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  • Greg Lederer

Reds 8-U Rallies To Win East Shore Travel League Title

On June 25, Cheshire Reds 8-U baseball beat the Connecticut Grind, 7-4, in the East Shore Travel League final at McNamara Legion Field. Pictured from left, Tyler Pearsall and Nick McKenzie are kneeling in the front row. Middle row (from left): Oliver Thayer, Dominic Grant, Liam Smith, Grant Smith, Antonio Floriano, Colin Leska, Bryce Powers, Gio Baggetta, Luke Farrell, Emelio Perez, Joey McKenzie, Jack Farrell. Back row (from left): Assistant Matt Pearsall, Head Coach Jeff Farrell, Assistants Shaun Leska and Dan Smith. Submitted photo.

by Greg Lederer

Cheshire Sports Media

Resilience was a strength for the Cheshire Reds 8-U baseball team in East Shore Travel League playoffs. In all three games, the squad came from behind to sweep the opposition and take home the championship.

To start the tournament on June 22 at Annex Fields in New Haven, the Reds erased a 2-0 deficit to win 11-3 over Smash Factory. The next day at the same site, Hank’s Yanks jumped ahead 4-0, but Cheshire rallied to win 8-5 in the semifinals.

“We are a really resilient group of kids,” said Cheshire Head Coach Jeff Farrell. “When we get one hit, they (the players) have a knack for bouncing back.”

The Reds staged another rally in the final held last Tuesday at McNamara Legion Field in Cheshire. This time, the Connecticut Grind built a 4-1 advantage, however, the Reds responded by scoring the final six runs to claim the crown.

In the fourth inning, Cheshire gained momentum in stringing together five straight hits.

“We have a lot of kids, who love baseball,” stated Farrell. “They enjoy coming to practice every day. We had a really good team atmosphere.”

Overall, the Reds batted .438 as a team. Tyler Pearsall (.636), Liam Smith (.623), Luke Farrell (.508), Colin Leska (.490), Antonio Floriano (.439), and Grant Smith (.438) all hit over .400.

“We had three kids who hit over .500 on the season, but on any given day, we could have someone step up and hit for us,” explained Farrell.

The head coach also felt that depth was also key to the pitching staff.

“We have five guys who can throw the ball and keep us in games,” stated Farrell.

Coming into the spring, the coaching staff emphasized having fun, being great teammates, and being coachable.

“We kept on those three things and the kids definitely responded to it,” reflected Farrell. “The kids also picked up situational things about baseball like where the force outs are and where to throw the ball.”

The Reds take a 24-3 record into Monday night's game in New Jersey.

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