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LITTLE LEAGUE Canfield is runner-up in state tourney



Published: Mon, August 13, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The 9-10 team bowed to Tallmadge, 3-2, in the championship game .

SPECIAL TO THE VINDICATOR

TALLMADGE -- Canfield's 9-10-year-old All-Star baseball players were anything but disappointed when they walked away with the state Little League runners-up title Sunday.

After battling its way out of the loser's bracket, Canfield ended its season with a 3-2 defeat by Tallmadge in the state championship finale.

Despite the final score, smiles took over, not only in the stands, but in the dugout, too, as 12 boys prepared to leave the diamond with memories that will last a lifetime.

Scoreless: In Sunday's finale, the game was scoreless after three innings.

Canfield's Jake Kucek doubled to right field to lead off the fourth inning. After Eddie Reese walked, A.J. Zorella singled to advance the runners. Kucek and Reese scored on two throwing errors for Canfield's 2-0 lead.

Tallmadge got out of the jam by doubling up Zorella on a flyout by Jeff Chahine, and a fielder's choice to end the inning.

Tallmadge's tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning after a pair of singles and a bunt loaded the bases.

An error and a sacrifice fly brought in two runs to tie the game.

Go-ahead run: With two runners on and one out, Canfield pitcher Jared Turocy intentionally walked Joe Cochran to reload the bases . Paul Pakan's single brought in the go-ahead run.

Canfield got out of the inning with two quick outs, but the damage had been done.

Tallmadge retired the Canfield batters in the top of the sixth inning to clinch the title.

Leading Canfield's offense was Zorella with two singles, Kucek with a double, and Turocy with a single.

Their journey to the title game was long and grueling.

After Canfield lost its first district game to Campbell, few had much hope for advancing all the way to the state finale.

Eight wins: But eight victories later, Canfield became district champions and earned Canfield Baseball Club's third district title since 1996.

Fueled by their winning streak, Canfield won it's first two state games before losing to Tallmadge to drop into the loser's bracket.

Undaunted, Canfield battled its way into the championship game for a rematch with Tallmadge.

Canfield manager Sam Fisher said his team's success came from being a "true team. Every single player contributed to the team's wins and they all got along very well. We had great team chemistry."

Fisher also thanked the fans and families who supported the team over the many trips to Summit County.

Four strikeouts: Defensively, Turocy had four strikeouts in five innings.

The other Canfield players are Stephen Hunt, Billy Cupler, Kyle Vaclav, Ryan Taylor, Chris Hammond, Billy Fisher, and Chris Brandenstein.

Fisher's coaches were Jack Kucek and Jeff Chahine, with help from Doug Vaclav and Lou Zorella, Jr.




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