Howell South Seniors win District 11 championship

Staff Writer

Howell South Little League Senior League all-star manager Victor Monticollo did not have a bench to turn to when things got tough this summer. His all-star baseball team consisted of the minimum nine players.

But the lack of substitutes did not prevent the Howell South Senior League allstars from bringing home a championship.

Howell South captured the Little League District 11 pennant by beating Howell North two games to none in the best-ofthree series that determined the district champion. The Howell South all-stars outscored their neighbors to the north, 14-9 and 9-4.

Howell South followed the same script in both games: the team scored early and often.

“We were always ahead,” said Monticollo.

Lead-off hitter Sean Walsh had a lot to do with the team’s quick starts. He reached base in 10 straight at-bats (eight hits, two walks).

Starting pitcher Lucas Jackson helped his own cause in the first game slugfest by slamming a three-run home run in the first inning that staked his club to a lead it did not surrender.

Third baseman Liam Allen made several big defensive players for Howell South.

Jackson went six innings and fanned six to earn the win in the first game.

Kevin McConnon gave Howell South five strong innings in the second game, and Zach Venetos closed out the win and the district championship.

McConnon helped himself with his bat. He had three hits and three RBIs. Walsh scored four times while going 4-4.

Although both games were high-scoring, defense played a very important role for the champions, according to Monticollo.

Catcher Kyle Deufel was a standout. Outfielders Michael Matt and Dakota Witte ran down would-be extra-base hits. First baseman Juliet Monticollo (the only girl who was playing in the tournament) scooped up several errant throws.

Howell South’s postseason run came to an end in the Little League Section III Tournament at the Old Bridge Little League Complex. The all-stars more than held their own despite being out-manned. The all-stars proved they belonged in the competition, which was important to them.

For Sean Walsh, Kevin McConnon, Lucas Jackson, Liam Allen, Kyle Deufel, Zach Venetos, Michael Matt, Dakota Witte and Juliet Monticollo, what really mattered was bringing a championship to Howell South. They can now look with pride at the 2010 Senior League District 11 championship banner hanging at the baseball complex that they were responsible for winning.

Monticollo’s assistant coach was Bill Allen.