SOUTHINGTON - The championship round of the District 5 tournament arrived and so did the squad from Edgewood Little League, with a dominant 13-3 win over Berlin in a mercy rule-shortened game ending after five innings at Recreation Park.
“It felt pretty good,” Edgewood’s Mason Harris said. “In practice everyone hits the ball, but in the game it’s a little nerve-racking, but we pulled it together and came through.”
It all started with Oscar Kuzniar.
The starting pitcher dazzled in 4 1/3 innings pitched for Edgewood, adding six strikeouts, walking one and allowing one run, which came on a passed ball in the first inning.
At the plate he was equally impressive, with a double and a two-run homer launched over the left field fence to put an exclamation point on the win.
“I’ve been hitting decently at the plate and I’ve been hitting home runs like almost every game,” Kuzniar said. “I’ve been having fun.”
While Kuzniar had a strong game, the rest of the Edgewood team was equally impressive.
The big inning offensively came in the third for Edgewood, with nine runs crossing the plate.
Harry Ross, Connor Cyr, Danny Wilson, Ben D’Amato and Brayden Dauphinee all had one RBI in the inning. Harris added a double to drive in a pair. Two of the Edgewood runs came off Berlin errors.
“Our fielding could have been a little better and our approach at the plate,” Berlin’s Toby Lavender said. “We’ll be better [tomorrow.].”
After the top half of the third, the scoreboard read 10-1 in favor of Edgewood.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Jake Stringer came in to pitch for Edgewood in relief of Kuzniar.
Pitching with the big lead, Stringer allowed two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run double by Ryan Catalano, which scored Berlin’s Aiden Cooney and Lavender.
“We already had a 13-1 lead, so I already had a score behind me,” Stringer said. “I was just pumping fastballs.”
Edgewood’s first run of the game came on an RBI single by Chase Mendela in the top of the second inning to even the game at 1-1.
Mendela was one of the best hitters in the game, finishing with multiple hits, including two singles and a double to go with his RBI in the second.
“I think we’re very good, one of a kind to be honest,” Mendela said. “I think we all contribute. We all can hit and we all practice hard together.”
Catalano, Mason Toce and Jayden Jaykiel pitched for Berlin in the game. Catalano started the game and was pulled for Toce in the third inning with the score 6-1.
Edgewood’s starting first baseman D’Amato played strong, with a few scoops to save errant throws by the fielders.
Lavender and Catalano provided the offense for Berlin with two hits each. Cooney stood strong in the box and was hit by a pitch in a strong at bat in the fifth inning.
Connor Cyr had a double for Edgewood, Mikey McMahon walked and Dauphinee had a pair of RBI.
Edgewood will take on the winner of Wallingford and Yalesville today at 5:45 p.m. at Southington’s Recreation Park, while Berlin will face the loser of that game at Petit Field in Berlin, at 5:45 p.m. today.