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    Saturday, December 03, 2022

    East Lyme maintains momentum, takes District 10 title

    Waterford — East Lyme made sure it didn’t need any late rallies or clutch plays to get past Waterford on Wednesday night.

    East Lyme got up early on its neighbors and didn’t let up as it beat Waterford 7-1 to win the District 10 Little League baseball championship (ages 10-12).

    “I think that we had a lot of energy going into the game and we carried it throughout,” said East Lyme catcher Cooper Siragusa, whose mother Kristin has been unable to attend the games because she’s getting ready to give birth to twins.

    “It feels good (to win) because I lost against Waterford in my first year in All-Stars. … It feels good to win.”

    East Lyme rallied twice down two runs on Tuesday night to win 5-4 in eight innings and force a winner-take-all final. It advances to the Connecticut Section 3 tournament that starts Monday in Madison.

    East Lyme won the district with baseball’s tried and true formula — pitching and defense. It didn’t make any errors, with Greyson Biggs coming up with a few big plays at short.

    Jake Palermo also came through again for East Lyme after making a huge defensive play during the eighth inning on Tuesday night that helped his team win. He pitched a four-hitter with six strikeouts and hit a two-run double during East Lyme’s four-run second inning.

    “We have Jake Palermo and we have Wyatt Farrior and we have Cooper Siragusa for pitchers,” East Lyme manager Joel Farrior said. “We came in wondering where we were going to be in terms of depth. Wyatt has been our ace and Jake comes in and has matched that.

    “We’ve got three really good starters and we’ve got some really good relievers that are willing to step up. When you have a defense like we do that’s situationally aware, it helps.”

    East Lyme went ahead 7-0 in the third inning as they kept putting balls in play and benefitted from a few Waterford errors.

    “We hit a couple of hard ones right at people and they had a couple that fell into the gaps,” Waterford manager Chris Gallerani said. “I think we were probably a little flat from (Tuesday) night. We had three opportunities to win it (Tuesday) night. A few breaks didn’t go our way (Tuesday) night and we had a tough time coming back, I think, from that.”

    East Lyme loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the first. Ethan Chantrell walked to force home Siragusa to give his team a 1-0 lead.

    East Lyme’s Alex Bonin and Sean Wren reached on successive errors to start the bottom of the second. Both advanced on a wild pitch and Kyle Cellemme followed with an RBI single.

    Siragusa walked to load the bases and Palermo doubled down the left-field line to score Wren and Cellemme.

    Biggs’ fielder’s choice scored Siragusa and pushed East Lyme ahead 5-0.

    Bradley Ament and Jayson Tejada received back-to-back walks with one out in the East Lyme third. Siragusa was intentionally walked with two outs to load the bases.

    Palermo and Biggs followed with successive ground balls that were misplayed to expand East Lyme’s lead to 7-0.

    Waterford finally scored in the top of the sixth when Griffin Haffey scored on Daniel Gelinas’ fielder’s choice.

    Palermo struck out the last batter looking with two runners on base.

    “These kids have come a long way,” Gallerini said about his team. “They’re going to be a problem to deal with once they get to the high school level. It’s going to be a good group. And that’s what I told them. ‘Guys, this is not the end. This is the beginning for you guys. You’ve got six years ahead of you playing hard against these guys.’”

    Joel Farrior said of the win: “This feels great. It feels great. I had the privilege of coaching a really good team.

    “It’s not just us as coaches. It’s the entire East Lyme community from the (league) president on down. … To do something like this takes a lot of people. It doesn’t just take the people inside the fences. It takes the whole community.”

    n.griffen@theday.com

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