State champ Renegades fall shy of nationals
Published 5:34 pm, Wednesday, August 8, 2012
It will be a month to remember for the youths who distinguished themselves this summer as New Milford's 13U travel baseball team.
Unfortunately, the Renegades fell a run short in the New England regional championship game last weekend to miss out on their ultimate goal, the national Babe Ruth World Series.
After sweeping past its rivals in District 4 in July, Coach Joe Vaughey's squad had won its second state championship in the last three years by winning four straight games in New London.
That success earned the Connecticut champs a spot in the New England regional tournament in Westfield, Mass.
The Renegades began their New England competition with a mercy rule-shortened, 10-0 victory over Marblehead, Mass.
The New Milford youths then registered a 5-4 win against Warwick, R.I., before absorbing their first defeat of the tournament at the hands of host Westfield.
The Renegades rebounded to drub Pittsfield, Mass. 13-0, to advance to the finals vs. unbeaten Westfield.
New Milford then went into the final day's action needing two straight victories over the host team, Westfield, to earn the title.
Coach Vaughey's diamond crew rose to the challenge by claiming a mercy rule-shortened 13-3 decision to force a deciding game.
The climactic finale proved to be a back-and- forth affair featuring five lead changes and extra innings before Westfield emerged on top, 6-5.
"This loss will sting for a while," said Coach Vaughey. "The boys fought so hard, but came up one run short in the end. I could not be prouder of the fight that we showed."
The Renegades close the book with a 29-6 overall record and status as Connecticut's state champions and New England runner-up.
"We will look back upon this season fondly," said Coach Vaughey. "We won the Jimmy Fund tournament, the District 4 tournament, the state tournament and were New England Regional finalists.
"This is the farthest a Babe Ruth team has ever advanced in the history of New Milford baseball," he said. "I am very proud of these boys."