NORTHBOROUGH/SOUTHBOROUGH – As Coach David Fioretti saw it, the Algonquin 11-year-old District All Stars played their best game last week when they faced off against Shrewsbury for the 11U District 5 Tournament Championship.
Ultimately, Algonquin beat Shrewsbury 11-1.
Fioretti predicted the team was going to win early in the game.
“You can tell early on how they’re going to play that day,” he said. “When they’re goofy and playful, they tend to play well.”
The team was undefeated this summer.
“We have a really, really good group of kids, and they’ve played well all year,” Fioretti said. “This game was really a finish to that for them.
Northborough, Southborough leagues merge
The Algonquin Baseball and Softball Association is a member of the U.S. Eastern Region — District Five.
However, this is the first season that the team played together versus on opposing teams.
The little leagues in Northborough and Southborough had merged between 2021 and 2022 and became official about eight months ago.
This was their first season as the new, merged league.
“Through the merger, our league has become a much more vibrant, fun league for our kids to play in,” President David Fialkow said.
Since, both the kids and the teams have “seamlessly” merged between the two towns, he said.
“They’ve been able to play together [and] make new friends,” Fialkow said. “They’ve had a lot of success in our district.”
Fialkow said the league wanted to make sure that there was representation from both towns on the league board and the tournament team. He said that effort was successful, noting that coaches were evenly split from being from Northborough and Southborough and the teams were “largely” made up of players from both towns. On the 11-year-old team, there were six kids from Northborough and six from Southborough.
“What used to be rivals are now teammates and doing a phenomenal job playing together,” he said.
8U team wins tournament
The 11-year-old team was not the only Algonquin team to win big this summer. The eight-year-old District AllStars beat Medway 3-2 last month to win the 8U Ashland Sparkler Tournament.
The team lost two games in their regular season before beating Shrewsbury, Hopkinton and ultimately Medway.
“That’s one of the best parts of coaching because you get these kids together who have played very limited competitive baseball,” said Fialkow, who is the team’s coach. “You go from almost no experience to at the end of the year – these kids were playing a level of baseball that exceeded my expectation. … It was really great to see them grow.”
11U team looks to the horizon
Fialkow said their 11U team “completely dominated” the tournament.
“Our 11-year-old group is a really special group of really talented players and coaches,” Fialkow said. “Through the merger, they combined already strong teams into one really, really good team.”
The association is already looking ahead to next season as this team moves into the 12-year-old division, which is when it feeds into the Little League World Series.
If the team is successful next year, they would then compete in sectionals, state and finally to Williamsport.
The last time either Northborough or Southborough won the state tournament was over a decade ago.
“This win was really great and it’s special, and they should be really happy with it. But really, what’s exciting is the prospect of next year and advancing onto a national level tournament,” Fialkow said.