Published July 16. 2013 4:00AM
Waterford — Twenty-four hours between at-bats did nothing to cool off the surging Waterford South Little League baseball team.
When the deciding game of the District 10 best-of-three championship series resumed on Monday, Waterford remained as hot as the fry-bacon-on-the-sidewalk weather.
Still, it took Waterford two innings to finish off a stubborn Pawcatuck-North Stonington, 18-8, at the Waterford North Little League complex.
Waterford advances to the Section II state tournament, playing Wethersfield on Wednesday in Harwinton.
"Big," Waterford South manager Bill Speller said of winning the District 10 (11-12) title. "This is the team - 90 percent of them - from two years ago. They want to go on. They've got something big in store. They don't want to end it now."
Rain halted the championship game on Sunday with Waterford in prime position to break it open, holding an 11-5 lead with the bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the fourth.
"I told the guys it is a new game," Speller said of his message to his team. "Come out and play like we've been playing and hit the ball like we did the day before."
Judging from what transpired Monday, the players took Speller's message to heart.
The first batter, Trevor Yeomans, grounded an RBI single up the middle. One out later, Peter Turello belted a long double to right-center field that scored three more for a 10-run lead.
Eric Pinch's two-out, two-run home run to dead center extended the lead to 17-5.
Pawcatuck needed three runs to stay alive and prevent the 10-run mercy rule.
Battling the heat and a huge deficit, it would have been easy for Pawcatuck to go down quietly. Instead, Pawcatuck gamely fought back to force another inning, scoring three runs on Aidan McNally's groundout, Kevin Ferrer's single and a wild pitch. Ken Turner and R.J. Parrilla also singled during the outburst.
"This team doesn't quit," Pawcatuck manager Roland Parrilla said. "They never doubt that they can come back. I told them from the beginning, I've got 12 kids that can start. They made it hard for me every day to decide who is playing and who isn't."
Waterford finally finished it off as Yeomans drilled an RBI double in the fifth for an 18-8 lead. Reliever Dylan Bosco, who belted two home runs on Sunday to help Waterford take a 7-1 lead, shook off a bout of wildness to retire Pawcatuck and clinch the District 10 championship.
"I consider him to be my No. 1 (pitcher) and I wanted him to go out and finish it no matter what," Speller said. "(At first) he was too amped up and nervous. He got himself under control and finished it."
Speller isn't concerned about the quick turnaround heading into the Section II tournament. He likes his team's pitching depth and offensive firepower.
Parrilla will be rooting for his fellow District 10 team.
"They're a good team," Parrilla said. "I think they'll have a lot of success. I was hoping to get there myself and have a lot of success with this group. I'll be following them.
"They've got a good staff. They've got good pitching and they hit the ball. They keep coming. Give them a lot of credit."