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The Coginchaug 10- and 11-year-old team captured the District 9 title with two wins over Madison in the championship round. The title is only the program's sixth in more than 50 years of competing.

Coginchaug captures District 9 title

It’s never easy to win in a 16-team league. Being from a small town makes the task that much more daunting.

Yet Cocinghaug’s 10- and 11-year-old baseball team battled familiar foes and staved off double elimination to capture the District 9 Championship. The title is only the town’s sixth total championship in over 50 years of play at three different age levels.

After twice defeating Cromwell to earn a spot in the championship round, against Madison, the hometown nine took the first contest 11-5 to force a deciding Game 2.

In the winner-take-all matchup, Coginchaug was able to exorcise its past shortcomings against Madison, winning the battle 6-4 to walk away as champions.

Coginchaug jumped on Madison’s starting pitcher early. Evan Faiella hit a one-out triple in the top of the first, and was brought around to score by Mike Garofalo’s single. Noah Kleczkowski reached on an error before Griffin Biro’s single plated Garofalo for a quick 2-0 lead.

Coginchaug starter Kolby Pascarelli pitched a strong first inning to keep the team’s lead intact. After giving up a leadoff single, Pascarelli retired the next three batters he faced, two by way of strikeout.

Pascarelli also did his part at the plate, singling home Jack Konopka to give Coginchaug a 3-0 advantage in the second.

The locals’ offense struck again in the third inning, as Biro scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.

After pitching four solid innings, Pascarelli hit a rough patch in the bottom of the fifth. He was lifted from the game, having allowed no runs through his four full innings, allowing three hits and striking out four.

Pascarelli’s replacement, Garofalo, hit a rough patch in the fifth. After inheriting two runners on base, coupled with two Coginchaug errors and timely hits by Madison, the contest was deadlocked 4-4 heading into the sixth and final frame.

In the top of the sixth, TJ Isleib and Justin Penney led off with back to back base hits. Pascarelli once again came through for Coginchaug, lining a 1-0 fastball over the centerfielder’s head to bring home both runners and take a commanding 6-4 lead.

In the bottom half of the inning, Garofalo shut down Madison’s lineup, getting three quick outs, including a three-pitch strikeout to end the game and deliver ‘Chaug its sixth title.

The team was set to compete in a three-team double elimination divisional round in East Hampton, beginning Thursday.

Town Times Sports (203) 235-2232 citizensports@record-journal.com



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