2013 Connecticut State Little League® Tournament Results
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Connecticut State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

Toward the past

Toward the present

Connecticut State Tournament
Host - Southington South (District 5)
At Recreation Park

Recreation Park is located on Maxwell Noble Drive in Plantsville.

Participating Teams
Section 1 Champions Westport (District 2)
Section 2 Champions Coginchaug (Durham) (District 9)

Click here to view 2013 district tournament results for Connecticut.

Best 2-of-3 Series:

Westport 8, Coginchaug 2
Westport 9, Coginchaug 1 (TITLE)


Reaching the Connecticut state championship series requires a lengthy, multi-week trek through district and sectional tournament competition. Winning it can take as little as 26 hours.

With the powerful one-two punch of Chad Knight and Harry Azadian, Westport Little League ensured those 26 hours led to another month of baseball.

Knight struck out 14 batters and allowed no earned runs in Westport's 8-2 victory over Coginchaug Little League in the series' first game, and then Azadian followed with an 11-strikeout effort as Westport dispatched the same team, 9-1, in the second game.

With the sweep, Westport became the fourth consecutive District 2 league to claim the Connecticut championship, and extended an international tournament run that eventually culminated in a berth in the United States championship game. Westport allowed just 16 runs in 13 games en route to the state championship.

"They have two real stud pitchers," said Coginchaug manager Ken Vallone. "We knew we were up against it, and they just did what they had to do. We just couldn't find an answer for it."

Westport started slowly in the series, and trailed for the first time in its international tournament run after Coginchaug tallied a pair of runs in the opening inning of the series following an error on a potential double play grounder. But Westport eventually broke through against Coginchaug starter James Salemme, scoring five times in the fourth inning and icing the game with three in the fifth.

Westport's fourth inning rally was sparked by a pair of errors. Drew Rogers followed with a run-scoring single that plated Matt Brown, and Chris Drbal drove a two-run double into the right center field gap that scored two runs and gave Westport the lead. Max Popken capped the inning with a two-run homer over the center field fence.

"The first time through, the top of the order didn't look great," explained Westport manager Tim Rogers after the game. "Their pitcher was pretty darned good. I was worried that the team was going to be impacted, and we didn't score (through three innings), but they stuck to it and got it done."

Westport capped the win when Drew Rogers delivered a two-run single with the bases loaded in the fifth, and a third run then scored on a wild pitch.

Knight, meanwhile, shut down the Coginchaug offense after the two early unearned runs. The right-hander scattered five hits and switched positions with two outs in the sixth after reaching his pitch count limit. Azadian closed out the game by fanning the only hitter he faced.

"Chad's tough," said Tim Rogers. "He throws hard. He's got a great curveball. When he commands them both, he's almost unhittable.

"What we needed out of him was to put those two runs behind him and to keep it fight there, and that's exactly what he did."

"(Knight) pitched well," agreed Vallone. "He was in his groove. We had things going our way until the fourth inning, (then) we made three or four errors that opened the door for (Westport), and once that happens, it's all over."

"The first game is absolutely huge," noted Tim Rogers. "That said, Coginchaug had to win three games in a row to win their section, so they've shown that they're not afraid to have to win a couple in a row, either."

The next day, Azadian handcuffed Coginchaug, relying on a fastball and sharp-breaking curve while striking out eleven batters over 4-2/3 innings as the District 2 winners rolled to a 9-1 victory that concluded the series.

"The kid can just pitch," said Tim Rogers. "He's been dominant."

"It's hard for a twelve-year-old kid to go up there and recognize that kind of curveball," said Vallone. "It's tough to hit."

Azadian also chipped in offensively, as he and three other Westport hitters slammed home runs against a hard-throwing Coginchaug pitcher. Knight and Azadian launched back-to-back homers in the first inning to give Westport an early 2-0 edge, and Chris Brown and Drbel each homered later in the game as Westport scored in each of the first four innings. Matt Brown added a two-run double in the third inning.

"We knew they had a flamethrower throwing," explained Tim Rogers. "We really dialed up the batting practice. They just did a great job of making contact."

Coginchaug's run came in the fourth inning, when John John Jose singled and later scored on Connor Rulnick's single.

Westport previewed its strong pitching while cruising to three wins in the Section 1 tournament. Knight opened the tourney by firing a no-hitter, striking out thirteen and retiring the final seven hitters he faced against Edgewood Little League in a 7-0 Westport win.

The next day, Azadian, Popken, and Charlie Roof combined to strike out thirteen as Westport held off Orange Little League, 7-5, to move into the championship game.

Westport led early in the game, but Griffin Tirollo slammed a three-run homer in the top of the fourth inning to tie the score. On the first pitch in the bottom of the inning, Westport's Ricky Offenberg snapped the tie with a leadoff home run that gave his team a lead it would not relinquish.

"That was huge," said Tim Rogers of Offenberg's timely blow. "That definitely got momentum back. The kids were definitely down. It was the first pitch, so it felt like, 'okay, we're back in control here.'"

Orange, meanwhile was stymied offensively even though Westport reached deep into its pitching staff.

"All of their pitchers had good curveballs," noted Orange manager James Balocca. "Usually, you get through the first pitcher and to the bullpen and do something with it. Turns out Westport's (depth) pitchers have good curveballs."

Two days later, Westport waited out a 1 hour, 43 minute rain delay, and survived a game-tying home run in the sixth inning while topping Edgewood, 5-3 in seven innings. Roof delivered the key blow, a two-out, two-run double in the top of the seventh inning that provided the final margin of victory.

Edgewood had extended the game when Cory Fredette launched a game-tying solo home run against Knight with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The two wins over Edgewood were revenge for Westport, which lost twice to the same league in the Section 1 tournament in the 9-10 year old division in 2011.

Cognichaug, meanwhile, earned its sectional title by emerging from the bottom bracket. The District 9 champions survived a see-saw encounter with Waterford South Little League in their opening round matchup, blowing a four-run lead in the top of the sixth inning before rallying from a four-run deficit in the bottom of hte frame. Coginchaug scored four times to tie the game, and then won it when A.J. Kleczkowski slammed a two-run, walkoff home run.

Two days later, Coginchaug found offense a bit harder to come by, and managed just two hits against South Windsor American Little League pitcher Zach Donohue while dropping a 1-0 decision. Coginchaug earned a rematch with a second win over Waterford South, as Cole Niedmann's two home runs and Griffin Saks' three base hits propelled a 7-6 victory, and then swept South Windsor American in a pair of championship series meetings.

Coginchaug pounded four home runs, including two by T.J. Vallone and one each by Salemme and Ryan Genest, in a 12-3 win the forced the tourney to a final game, and then topped the same team, 11-4, in the deciding game.

Jose and T.J. Vallone homered in the game for Coginchaug, and Rulnick -- a left-hander who had thrown exactly one inning to that point in the international tournament -- got the start and shut down Coginchaug for much of the game in a six-strikeout effort.

"He came out today and pitched unbelievably," said Ken Vallone of his unlikely starting pitcher. "He shut them down."

The win moved Coginchaug's players into the state championship series for the second consecutive year, as the league was the Connecticut runner-up in the 10-11 year old division in 2012. But the powerful right arms of Knight and Azadian made offense a bit harder to come by for the Section 2 champions, and Westport moved into region tournament competition for the first time in the league's history.

"My hat's off to Westport," said Ken Vallone. "They're a fantastic team. That team could go quite a long way ahead of them with the pitching they had."

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


  Section 1 Championship Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Westport 1 0 0 1 0 1 2 5 8 0
Edgewood 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 4 2
  Section 2 Championship Series Game 2
Coginchaug 4 2 0 3 0 2 11 - -
South Windsor American 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 - -
  State Tournament Game 1
Coginchaug 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 -
Westport 0 0 0 5 3 x 8 - -
  State Tournament Game 2
Coginchaug 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 6 0
Westport 2 1 3 2 0 x 9 8 0

2013 Connecticut District Champions and Sectional Tournament Results:

District Champions
in Section 1
District Champions
in Section 2
D1 - Stamford National
D2 - Westport
D3 - George J. Hummel (Seymour)
D4 - Orange
D5 - Edgewood

Section 1 Tournament
Championship Game Host - Stamford National (District 1)

Tournament Results:

1 - Edgewood 23, Stamford National 10
2 - Orange 8, George J. Hummel 2
3 - Westport 7, Edgewood 0
4 - Stamford National 11, George J. Hummel 1 (elim.)
6 - Edgewood 7, Stamford National 5 (elim.)
5 - Westport 7, Orange 5
7 - Edgewood 14, Orange 9 (elim.)
8 - Westport 5, Edgewood 3 (7 innings; TITLE)

D6 - Burlington
D7 - Wethersfield
D8 - South Windsor American
D9 - Coginchaug (Durham)
D10 - Waterford South
D11 - Sprague/Franklin/Canterbury

Section 2 Tournament
Host - HYSA (Harwinton) (District 6)

Tournament Schedule/Results:

1 - Waterford South 8, Wethersfield 7
2 - South Windsor American 13, Sprague/Franklin/Canterbury 3
3 - Coginchaug 11, Waterford South 9
4 - South Windsor American 2, Burlington 1
5 - Burlington 16, Wethersfield 4 (elim.)
6 - Waterford South 11, Sprague/Franklin/Canterbury 6 (elim.)
7 - South Windsor American 1, Coginchaug 0
8 - Waterford South 12, Burlington 5 (elim.)
9 - Coginchaug 7, Waterford South 6 (elim.)
10 - Coginchaug 12, South Windsor American 3
11 - Coginchaug 11, South Windsor American 4 (TITLE)

Toward the past

Toward the present

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Last revision: 06/08/2014