The Johnston Little League 12 year old All-Star team topped Elmwood 10-4 to win the District I Championship last week at Memorial Park. It was Johnston’s first District title since 2009.
Johnston fired on all cylinders to earn the win and was led by pitcher Luca Schroer on the mound. Schroer was lights out for much of his outing, pitching five innings and allowing just three runs while striking out eight batters.
Johnston took a 2-0 lead in the second inning and would tack on three more runs in the third to go up 5-0. Elmwood would respond with a pair of runs to get back within striking distance, but Johnston would add five insurance runs in the top of the sixth inning to put the game out of reach.
Elmwood scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth but was unable to press JLL.
JLL got contributions at the plate throughout its lineup, with nine players either scoring or knocking in runs. Jordan Diclo led the team with three hits and two RBI while Schroer helped his own cause with two hits and an RBI.
Lucca Ricci pitched the sixth inning and allowed no earned runs while recording a strikeout.
“It’s unbelievable because none of these kids were born when Johnston last won the District championship. It makes this one the sweetest that there’s ever been. The kids played great, it’s a great group of kids and I have had most of them since they were 6 years old. I knew this was coming for them,” said JLL coach Jamie Ricci. “They lost their 10-year-old season to COVID and that was a season in which we thought they could do it, but they waited until the big show. I am happy for them, they love each other and they’re great kids.”
Between defending champion North Providence, Elmwood and the two Cranston clubs, JLL had its work cut out for it in the district tournament, but would answer the bell and go undefeated.
“This year was tough. Elmwood combined with Washington Park, Cranston West is always tough, North Providence gave us both a battle, at the end of the day, we’re a tough team. They can hit, they’ve got pitching, and our subs are as good any anyone which makes us really deep. This is definitely the deepest team that I’ve ever coached,” said Ricci, who hopes the team’s slate of games will help it carry the momentum into the next leg of the race. “We’re just going to work hard. We had five scrimmages and four district games. That’s nine games, and every game I have seen them get better and better.”
The JLL 12’s included: Aiden Neil, Joe Maggiacomo, Corey Ogden, Ethan Archambeault, Alex Soto, Lucca Ricci, Jordan Diclo, Max Pilkington, Jalen Johnson, Fotis Fotopoulos, Steven Palardy, Fabian Alemen and Luca Schroer.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here