OSWEGO — Continuing with their aggressive hitting and effective pitching, the Elks rolled past Lighthouse Lanes 9-2 on Thursday, completing a two-game sweep in the Oswego Little League Majors Division playoff championship series.
After taking Game 1 of the series by a 5-2 score, the Elks closed it out with another outstanding performance at Lagoe Field. They added the playoff title to their regular-season crown.
Daniel Callen pitched a five-hitter with 11 strikeouts to hold second-seeded Lighthouse Lanes in check.
Offensively, every Elks player put the ball in play with authority, resulting in a relentless 12-hit attack that kept the pressure on the Lighthouse Lanes defense throughout the game. David Curry collected three hits and an RBI for the Elks, and Callen also hit three singles. Connor Kelly singled, tripled, and knocked in two runs. Jameson Stepien, Nate Freebern, Connor Stepien, and Grady King also had singles, and Ethan King and Luis Correa each had an RBI. Aaron O’Brien was solid at the catcher position for the champs. Adam Greene, a key player in the Game 1 win for the Elks, was not able to be at Thursday’s game.
Mikey Conzone worked the first 4.1 innings on the mound for Lighthouse, striking out six batters. August Babcock got the last five outs, striking out one.
Offensively for Lighthouse Lanes, Dominic Stafford singled three times, Abi Irland doubled, and Mikey Conzone singled.
Rounding out the Lighthouse Lanes roster were Michael Kenyon, Isaac Michalski, Cole Conzone, Logan Caswell, Max Horn, Noah Irland, Parker Broadwell, and Richie Whitney.
Each team plated a run in the first inning. For the Elks, Jameson Stepien had an infield hit. He took second on a wild pitch, and moved to third on Curry’s sharply hit single to center. Kelly drove in the run with an RBI groundout.
Lighthouse Lanes tied it in the home first. Stafford singled to center and proceeded to steal second, third, and home to make it 1-1.
Putting together a five-run rally, the Elks assumed full control in the third inning. Jameson Stepien walked and Callen singled to left to ignite the uprising. One run scored on a wild pitch, and Curry lined a run-scoring single to right. After a walk, Kelly hammered a two-run triple to right-center field. Kelly scored on Correa’s RBI groundout to shortstop.
Lighthouse got a run in the last of the third. Stafford hit an infield single and later scored on an error. The score was 6-2 through three frames.
From there, the Elks tacked on, providing more than enough support for the hard-throwing Callen, who faced just one batter over the minimum in the last three innings.
In the Elks’ fourth, Callen singled and scored when Curry’s base hit was misplayed in the outfield. The champs scored two more in the fifth. Freebern and Grady King opened the inning with base hits and both later scored to make it 9-2.
Following the game, players from both teams received individual awards, and some other awards were presented.
The Gene Grimshaw Award, which is presented to a player from each team demonstrating leadership, went to Eli Belawske of Bosco’s, Logan Stahl of the Police, Zach Truell of Vona’s, Nolan Connors of the Firefighters, Mikey Conzone and Michael Kenyon of Lighthouse Lanes, and Adam Greene of the Elks.
The Josh Uribe Love of the Game Award went to Brett DeGrenier of the Police.
The Westy Arnold Sportsmanship Award was presented to Isaac Krul of Bosco’s.
Nolan Connors of the Firefighters received the Sam Losurdo Love of the Game Award.