Eight- and nine-year-olds: Weston moves onto playoffs

A team effort helped the Weston eight- and nine-year-old travel baseball blue team reach the playoffs of the Monroe Tournament with a win over North End 12-2 last Monday, July 2.

Starting pitcher E.J. Klatt got the win, and Nicholas Sacchetta closed out the game with a strong performance.

“These boys never played ‘live ball’ rules before this tournament, and they’ve learned the concept remarkably quickly,” said team manger Seve Esposito. “Our teams have always been about holding our opponents down, and the way they played against an excellent Bridgeport team was very much indicative of that.”

In its first playoff game, Weston defeated Black Rock 9-5 on Saturday, riding the left arm of Klatt and an offensive explosion of nine runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Klatt won his third game of the tournament, pitching well into the fifth inning. He recorded seven strikeouts and kept the Black Rock hitters off balance throughout the game.

Sacchetta shut the door on Black Rock in the sixth inning to preserve the win.

“Nobody can stop you guys now,” Esposito told his players after the game. “Now you’re on fire. You guys can beat anybody”

During the tournament, Weston has seen the rise of a one-two combination at the top of the lineup. Andrew Amato and Andrew “Contact” Castro. The former has set the table for Weston scoring through consistent hitting and aggressive base running. The latter moved into second slot in the batting order and has delivered consistent contact hitting, providing Weston hitters opportunities for run-scoring hits.

Besides participating in the Monroe Tournament, Weston played exceptional baseball this past Sunday, defeating Fairfield National Blue 7-3 in the Friendship League.

After Dante Esposito finished a perfect, nine-pitch first inning, Myles Lehrman pitched the second and third frames by throwing just 16 pitches, recording six outs with no runners advancing past second base. Johnny “Sluggy” Cassol struck out three in a perfect fourth inning. Joshua Handel pitched the fifth and Castro pitched the sixth inning for his first save of the season.

The defense was highlighted by a sliding catch by Luke Dionian in the outfield, and a diving force play tag at home plate by catcher Daniel Bello with both plays squashing potential Fairfield late game rallies. A multi-hit game by Amato and a long double by Sacchetta led the offensive attack.

“Our game against Fairfield National Blue may have been our best played game,” said coach Nathan Klatt. “We played a very strong opponent. Most everyone contributed at the plate and five pitchers held a previously undefeated team to just three runs.”

Should Weston defeat Fairfield National Red in the Monroe Tournament semifinals it will play Trumbull American on Friday.

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