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24

Jun, 2022

PLL Wins District 12 Championship

The drama of Game 1 began Wednesday night, when manager Matt Bellace’s flight was canceled from Chicago to Newark due to widespread storms. He found a Princeton friend at the airport and they drove through the night to make the game! The story became a rallying cry for the team, “Who’s willing to drive through the night and win this game?”

The team fell behind early with strong hitting from Millstone LL, 9-2 four innings. It looked like it could be over. Then in a crucial decision by Coach Jim Brophy to get the boys some fruit, team mom Betsy Baglio found watermelon and pineapple that the boys all agree was the best they’ve ever tasted! That set the stage for a big comeback.

In the 5th inning, Victor Espitia, Asa Collins and Brady Lee led off with three consecutive singles, helping the team plate three runs and close it to 9-5. Noah Prete and Charlie Baglio did a masterful job on the hill to keep Millstone to 9 runs, while the offense added a run to bring the game to 9-6 in the bottom of the 7th inning. After lead off walks to Salvo Taibi and Forest Rose, Victor Espitia singled and Asa Collins doubled to tie the game at 9-9. Chants of “finish the journey and Chicago to Princeton" could be heard in the dugout.

In a play that will be talked about for a long time, with two outs and two strikes on Noah Prete, Asa Collins stole home on the throw back to the pitcher. He timed it perfectly and made a beautiful slide at the plate and Princeton LL won 10-9!

In the game 2, Matthew Brophy pitched a masterful 6 and 2/3rds innings, giving up no runs while he was in the game! Princeton pounded out 13 runs and capitalized on some costly Millstone errors, while playing errorless baseball for 7 innings. Matthew Brophy and Asa Collins both had multiple hits in the game. Princeton LL won 13-4 and clinched the 2022 District 12 Championship!

A banner will hang at Grover Field for years to come with every team member of this team’s name on it. The group that was willing to go the distance!

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