2003 Connecticut State Little League® Tournament Results
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Connecticut State Tournament
Major Baseball Division



Toward the past
2003

Toward the present

Connecticut State Tournament
Host - Thomaston (District 6)
At Reeves Field

Participating Teams
Section 1 Champions North Stamford (District 1)
Section 2 Champions Guilford (District 9)

Best 2-of-3 Series:

North Stamford 10, Guilford 0 (5 innings)
Guilford 10, North Stamford 3
North Stamford 8, Guilford 2 (TITLE)


Summary:

North Stamford Little League loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the first inning of the Connecticut state championship game in Thomaston, but came away empty-handed.

They wouldn't make the same mistake again.

North Stamford scored all of its runs in a pair of bases-loaded, station-to-station rallies, and rode the five-hit pitching of T.J. Hickey to defeat Guilford 8-2 and win the Connecticut state championship series two games to one. With the win, North Stamford claimed its first-ever state championship.

"These kids started playing together when they were eight," said North Stamford manager Paul Hickey after the championship game. "Last summer, we went 21-1 (with many of the same players competing on a travel team) where they developed good baseball skills and we knew we had something."

North Stamford's first rally came after both teams had missed opportunities and left the bases loaded in the first inning. The District 1 champions again loaded the bases with one out in the second, and scratched for three runs. Pat Green opened the scoring with an RBI single, while Hickey drove in a second run by legging out an infield hit. Brandon Weir capped the inning with a run-producing sacrifice fly.

Guilford sliced the lead, seizing momentum on Dustin Miconi's two-run homer over the right-center field fence in the third. But T.J. Hickey kept Guilford's bats at bay, and North Stamford iced the game with a five-run fifth inning rally.

"That was the first home run ever hit off him," said Paul Hickey. "A lot of kids could have folded but he hung right in there."

T.J. Hickey struck out six Guilford batters in the game, and retired an equal number of batters on comebackers to the mound. Guilford managed to hit only four balls out of the infield, and North Stamford's outfielders did not record a putout.

North Stamford put the game away with a second rally in the fifth inning. Bobby Horn was hit by a pitch, Tom Dolan walked, and Tom Breen reached on a bunt single to load the bases. An error allowed one run to score, and Sean Mullins delivered a two-run double to stretch the lead to 6-2. After a groundout plated another run, T.J. Hickey capped the scoring with an RBI single.

Guilford threatened in the bottom of the inning, but T.J. Hickey escaped danger with an inning-ending strikeout before retiring the side in order in the sixth inning.

"I told my kids from the beginning that sooner or later we would run into a better team than us," said Guilford manager Mark Donovan. "(North Stamford) was the only team in Connecticut that was better than us, and they were only better by one inning."

The one inning made the difference after the two teams traded resounding victories in the first two games at Reeves Field. North Stamford romped in a 10-0 mercy rule-shortened opener, and Guilford used a six-run fifth inning to even the series with a 10-3 win in game two.

North Stamford pounded eleven hits in the opener, but a defensive play in the first inning sparked the victory. Guilford threatened with runners at the corners and one out when Mike Pavalko slapped a sinking line drive down the left field line. North Stamford left fielder J.J. DeCrescenzo raced to the ball and made a diving catch before springing to his feet and firing the ball back to the infield. Dolan quickly relayed the ball home to retire the runner tagging up from third, completing an inning-ending double play that kept Guilford off the scoreboard.

"That was the momentum builder," said Paul Hickey. "They were threatening and (DeCrescenzo) got us the momentum and we lived off of that. If they get one or two runs, who knows what happens. And if he doesn't get right up after the catch, we probably don't get the play at home. That set the tone."

North Stamford capitalized on the momentum in the bottom of the inning. Mullins lined the first pitch over the left-field fence but barely foul, and though he flew out, T.J. Hickey launched a two-run homer two batters later.

The early lead helped Horn, North Stamford's starting pitcher, to settle into a groove. After allowing two singles prior to the first inning double play, Horn retired the next seven batters he faced, and allowed only one more hit the rest of the way. He struck out seven while walking only one in a complete game effort.

While Horn kept Guilford in check, North Stamford's offense went to work. DeCrescenzo drove in a run in the second inning, and North Stamford added two more in the third. Guilford's pitcher retired the first two batters in the fifth before seven consecutive North Stamford batters reached base -- six of them with hits -- in a five-run rally that ended the game. Horn, Dolan, and Breen delivered RBI singles, and Mullins ended the game with a two-run single.

"They couldn't touch Bobby," said Paul Hickey of his starting pitcher. "He moved the ball around. This was just a continuation of what we've been doing . . . we had the bats, the defense, and the outstanding pitching."

Donovan hoped his team would put the loss behind them.

"I told the kids not to think about the last game," said the Guilford coach. "It's not whether a team makes mistakes -- that's part of the game. It's more about how a team recovers from those mistakes."

Twenty-four hours after the drubbing, Guilford bounced back, upending North Stamford 10-3 to even the series at one game apiece. The District 9 champions jumped to an early lead, and after North Stamford tied the game, pulled away with a six-run rally in the fifth inning. Pavelko, who had thrown a one-hitter in Guilford's 2-0 victory over Windsor International in the Section 2 finals, returned to scatter five hits in a complete game effort against North Stamford.

"That kid did a good job," said Paul Hickey of Pavelko's effort. "He had a nice fastball . . . he was hittable, but Guilford made the plays."

Pavelko also had a hand in Guilford's first inning rally, singling home Mike Donovan with the game's first run and then scoring on Dennis McGinley's two-run double. He added a two-run double of his own during Guilford's fifth inning rally, and Steve Hall capped the inning with a bases-loaded double.

Guilford's victory forced the series to a third game, where North Stamford prevailed to become the first Stamford league to win the state tournament since Stamford's National-Lione Little League advanced to the Eastern Region tournament in 1992.

"They made the plays and got it done," said Mark Donovan of North Stamford's effort in the deciding game. "I'm hoping to be able to get up to Bristol to cheer our state champions on."

North Stamford reached the semifinal round at the New England Region tournament in Bristol, winning two of their four pool games before falling 10-0 to eventual New England champion Saugus American (Massachusetts) Little League.

Follow North Stamford at the New England Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


Linescores:

  Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Guilford 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 4
North Stamford 2 1 2 0 5 10 11 -
  Game 2
Guilford 3 0 0 0 6 1 10 - -
North Stamford 1 0 2 0 0 0 3 5 -
  Game 3
North Stamford 0 3 0 0 5 0 8 10 -
Guilford 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 5 -


2003 Connecticut District Champions and Sectional Tournament Results:

District Champions
in Section 1
District Champions
in Section 2
D1 - North Stamford
D2 - Westport American
D3 - Shelton American
D4 - Hamden
D5 - Wallingford

Section 1 Tournament
Championship Game Host - Wilton (District 1)
At Bill Terry Field

Tournament Results:

Round 1 (Friday, July 18 - at Springdale):
Wallingford 4, Shelton American 3
Hamden 10, North Stamford 0 (5 innings)
Westport American is idle.

Round 2 (Saturday, July 19 - at Stamford Federal):
Westport American 11, Shelton American 3
North Stamford 7, Wallingford 0
Hamden is idle.

Round 3 (Monday, July 21 - at Darien):
Shelton American 6, Hamden 3
Wallingford 6, Westport American 2
North Stamford is idle.

Round 4 (Wednesday, July 23 - at Wilton):
Hamden 4, Westport American 2
North Stamford 8, Shelton American 4
Wallingford is idle.

Round 5 (Thursday, July 24 - at Springdale):
Wallingford 4, Hamden 3 (8 innings)
North Stamford 10, Westport American 0 (4 innings)
Shelton American is idle.


Standings

W

L
North Stamford 3 1
Wallingford 3 1
Hamden 2 2
Westport American 1 3
Shelton American 1 3

The top two teams advance to the championship game.

Ties are broken based on records in head-to-head competition among tied teams. If a clear winner cannot be determined from head-to-head results, the tie is broken by calculating the ratio of runs allowed to defensive innings played for all teams involved in the tie. The team with the lowest runs-per-defensive-inning ratio advances.

In the event of a tie involving three or more teams, once the initial tie is broken, the remaining tied teams are again compared on head-to-head record to determine if a clear winner can be identified. If no clear winner can be identified from head-to-head results among the remaining tied teams, the runs-per-defensive-inning ratio is again used. This process is repeated until all ties have been broken.

Section 1 Championship Game (Friday, July 25):

North Stamford 8, Wallingford 0 (TITLE)

D6 - Simsbury American
D7 - Newington National
D8 - Windsor International
D9 - Guilford
D10 - Groton Town
D11 - Sprague/Franklin/Canterbury

Section 2 Tournament
Host - Waterford South (District 10)
At Rolf Field

Tournament Results:

Round 1 (Friday, July 18):
Simsbury American 4, Newington National 2
Windsor International 4, Guilford 0
Groton Town 11, Sprague/Franklin/Canterbury 2

Round 2 (Saturday, July 19):
Groton Town 6, Simsbury American 4
Newington National 3, Windsor International 2
Guilford 11, Sprague/Franklin/Canterbury 1 (5 innings)

Round 3 (Monday, July 21):
Guilford 11, Simsbury American 0 (4 innings)
Groton Town 8, Newington National 6
Windsor International 6, Sprague/Franklin/Canterbury 0

Round 4 (Tuesday, July 22):
Simsbury American 7, Windsor International 0 (5 innings; rain)
Guilford 3, Groton Town 0
Newington National 5, Sprague/Franklin/Canterbury 4

Round 5 (Thursday, July 24):
Simsbury American d. Sprague/Franklin/Canterbury
Guilford 7, Newington National 6
Windsor International 6, Groton Town 1


Standings

W

L
Guilford 4 1
Windsor International 3 2
Groton Town 3 2
Simsbury American 3 2
Newington National 2 3
Sprague/Franklin/Canterbury 0 5

The top two teams advance to the championship game.

Ties are broken based on records in head-to-head competition among tied teams. If a clear winner cannot be determined from head-to-head results, the tie is broken by calculating the ratio of runs allowed to defensive innings played for all teams involved in the tie. The team with the lowest runs-per-defensive-inning ratio advances.

In the event of a tie involving three or more teams, once the initial tie is broken, the remaining tied teams are again compared on head-to-head record to determine if a clear winner can be identified. If no clear winner can be identified from head-to-head results among the remaining tied teams, the runs-per-defensive-inning ratio is again used. This process is repeated until all ties have been broken.

Section 2 Championship Game (Friday, July 25):

Guilford 2, Windsor International 0 (TITLE)




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Toward the present

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Last revision: 06/12/2004