Coach Rich Elpi is back with a number of players from last year’s 11-year-old all star team, and it looks like the experience they gained then is helping them this year. The team is off to a 3-1 start in the Little League divisional playoffs.
So far they have defeated the Pop Smith All Stars from New Haven, 22-0; Hamden, 4-3; and East Haven, 15-2. Their only loss was to North Branford, 5-2. That was the game The Eagle was at the past week, and even then, they played well, losing to a good North Branford club.
“We’re playing pretty well overall,” said Elpi, “We faced a good pitcher in Scalia (Dominic) when we played North Branford, and even though we got some hits (six) off him, he kept us from scoring in all but one inning.” Scalia had eight strikeouts and didn’t walk anyone in 4 2/3 innings.
North Branford opened the scoring with two runs in the first inning.
They built their lead to 5-0 with one run in the third and two more in the fourth.Here catcher Adam Chasse tags out a North Branford runner at home plate.
Dylan Sachs tags out a runner trying to get back to first base.
Branford scored both their runs in the fifth inning on a single by Nate Chieppo and a homerun by Sam Russo. Both Chieppo and Russo had two hits in the game.
Other players who hit for Branford included Matt Morgan, who had a double, and Mike Bonfiglio and Zach Turbert, who each had a single.
Matt Morgan slides into second ahead of the throw.
Zach Turbert singles to left.
Mike Bonfiglio started on the mound for Branford. He went 3 1/3 innings giving up six hits and striking out four. He was relieved by Russo, who shut North Branford down with no runs and also striking out four.
Matt Morgan grabs a fly ball to the outfield.
Coach Rich Elpi keeps an eye on the action.
Jake Elpi makes contact on a high hard one
Dave McDonald makes a catch on a fly ball to left.
In the East Haven game on Thursday, Bonfiglio had four hits and two RBI’s. Dylan Sachs had three hits, including a double and homerun and Adam Chase, two homeruns and five RBI’s.
Branford’s next game was on Monday against North Haven in the District playoffs The team lost to North Haven 18-7. They were eliminated from the playoffs.