Del’s Lemonade recently took home the Cranston Western Little League Majors title with a 9-2 win over NuLux Cleaners.
Del’s Lemonade featured a core made up primarily of 12 year olds, and manager Todd Patalano felt that the experience paid dividends when it mattered most in the postseason.
“When we started the season, we knew that we had a lot of really strong players that had been with our program for the past three years. We knew that if there was going to be a year that they would pull it off, it would be this one,” said Patalano.
Patalano felt that his club was well-balanced, and boasted one of the top hitting teams in the league and had top-notch pitching to complement.
“Our team was a very strong hitting team. We could hit from top to bottom in the order, and if there is any hallmark at this level, it is being able to hit and that’s what we were able to do. We also had two excellent pictures that really helped propel us to the playoffs. When you combine good pitching and good hitting, it’s a tough combination to beat,” said Patalano, who also felt that the club’s success stemmed from the hard work it put in at p[practice each night. “We spent a lot of time practicing, anytime there was a field open you would find them on it, fine-tuning their skills. We wanted to make sure that they would be ready for the big games such as a championship and that they would be as best prepared as they could.”
Patalano was happy to see his team get the job done, and for the 12 year olds, put the exclamation point on their Little League careers.
“When you take on kids this age, it’s unpredictable. You try to teach them good sportsmanship and to give it their all,” said Patalano. “Those are the life lessons they learn here, and they make friends for the rest of their lives. It’s something that they remember forever.”
Members of the Del’s Lemonade championship team are: Joseph Pennachia, Brandon Defusco, Jacob Case, Cooper Bastia, Michael Nunez, Jack DePalma, Michael Parks, Jared Patalano, Marcus Almada, Nicholas Testa, Jack Fontaine, and Gianni Santo. Coaches include: Todd Patalano, John Fontaine and Barry Parks.