Lanesborough wins Cal Ripken 12U Western Mass. state title
Photo Gallery | Lanesborough Bulldogs beat Narragansett 11-0
LANESBOROUGH — For the fourth time in five years, the Lanesborough Bulldogs are returning to Cal Ripken 12-and-under regional tournament.
The Bulldogs took care of business with an 11-0 victory against Narragansett, winning the Western Mass. state final in four innings.
"This is probably the best defensive and offensive team I have had so far," Lanesborough coach Rick Paris said. "As long as our pitchers are healthy, we have a great chance."
On the mound for the Bulldogs was Panay Constantopoulos, who walked two in the first, but struck out three batters in the inning to get out of the jam without allowing a run.
For Narragansett, Andrew Capps started the game and had to work for every strike. Nine batters came to the plate in the first inning for the Bulldogs and seven of them saw at least six pitches.
Oscar Law and Derek Paris both reached base before Constantopoulos crushed a double to score both runners. Lanesborough scored three more runs in the inning, making it 5-0 after one inning.
Constantopoulos struck out two more in the second inning and then was replaced by Jack Cangelosi with two on and two outs. Cangelosi got out of the second-inning threat from Narragansett by getting Capps to pop-out to first base.
The Bulldog bats continued in the bottom of the second inning as Josh Polumbo was able to thread a single into right field, allowing Constantopoulos and Landen Jamula to score. Lanesborough scored one more in the inning, making the game 8-0 after two.
With a firm lead, it was on the shoulders of Cangelosi. With one on and one out in the top of the third, Lanesborough was able to take the momentum back as Oscar Law started a six-four double play to end the inning.
Thomas Martin, who ended the day 2-for-2 and won Offensive Player of the Game, crushed a triple to right field to start the bottom of the third. He quickly scored as Alex Axt then hit a triple of his own, making the score 9-0. Two more runs were manufactured in the inning, making the score 11-0.
Cangelosi remained on the mound for the top of the fourth inning. After allowing a single, he struck out three-straight batters, finishing the game under a waterfall of Gatorade.
"I feel like I pitched pretty well," Cangelosi said. "[Polumbo] had a big hit for us and I was able to feel confident by coming in with the lead."
Paris, the coach of all three state championships, isn't bored of the success, but wants more this season.
"Never get bored of it" Paris said with a smile on his face. "The goal, when we talked in the offseason, is to get to the World Series. Let's not just get there, let's win it."
The Bulldogs get a 10-day rest before the regional tournament opens at Chelmsford on July 15.