlefield.

Coginchaug, which won its first state title in baseball last year, repeated with wins of 14-4, and 9-4 in the best-of-three series with Fairfield American.

Pascarelli pitched a five-inning mercy rule-shortened game in the opener, striking out 10 batters, and allowing four runs on just five hits.

After picking up two runs in the first, Griffin Biro led off the bottom of the second with a double, and following a Christian Sawka single, Evan Faiella singled to make it 3-0.

With two outs, Pascarelli hit his first of two homers to make it 6-0. Faiella then singled in Owen Clancy as Coginchaug expanded it lead to 7-0 after two.

Rhys Davies of Fairfield hit a two-run homer in the top of the third to close the gap to 7-2, but in the bottom of the inning, Blake Courschesne and Pascarelli each hit two-run homers to expand Coginchaug’s lead to 11-2.

Fairfield closed the gap to 11-4 in the top of the fifth, but in the bottom of the inning, Justin Penney led off with a double, Pascarelli walked, and T.J. Isleib blasted a three-run walk-off homer to end the game.

Vumback got the start in Game 2, and struggled in the opening inning, allowing a Chris Domizio double and a three-run home run by Jakab Bermudez, as Fairfield jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

Coginchaug answered with a Griffin Biro two-run blast, and an RBI single by Pascarelli to cut the lead to 4-3.

Owen Clancy, Vumback and Christian Sawka had a string of hits in the bottom of the third to put Coginchaug ahead 5-4, and in the fourth, Isleib sent another ball way over the centerfield fence, scoring two, to make it 7-4.

After his rocky start, Vumback settled down and handled Fairfield beautifully the rest of the way, allowing just one hit while striking out 10, and falling just one batter short of a complete game.

The champs are: David Holohan, Jack Konopka, Owen Clancy, John Vumback, Owen Clancy, Evan Faiella, Kolby Pascarelli, T.J. Isleib, Justin Penney, Aaron Faiella, Griffin Biro and Blake Courschesne. The team is managed by Keith Pascarelli and assisted by Scott Penney and Nick Faiella.

With the state title under its belt, the Coginchaug 50-70 team returned to Commack, Long Island for the 2016 Little League East Region Intermediate Tournament. The winner there advances to the Intermediate World Series in San Francisco.

At press time, Coginchaug was 1-1 in the East Region Tournament. The locals bested Bridgewater, Mass. 13-2 and fell to Vineland, N.J. 3-2.

– Submitted by Scott Strang

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