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The Northwest Connecticut Steve Blass Little League team won the Lindquist Tournament on July 30. Photo submitted

Northwest CT Little League team wins tourney

NORTH CANAAN — After the end of the official season, the Northwest Connecticut Steve Blass Little League (NWCTSBLL) U-12 All-Stars stormed into the postseason without losing a game, claiming the title of Lindquist Tournament Champions.

The regular season started on Wednesday, March 23, and ran until the second week of June. A few weeks later, starting on Friday, July 7, an All-Star team was formed from the two major teams in the region. Composed of the best 12 players, that team would enter the Lindquist Tournament, where they play six “pool games” to determine seeding.

“It’s just exciting to see the team play together and come together like they did,” said North Canaan Recreation Director and Head Coach Adam Bunce. “In addition to that, it’s been a couple years that we’ve been able to be competitive in any postseason tournament. It’s good to be able to say that we can still play baseball up here.”

Going 6-0 in the pool games, the team had three games to win in order to earn a shot at the championship. After beating the All-Star teams from Simsbury and Berlin,  the team faced New Hartford, a team that had also gone undefeated, on Saturday, July 30.

Before the game, Bunce gave the team a pep talk. “I told them the same thing I’ve told them all tournament. Everyone needed to contribute from top to bottom of the lineup. Offensively and defensively, we couldn’t make mistakes,” said Bunce, who has coached the All-Star team for two consecutive years.

While the records of the two teams were identical, the game quickly became out of reach for New Hartford, as the NWCTSBLL All-Star team went up 6-0 in the first inning. They went on to win the championship in a near-shut-out, 9-1.

“We had a lot of kids that just love to play baseball, and they did everything I asked them to,” said Bunce. “They played out of position. If I asked them to sit on the bench there was no complaining. They did it for the better of the team.”

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