All-star teams shift focus from district tournament

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
By Cary Shuman

Jim Lederman

Jim Lederman

By Pete Legasey

For the Transcript

Winthrop’s two competitors in the Little League World Series have been eliminated from the District 16 Tournament and are now setting their sights on other tournaments.

For the 11/12-year-old All-Stars, the end of their run to Williamsport occurred over the course of a single inning on July 9 when they resumed a game that had started on July 6. Winthrop and East Lynn had battled to scoreless tie after six innings and remained deadlocked at one run each after four extra frames. With the skies darkening, the umpires elected to halt the game and resume a few days later.

Winthrop was unable to score in the top of the 11th inning. In the bottom of the inning, East Lynn hit a walk-off home run to end the game and, for Winthrop, the tournament.

However, the Bay State Little League Tournament offers a chance for redemption and more victories for the Winthrop 11/12 All-Star team, which is coached by Phil Todisco and includes Dave Kirby, Hunter Dempsey, James Griffin, Dylan Driscoll, Christopher Capone, Zack Deeb, Ray Feeley, Tim McCone, Chris Fucillo, Nick Miller, Andrew Olevitz and Patrick Todisco.

The Winthrop squad will spend the next two weeks playing against teams from their district to decide which among them will advance to the next round of the tournament. Winthrop will play four home games during the first round, starting with a game against the South End tonight at 5:30 pm at the A Field by Winthrop High School. They will host Lexington at the A Field on Saturday at 5:30, and will play home games at the same time and place on Tuesday and Thursday of next week.

For the 10/11-year-old All-Stars, the Williamsport Tournament ended on July 15 when they were defeated 11-1 by Saugus National. Just as they had in their previous meeting with Saugus a week earlier, Winthrop fell into an early hole and continued to battle hard, but committed crucial errors that allowed the score to get out of reach.

The 10/11 has already embarked on its quest for a victory in the Lynn Tournament, which includes all of the teams from District 16. Winthrop was scheduled to play against Saugus American on Wednesday night, and will host Saugus on Friday in Winthrop (six of the next eight games in the Lynn Tournament will be home games for the Winthrop stars).

The Winthrop players will have added motivation in their two games this week as each of the two games falls on the birthday of one of their coaches. Manager Jay Lafratta’s birthday is tomorrow, while assistant coach Jim Letterie celebrated his on Wednesday, and their charges were determined to make victories in both games their collective gift to their coaches.

The 10/11-year-old squad already has some momentum in the Lynn tourney. Last Friday they came back from a four-run deficit in the sixth inning to force an 11-11 tie against Wyoma of Lynn. The comeback was also made possible by pitchers Hunter Gillis (four strikeouts) and Jake Lafratta (six strikeouts), as well as Jake Letterie and Zach Fisher, who each came up with a pair of crucial RBI hits during the game. Tincludes Justin Barker, Frank Ferrara, Noah Hodgkins, Michael Skoczylas and Vanessa Van Buskirk.

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