Special to the Press
PLAINVILLE - The Southington North Little League team could not hold down the Wallingford offense in a 19-2 loss in the District 5 championship game on Wednesday evening.
“They are just a good team,” Southington North manager Brett Carroll said. “We made some mistakes that they capitalized on. Good teams take advantage of mistakes and they did a great job of doing that and beating us.”
Wallingford broke things open in the second inning, scoring 11 runs before an approximate 45-minute rain delay.
But pitching was not the only problem for Southington North. The offense was not able to muster much against Wallingford starting pitcher Jack Pesta.
Pesta threw four innings of two-run ball to keep the Southington offense off-balance all evening.
“He’s been a great pitcher,” Wallingford manager Brian Mitchell said. “We have really good pitching and more importantly, our defense behind him is great. He was good tonight. He was really good tonight. He was off his game a little early, but he settled in and got strikes and let his defense go to work.”
Pesta pitched effectively for all four innings except the third, when he ran into some trouble finding the strike zone.
Max Frechette started the inning with a double and advanced to second a wild pitch. He then scored on an RBI double by Ryan Larrabee.
On a wild pitch and error on the next play, Southington North scored their second run of the game. A walked batter later is when Mitchell came in to speak to his young pitcher.
“I just told him to relax and throw strikes,” Mitchell said. “You have a great defense behind you, just give us strikes and let the defense go to work.”
The talk helped, as Pesta retired the next five of eight batters and get the final out of the game.
Wallingford tacked on eight extra runs to provide some breathing room, four each in the third and fourth innings.
Despite Southington North’s loss, Carroll says he is just proud of the way the team fought and the way his players got themselves into a championship position.
“We made it to the championship game. It’s a big plus,” Carroll said. “Last year we didn’t make it this far. We improved this year and made it to the final two. I think that is great for our kids and we just lost to a great team.”
With the victory, Wallingford will advance to the state Section 2 tournament and play on Sunday against the Division 6 champion.
Kimberly Pena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @Kimberly_P12