WORCESTER >> Chadwicks found itself in a familiar position Sunday night.
They lost the winner’s bracket final and needed to win three straight for a league championship.
They did it last year and did it again this year.
After beating Valley Forge in the loser’s bracket final Monday and topping JP Mascaro in extra innings Tuesday to force a Game 2, Chadwicks won their second straight Greater Norristown American Legion Baseball League title with a 13-0 win over the Haulers in five innings Wednesday evening at Methacton High School.
“(Last year’s experience) definitely helped a lot,” Joe Sortino said. “We were a lot more comfortable going into it (this year), it felt like the same situation so we knew what we had to do.”
“It’s great to go back-to-back,” Dom Proietto added. “That’s something special and to do it with most of the same guys and some new guys — it’s a great experience.”
Sortino had a big game at the plate, hitting two home runs — the first a grand slam and the second a three-run shot.
“I was seeing the ball well today,” he said. “The first one I didn’t think was getting out. The second one I kind of knew, but I was just trying to help the team out.”
The first gave Chadwicks a comfortable lead in the second inning. After Jack Houser hit an RBI double and Colt Narciso a sacrifice fly, Sortino’s blast over the rightfield fence made it a 6-0 game.
“The first one — the grand slam — helped,” Sortino said. “We only had two runs at that point and that got us up to six. That opened up the game a lot and allowed the guys to be a lot more comfortable with their at-bats.”
The second came in the top of the fifth inning to give Chadwicks a 13-0 lead. After Proietto doubled home Ty Pastella to make it 10-0, Sortino ripped a towering shot over the netting above the right-center fence.
That was more than enough support for Proietto on the mound. The right-hander, who started and threw three innings in Monday’s win over Valley Forge before exiting to remain eligible to pitch Wednesday, scattered two hits over five innings. He struck out six batters to two walks and never allowed a runner to reach third base.
“Coach Kirk (Daywalt) asked me if I was ready to go and I told him, ‘I’m ready, I want the opportunity, I want try and shut this out, get us the win,’” Proietto said, “and he told me just to go out there and throw strikes like I’ve been doing all year.
“My catcher Jake (Undercuffler) does a great job as usual behind the plate. He keeps me honest, he calls good pitches. I was pumping fastballs a lot, my off-speed was working real nice, I was hitting the outside corner a lot. Just hitting my spots, catcher called a good game as usual, defense had me in the field. Colt (Narciso), Jules (Mastrocola), Matt (Ahmad) and Joe (Sortino), the outfield. I was just letting them put it in play and hope for the best.”
Houser, the hero of Game 1 with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning, worked a bases loaded walk in the third inning to give Chadwicks a 7-0 edge.
In the top of the fourth, Chris Faunce hit a sacrifice fly and Jules Mastrocola hit an RBI double to extend the lead to 9-0.
Gavin Wolfe started for JP Mascaro. After throwing two innings in relief Tuesday night, the right-hander surrendered nine runs over four innings. He allowed eight hits and walked four batters.
“It’s not that we didn’t have it,” Mascaro manager Lucas Denczi said, “I think it was a long playoff run. Short one, but long one. With 10 guys it’s tough sometimes. (Tuesday) night was a heck of a game — eight innings and we missed our opportunity and then the momentum swung and went the other way. Nothing to be ashamed of. Last two years we finished in last place and were in the play-in game. This year the kids came out and it was a good year fun-wise and made the championship game, came out of the winner’s bracket. Nothing to hang our heads about.”
Chadwicks advances to the Regiona 3 tournament, which starts next weekend.
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