LITTLE LEAGUE: Meriden 16U baseball earns District 5 crown

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MERIDEN – For the second time in three years the Meriden 16U all stars were District 5 champions.

Meriden defeated Bristol 8-3 and Yalesville 11-1 last week and then defeated Bristol again in the final, 7-1, in the four-team tournament.

Meriden advanced to the state finals held against Stonington in Pawcatuck. The Silver City team won the first game, 4-3, before dropping the next two games 6-2 and 5-2 to wrap up the season.

Manager Mike Duffy has coached this team for the last five years and he said all of his teams have been special.

“This team was probably the most fundamentally sound group we have put on the field and with only three teams aging out and three 13-year-olds we have a young team,” Duffy said.

Duffy added that the opening win in states over Stonington was particularly impressive because that squad hadn’t lost in three years.

“This team had great camaraderie and played well from the start,” Duffy said. “In districts we played flawless defense and offense. Everything came together at the right time. We stressed to the kids to move the runners along once we got on base. They played for each other and not themselves and that was the key to winning districts.”

In the opening 4-3 win of states against Stonington was pitched by Tyler Duffy and Ethan Nedinsky. Adrian Rodriguez provided the walkoff single. 

Coach Duffy said they’ve relied on its three older players Tyler Duffy, Sean Nowicki and Landon Freemantle to lead the team.

“They were leaders and taught the younger kids how to play the game the right way,” Coach Duffy said. 

Meriden used three pitchers in all star competition. Duffy headed the staff with a 2.23 ERA with 22 strikeouts, followed by Ethan Nedinsky (4.50 ERA, 8 strikeouts), Josh Reyes (2.21 ERA, 5 strikeouts) and Sean Nowicki (1.65 ERA, 2 strikeouts).

“We had some great pitching from Tyler, Sean, Ethan and Josh,” Coach Duffy said. “Those guys buckled down with the pitching and we couldn’t have won districts without them.”

Meriden’s top three hitters are Duffy (.500 batting average), Reyes (.412) and Nedinsky (.300).

Meriden’s top defenders this summer are Brody Frederick, Blake Benigni and Adrian Rodriguez.

Members of the squad are Nedinsky (P/3B), Nowicki (P/OF), Duffy (P/OF), Freemantle (OF), Rodriguez (1B), Reyes (P/2B), Jose Dejesus (OF/3B/P), Benigni (SS/P), Frederick (C), Cristian Viger (OF/2B/P), Nick Morello (3B), Adrian Saenz (OF) and Devon Bacote (OF).

Duffy’s assistant coaches were: Bryan Viger, Mike Nowicki and Mike Duffy Jr.


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