Kiwanis a ‘Major’ winner

Members of the Kiwanis' Little League Majors team celebrate a championship victory. (Photo by Chris Putz)

Members of the Kiwanis’ Little League Majors team celebrate a championship victory. (Photo by Chris Putz)

WESTFIELD – Ryan Rix and Jimmy Hagan each went 3-for-3, and Matt Judd scattered seven hits and recorded four strikeouts as No. 3 Kiwanis beat fourth-seeded Sons of Erin 8-2 in the city’s first Majors Division championship in decades Wednesday night at Cross Street Field.
Rix doubled and drove in two runs. Hagan also had a double, and scored two runs.
“It was a real team effort for an exciting tournament,” said Kiwanis manager Jim Hagan, who credited Westfield South Little League Vice President Mike Raposo for his effort to bring back the tourney after a long hiatus.
“Families had fun and it was a friendly game,” Hagan said.
The championship victory capped off a tournament run for Kiwanis, which included a one-hitter from Hagan in an extra-inning 4-2 win over Advance Manufacturing, and Rix’s complete game effort on the mound. On Wednesday, those players and others such as Ian Wilhoite – who made a couple of late-inning grabs in center field to protect a comfortable lead – came together as one.
Kiwanis opened with the game’s first run when Ryan Rix drove in Evan Moorhouse, who reached on a out-double in the bottom of the first inning.
Sons responded with a two-out rally in the top of the second inning.
Jay Rokosz led off the second with an infield single. Brody Zabielski followed with a double. Jimmy Gaudreau plated both base runners with a double.
It would be the only runs of the game that Sons could muster off Judd.
Kiwanis reclaimed the lead with four runs in the second inning, thanks in large part to three Sons’ errors and C.J. Skribiski’s RBI single.
In the third, Kiwanis tacked on another run with consecutive doubles from Hagan and Rix. Rix’s made it 5-2. Another Sons’ error gave Kiwanis a 6-2 advantage in the fourth, following a leadoff single from Tyler Cousineau and a two-out double from Devan Nadeau.
In the fifth, Hagan and Rix hit back-to-back one-out singles. Two wild pitches (the first of which scored Hagan) and Judd’s sac-fly put the game out of reach.
Zabielski allowed six runs in 3 2-3 innings, but only two were earned. He struck out three before being relieved late.
“We had a tough time this year but this was like a second season, a second shot to get some wins under our belt,” Sons coach Jeff Koziol said. “We had a blast. We lost to a great Kiwanis team.”
For Kiwanis, it was a clean sweep as they beat Sons for the third time this season. The previous scores were 4-3 and 13-8.
Notes: Each championship representative knocked off a top seed in their respective brackets to reach the finals with Sons defeating top-seeded Commercial Distributing in the South Division and Kiwanis topping No. 1 Camfour in the North. …The championship game marks the end of the Majors Division season, and paves the way for the postseason All-Star schedule which is expected to be announced soon.

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