SOUTHINGTON - Ty Nogeic powered a two-run home run and a two-run single, driving in four runs to lead Farmington to an 8-3 victory over Southington South to capture its third straight Little League Baseball District 5 tournament championship Thursday at Recreation Park.
The district tournament is the first step in the path toward a state title and a trip to Bristol for the New England Regional, and eventually a chance for the Little League World Series.
Peyton Miller’s solo shot and Nogiec’s two-run homer, both in the third inning, gave Farmington a 5-2 lead. Southington South cut its deficit to 5-3, but Nogeic plated two more runs in the fourth for a commanding 8-3 lead.
“For that team, they have a bunch of different kids that can all put the ball in play,” Southington South head coach Curtis Migliore said. “They spread it around.”
Right-handed hitter Miller roped his floating line drive over the left-center field fence for a leadoff bomb, and lefty Nogiec’s homer landed around the same area.
Nogiec rounded second and shouted toward his dugout as he celebrated a mid-inning advantage that helped advance his team to the sectional tournament.
Southington South, meanwhile, saw its season end as the two teams split the eight-game season series.
“We know these kids pretty well. We tried to work them outside but weren’t getting the corner so we had to work them over the plate a little bit more than we wanted to,” Migliore said. “[Nogiec] ended up tattooing a couple of them, plus he’s a big lefty so our pitchers were just having trouble finding the zone against him.”
Farmington’s 2-0 lead, built on a two-run home run by Bodie Swanson in the first inning, was erased in the bottom of the first by Southington North’s Brycen Voisine, who hit an RBI double, and Evan Wilcox followed with an RBI single.
“We needed that. We needed to get ourselves back in the game mentally,” said Migliore, whose team lost to Farmington, 15-0, on Monday to drop to the loser’s bracket. “Last time we played them they had a huge first inning against us, and we weren’t able to fight back. This time, we were able to get out of it pretty quickly and didn’t give up too many runs. Last time we gave up 10 runs in the first inning, but this time we got them right back.”
Braden Savage dunked an RBI single into shallow center to cut South’s deficit to 5-3 in the bottom of the third, but Farmington tacked onto its lead in the fourth, buoyed by Ethan Halstead’s ground-rule double. Halstead scored on an error two batters later, and Nogeic followed moments later by poking a two-run single to left-center.
“We held them pretty much until that fourth inning. But we gave up a few errors, and that was the game,” Migliore said. “The momentum felt like it was carrying in their direction.”
The next stop for Farmington is the state Section 2 tournament against the District 3 and 6 champions, beginning next Friday in Southington. The four sectional winners advance to the state championships.
Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or email@example.com