Within the 2017 Little League season, numerous teams from around the globe gave it their all to go on miraculous runs, hoping to reach the championship. However, no team had a better run than the 2017 Taunton Eastern Little League 11u All-Star Team. This team, finishing with an amazing record with over 11 wins, faced some of the best teams in the region, ultimately going all the the to the New England Regional Championship, winning it all. But, before they made the big stage, they had to tackle the other stages of districts, sectionals, and states.
Districts was a steamroll for the all-star team, as they crushed every opponent until the championship. In the championship, Taunton East Little League, known to most as TELL, faced off against the hot Mansfield Little League. The first game was bittersweet, as Mansfield handed TELL their only loss of the year, but with the price of most of their pitching staff. This loss killed them in the second game, resulting in a 9-7 victory for TELL. Spectacular pitching performances from David DaSilva and Jack Cali, and clutch hits from Sean Murphy and Dwayne Burgo.
In sectionals, Taunton East once again steamrolled the competition. They once again went all the way, defeating Middleboro Little League by a score of 7-1. Great performances by Ryan Macdougall and Zach Branco.
However, states was the real-deal for this team, as it was their second time in two years making the tournament in Holden, Massachusetts. They first faced the Pittsfield American All-Stars, defeating them in a high-scoring game of 13-11. Great performances from David DaSilva, hitting a homerun in the second inning, and Zach Branco, going three for four on the day. Moving onto the championship game, they faced their opposition from last year’s championship, Brookline Little League. Taunton East took home the state title again, defeating Brookline by a score of 12-3. Huge performances by Sean Murphy and Zach Branco, each having two home runs.
Like all of the other tournaments, TELL once again crushed their opponents. Head coach Mike Cali did an unbelievable job at not only being a great coach, but being a great life-mentor to the team. Taunton East defeated some of their opponents such as Vermont and Brookline by deficits of 10 runs or more. In the end, Taunton East, representing Massachusetts, defeated Connecticut by a score of 14-3. Huge performance by Brayden Cali, hitting his first homerun in the form of a grand-slam, Ryan Macdougall, hitting two home runs, and Jesse Chaves, doing an excellent job behind the plate and having a hit for himself as well.
Taunton East proved they are one of the top contenders for their age in the region and in the country, taking their game to the next level and showing some of the best baseball many have seen in years. If they repeat the same run as a 12u team, they could see themselves going to the 2018 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
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