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West Hartford Lightning Wins Farmington Bank Vantis Life Championship

The FBVL champion West Hartford Lightning Kneeling (from left): Tommy LaSpada, Nick Peterson, Conor Mangini, James Renda, Declan McCann, Harry Nelson, Quinn LaRock. Standing (from left): Manager Sean McCann, Coach Scott LaRock, Simon Rosenberg, Peter Langevin, Anthony Mangini, Ben Brockway, Will Gaumer, Coach Deane Renda, Michael Weiss, and Coach Steve Mangini. Courtesy photo

The West Hartford Lightning capped off a great summer season by defeating Wallingford 3-1 in the Farmington Bank Vantis Life Prep Championship game on Sunday at the New Britain Bees Stadium.

The West Hartford Lightning with the FBVL trophy. Courtesy photo

Submitted by Manager Sean McCann

The boys on the West Hartford Lightning U13 travel baseball team were having a great season in the Farmington Bank Vantis Life Baseball League, going 19-0-1 before they reached the ultimate prize – a league title.

The team had set a goal at the end of May to not only get to the game at New Britain Stadium, but to win it. These boys truly committed to that goal at each practice by working hard to be better, and the coaches challenged them right away to get out of their comfort zone to raise their level of play.

Our focus on style of play was making plays in the field consistently, pounding the strike zone, and playing aggressive baseball at all times, and they followed that script right to the end.

Some of these boys will be at Conard or Hall next year, so we tried to give them an experience that was similar to that of a high school program so they can be competitive right away and find success along the way. Despite these athletes being from different schools, they competed as a tight unit and the chemistry they had was fun for a coach to step back and watch.

The championship game itself, played Sunday morning at New Britain Bees Stadium, was fun to be a part of, and watching these young studs compete in a tight game at that venue with everything at stake is why this game of failure is awesome to play, especially as these boys mature to young men.

Quinn LaRock was dominant on the mound, pitching five strong innings and giving up no runs. He handed the ball off to Simon Rosenberg, who struck out three in two innings of relief for the close.

The offense produced its three runs with RBIs from Will Gaumer, Pete Langevin, and Declan McCann, while getting huge, timely hits from Nick Peterson, Ben Brockway, Gaumer, and Langevin. The offense also put together five stolen bases while executing several bunts.

Defensively, the Lightning played another flawless game making plays with no errors, which had been the main reason for the team’s success all year.

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The West Hartford Lightning won the FBVL baseball championship. Courtesy photo

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