11-12 Fredonia All-Stars fall short of District title in loss to Southwestern

OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen Fredonia’s Luca Gullo delivers a pitch during Thursday’s District 38 11-12 Little League baseball championship game, at the Fredonia Little League Complex, in Fredonia.

The Fredonia All-Stars had blown out its competition all postseason long to earn a spot in the non-sanctioned District 38 11-12 Little League Championship baseball game on Thursday. Sadly for Fredonia, the final game of the tournament ended with Fredonia on the other side of the final result.

Southwestern defeated Fredonia by a score of 13-3 after four innings of play in Thursday’s title game at the Fredonia Little League Complex.

The visitors, Southwestern, jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning after the first four batters of the game all came around to score. Though Fredonia’s potent offense had put away every other competitor in the tournament, Southwestern just kept coming, with four more in the second inning, to put Fredonia in an early 8-0 hole.

“They won the game, it’s not like we gave it to them. Credit to them, they beat us,” said Fredonia coach Luke Gullo. “Hats off to them. They played a tremendous game.”

Fredonia got on the board with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning, as both Luca Gullo and Ryan Kelly came around to score. After Luca Gullo threw a shutout top of the third inning, Fredonia added another run in the bottom of the third frame. Colin Luce ripped a double and later came in to score on a wild throw down to third base.

OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen Fredonia’s Colin Luce slides into third base as the throw sails into the outfield during Thursday’s game. Luce came in to score Fredonia’s third run, but Southwestern won the contest, 13-3, to claim the District 38 Little League baseball title.

“Colin Luce cemented himself as our No. 3 hitter in this tournament. He’s impressed everyone here. There’s great things to come from him,” said Coach Gullo.

Southwestern, after seeing its advantage slip to 8-3 after three innings, put the game out of reach with five runs in the top of the fourth inning. Fredonia could not answer in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Despite the sour ending, Fredonia finished the tournament 5-1, with all five victories by double digits. Fredonia’s offense impressed Coach Gullo, but so did the defense of players such as Colin Crowell at first base and the pitching performance of Ashton Putney, who Coach Gullo called his “ace” pitcher earlier in the tournament.

“The other Mr. Gullo is going to enjoy these kids,” said Coach Luke Gullo, referring to his brother Vince, the Fredonia High School baseball coach. “There’s nothing but good things to come.”