Connecticut Outlaws Claim Championship Ballgame Trophy

Sixteen Middletown athletes won the New Haven-based East Shore Travel League Championship on July 17. Their coach describes the victory in his own words.

The Connecticut Outlaws 13U AAU Travel baseball team — 16 Middletown boys (ages 12-14) — won the New Haven-based East Shore Travel League Championship on July 17.

The Connecticut Outlaws 13U Black are: Sebby Amenta, Evan Augeri, Danny Botti, Luke Bourne, Nick Brenchak, Greg Brock, Ricky Cardoza, Zach Coburn, Ryan Famiglietti, Derek Frame, Michael Gaboury, Daniel "Gonzo" Gonzalez, Mark Haller, Jack Higgs, Joe Hinton and Jeremy Tust.

At the end of the regular season, the Outlaws were seeded ninth out of 16. In order to win the title, the boys had to beat the numbers 8, 1, 5 and 3 seeds. 

"Winning the title was a fantastic accomplishment for the boys," says Jason Famiglietti of Middletown, head coach. "The East Shore Travel League is a highly competitive travel league with teams from all across Connecticut."

Famiglietti wrote the following after the team's victory:

"Wow! I don't even know where to begin. In August 2011, the Connecticut Outlaws embarked on a long journey. At 11:05 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 they reached the mountaintop with an incredible 19-11 come-from-behind victory over the number three seeded Fairfield County Captains.

"Still riding high from the semifinal win, Ricky Cardoza took the hill and retired the first six Captains he faced. The Outlaws failed to score in the first two frames so the game went to the third tied at zero.

"The Outlaws drew first blood with a run in the top of the third. Daniel 'Gonzo' Gonzalez flew down the first base line to beat out a ball mishandled by the Fairfield County first baseman. He was forced at second by a grounder to short by Luke Bourne. A Jeremy Tust liner to right moved Bourne into scoring position.

"Greg Brock followed with an RBI single. The Captains fired right back with a run in the bottom of the inning, however the Outlaws grabbed the lead right back in the fourth. Mark Haller doubled and scored on an RBI single by Joe Hinton. What happened next is somewhat unexplainable. The Outlaws, who had been playing mistake free baseball, had "one of those innings" and allowed nine Captain runs. The score was 10-2. The Outlaws had hit rock bottom.

"The Outlaws chipped away at the lead in the top of the fifth. Gonzalez, who was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Gaboury. Zach Coburn walked. A Brock single scored Gonzalez and a Haller single scored Coburn. The Outlaws comeback was stalled by the Captains as they added one more in the bottom of the fifth, however Gaboury, pitching in relief of Cardoza, Brenchak and Coburn, worked out of a jam.

"What followed can only be described as the magical sixth inning. With loud encouragement from the Outlaw fanatics, the boys battled back and sent 13 batters to the plate. Hinton walked. Cardoza walked. Sebby Amenta was hit by a pitch. Ryan Famiglietti walked. 11-5. Gonzalez singled. 11-6. Coburn walked. 11-7. Brock singled. 11-8. Haller singled. 11-9. Brenchak singled. 11-11. Hinton singled and Cardoza doubled to drive in Brenchak and Hinton. 13-11 Outlaws.

Danny Botti courageously emerged from the dugout to take the mound one more time and worked a scoreless sixth. The Outlaws stayed hot as Famiglietti singled to lead off the seventh. Then Gonzalez reached on an error. The Captains retired the next two batters and looked to be in the clear however with two outs the Outlaws scored six more runs. Brock singled to load the bases. Famiglietti scored on a hard hit ball by Haller.

"Brenchak followed with a mammoth triple to the power alley in left center to clear the bases. Hinton and Cardoza walked and Hinton came around to score on a hard hit ball by Amenta. 19-11. The Outlaws, who had been down by eight just forty-five minutes earlier, were now up by eight.

Botti took the ball one more time in the bottom of the seventh and didn't disappoint the Outlaw faithful. He got the first batter to pop up to Amenta at short. 1 down. He got the second batter to ground out to Cardoza at third. 2 down. The third batter reached on a ground ball that just eluded the diving Tust, however that was all that Botti would allow. He only needed four more pitches to strike out the last batter looking on a 1 and 2 count.

"Ball game over. Outlaws win! A joyous celebration ensued on the mound as Outlaw players and coaches converged on Botti. All that was left to do was to hoist the trophy."

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