The Cicero “Dawgs” 18-and-under Little League baseball team won the New York State Big League championship this past weekend in Wappingers Falls, becoming the first team in Cicero Little League history to win a state title and advance to the eastern regional tournament.
The Dawgs, who allowed just one run in the four games it played during the state tournament, move on to play in the regionals next week in Dover, Del., and have a chance to advance to the World Series tournament set for July 24-31 in Easley, S.C.
In Wappingers Falls, Cicero won all three of their games, beating Grand Island (Buffalo area) in game one and Dix Hills, Long Island in games two and three. Cicero beat Grand Island 10-0 in game one, and Dix Hills by margins of 3-1 and 1-0, so it allowed just one run in those first three games.
The Dawgs won the championship game in dramatic fashion, scoring the game’s only run in the bottom of the ninth inning on Joe DeLuca's two-out double, Brandon Kapcinski scoring all the way from first base.
DeLuca and Kapcinski are both teammates on the Cicero-North Syracuse varsity baseball team, which made up most of the Dawgs squad.
Cicero pitching gave up only one unearned run in the tournament. The outstanding pitching performances started with Northstars ace Austin Frawley, who pitched a complete game, three-hit shutout against Grand Island.
Another C-NS star, C.J. Szczesny, pitched 6 2/3 innings in the first game against Dix Hills and gave up only three hits and one unearned run to earn the victory.
In the championship game rematch with Dix Hills, Ryan Martin (Bishop Grimes) threw 5 2/3 innings, giving up only 5 hits and no runs, keeping the game 0-0. With two out in the sixth, C-NS relief ace Will Apps took over, and Apps threw the final 3 1/3 innings to earn the win for the Dawgs. Apps also closed out the first Dix Hills game.