For the first time all tournament, the West Deptford 9-10 All-Stars suffered defeat.
Unfortunately with the win-or-go-home format of the District 15 Tournament, the players for West Deptford will have to wait until next year to try and bring home a title.
West Deptford erased a two-run deficit in the fourth inning to take a 4-3 lead Tuesday night, but could not hold it in a 5-4 loss to Glassboro in the district championship.
The local all-stars got the tying run to third base and the go-ahead run to the second base in the top of the sixth, but came up just short of completing the comeback.
“We knew they were a tough team,” West Deptford manager Tony Scirrotto said of Glassboro. “We played them a couple of times this year and they have been one-run games, so we knew it was going to be a good game. We just thought the way we were playing we were going to come out and hit.”
Scirrotto told his players to stay positive and reminded them of all their accomplishments over the last couple of weeks.
“I’m happy for our kids," Scirrotto said. “We played well over the whole tournament. We scored over 100 runs, so what are you going to do?”
West Deptford took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI fielder’s choice by Nate Broccoli that scored Colby Garrison. It looked like the play would be a two-run hit, but Glassboro shortstop Conor Miliken dove to his right, fielded the ball and threw Vinny Scirrotto out at third.
Glassboro came out and scored three runs of West Deptford starter Colin Hughes, who lasted only two-thirds of an inning. MJ Iraldi took over with the bases loaded and got the third out to limit the damage. Iraldi went on to throw three more scoreless innings, a remarkable feat considering the day he and his family had.
“He flew home from vacation today to play in this game from Myrtle Beach,” Scirrotto said. “They flew back (Tuesday) and are going back (today), so I want to thank his family. That’s dedication to do that for one game, and he came in and pitched a great game for us.”
West Deptford's offense got in gear in the fifth thanks to Broccoli, who blasted a two-run double that plated Gavin Shields and Mike Yates to tie the game at 3-3. Iraldi followed with an RBI single that brought Broccoli home with the go-ahead run.
The lead didn’t last, though, as Julian Ortiz connected on a bases-loaded, two-run single in the bottom of the fifth.
West Deptford loaded the bases in the top of the sixth with two outs but Minikin—who entered for starter Justin Tongue in the fifth—got Vinny Scirrotto to pop out to second to end the game.
Though the team fell short of a title, Tony Scirrotto sees a lot of potential for the group of kids as they move through the different levels of Little League.
“I think if they stay together, they are going to be a good nucleus,” Scirrotto said. “I have had two older kids go through the whole system, and I see some kids that have the stuff some of my kids had.
“I think they are going to be really good if they stick together.”