By ALEX SPONSELLER Top-seed Nu-Lux beat Weinorama in two games to win the Cranston Western Little League Majors Championship last week. Nu-Lux finished the regular season in first place and continued to roll throughout the playoffs, not losing a game and
By ALEX SPONSELLER Top-seed Nu-Lux beat Weinorama in two games to win the Cranston Western Little League Majors Championship last week.
Nu-Lux finished the regular season in first place and continued to roll throughout the playoffs, not losing a game and dominating nearly each contest on its way to its first league title. Nu-Lux took home 11-5 and 9-1 wins to take the best-of-three series.
An early season loss to Elmwood was key in the team turning the corner and cruising down the stretch according to manager James Sweeney.
“We had one hiccup earlier in the season when we lost to Elmwood. We lost 6-4, and I thought that was the turning point in the season because we never lost again. I felt like it was the best thing that could have happened to us because afterwards, it was a gut check, we sat in the outfield and knew that we had to get better,” said Sweeney.
The offense was dominant in the postseason and it showed in it putting up a combined 21 runs in two games. The coaching staff wanted to put together a good-hitting team in the early going, and the strategy paid off.
“As the season went on we became a better hitting team. We were a little too patient, taking too many pitches, so our goal in the championship series was to swing the bat. First pitch, second pitch, when you get something to hit go and get it. We had high-IQ kids, they were good kids and really embraced the things we were teaching them. The hitting was the key to everything that went on, we knew that we could get ahead by a few runs each game and let the pitching take over,” said Sweeney.
The pitching did take over in the playoffs and was led by newcomer Logan Taylor, who was the winning pitcher in both the semifinals and Game 2 of the championship.
“(Taylor) was outstanding last night and was outstanding all season long. This was his first year for us and he went above and beyond my expectations all season long. We took him to be a hitter but didn’t realize how good of a pitcher he was. He made a huge difference for us,” said Sweeney, who had 12-year-old Mike D’Ambra pitch the final out. “Logan could have finished the complete game, but Mike is our leader, he’s been here since day 1, you couldn’t ask for a better kid and that is why we gave him that chance.”
CWLL now will shift its focus toward the upcoming fall ball season which is set to begin in the coming weeks. Sweeney, who also serves as the CWLL vice president, was proud of the entire community for pulling together to provide the kids with a summer of fun despite the circumstances.
“This was bittersweet, it was a bittersweet moment that we actually made it, we did it. In May and June we weren’t sure how far we would go but now the parents are raving that we did it and it felt normal. We did everything that we had to do, and to the kids, baseball was baseball,” said Sweeney. “It was a great feeling being able to say that we did not feel like we were in a COVID situation. That was the best feeling, we survived it, we did, and hopefully we can be a platform for other leagues.”
Members of the 2020 CWLL champion Nu-Lux are: Chase D’Ambra, Luke Boscia, Josh Albizu, Felix Henderson, Jayvin Adamo, Tyler Klingensmith, Mike D’Ambra, Matt Parenteau, Logan Taylor, Jeremy Silverio, Chris Barboza. Manager James Sweeney. Assistants: Ed Silverio, Ethan Madden.