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The Adams-Cheshire Little League 12-year-old All-Stars are the 2023 District 1 Champions and move on to the Massachusetts Section 1 tournament starting on Tuesday in Adams.

Adams-Cheshire Claims District 1 Little League Crown

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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DALTON, Mass. – Brayden Durant Thursday cemented his place as the best Little Leaguer in Berkshire County this summer and earned a spot in the history of Adams-Cheshire baseball.
 
Durant started the Don Gleason District 1 Championship Game with a one-out solo blast to center field and ended it with the 11th strikeout of his complete-game 2-0 win over the Pittsfield Americans.
 
It marked the first time the district crown is going to the Adams or Cheshire communities since the then-Adams Little League won the title in 1991 and the first time a team other than the Pittsfield Little League American Division moved on to represent District 1 in sectional play since 2017.
 
After picking up his third complete-game win of the tournament for Adams-Cheshire (4-1), Durant was at a loss for words.
 
So was his coach.
 
“I’ve had him in house league, I’ve had him since he was 9, I’ve had him in all-stars all three years,” Steve Albareda said. “He leaves me speechless after every single game. That’s the truth. Every single game, he does something that shocks me.
 
“When you come out there and beat Pittsfield American, 2-0, in a complete game, I mean, I really have no words for that. That’s incredible.”
 
Albareda has a few days to find his voice and get his team ready to play in the Section 1 tournament, one step away from the state tournament. They will open that tourney at home on Tuesday at Soldiers Memorial Field against District 2 Champion Longmeadow.
 
Fans can only hope that contest will match the excitement and tension of Thursday’s pitchers duel between Durant and Pittsfield American’s Cooper Reed.
 
Reed struck out 12 in five innings of work. He allowed just one walk – to Durant, who the Americans pitched around twice after the homer in the top of the first. And he scattered just five hits.
 
But Adams-Cheshire was efficient with those hits.
 
There was no defense against Durant in his first at-bat, which ended with Adams-Cheshire quickly up, 1-0.
 
In the second inning, Mikey Durant doubled down the left field line with one out, and went to third when Cooper Denault reached on an error.
 
But Reed got the next two outs with a swinging strike and a called third strike to keep it a one-run game.
 
In the fourth, a one-out walk to Brayden Durant was followed by Julius Valentine’s single. But Reed struck out the next two hitters to strand both runners.
 
Finally, Adams-Cheshire was able to get some insurance in the top of the fifth.
 
Mikey Durant led off with his second double of the game and came home on Denault’s single to  give their team a two-run lead.
 
“Mikey’s huge,” Albareda said. “He comes up big all the time. I’ve seen him do it. I’ve had him since he was 8 or 9. He continually plays like he’s older. That’s why we call him the ‘Big Dog.’ “
 
The Americans struggled to get runners into scoring position against Durant, and when they did, Durant’s battery mate came up with a couple of big plays.
 
In the second, Carson Kelly-Phillips threw out a runner attempting to steal third base. In the fourth, he was on both ends of a double play to end the inning.
 
With a runner on second and one out, a dropped third strike forced Kelly-Phillips to make a throw down to first baseman Valentine. Valentine made the out and fired back to Kelly-Phillips, who put the tag on the runner attempting to score to keep it a 1-0 game.
 
Adams-Cheshire shortstop Jaden Wells-Vidal also made a couple of highlight reel plays.
 
In the third, he came in and made a sliding catch on a ball to end the inning with a runner on first. In the fifth, he ranged to the third base line to snag a fly ball to end the inning with a runner on second.
 
“We definitely have to work on our hitting, but our fielding has been really, really good,” Albareda said. “Monday night, all we did was field – ground ball after ground ball, bunt defense, first and third. Whatever we had to do. We’re playing pretty good defense.”
 
Durant took matters into his own hands in the bottom of the sixth. After an error put the leadoff hitter on base, he struck out the next three to end the game and etch his name in Adams’ athletic lore.
 
“We prepared for him as much as we possibly could, but you can’t simulate it,” Pittsfield American coach Ty Perrault said. “He just did a wonderful job. They haven’t won it since 1991, I believe. I was there that day, with my son. That Adams team was led by a very special player. Her name was Nicky Vallieres, and she pitched and homered their way to the title there.
 
“In both cases, it wasn’t just a one-person team. That team and this team here are surrounded by a solid team. They made the plays, just like they did throughout pool play. And they deserve it. They definitely deserve it.”
 
Perrault coached the team that started the Americans’ four-tournament title streak (no tourney in 2020) to a Massachusetts state championship and the final game of the New England Regional. On Thursday night, he reflected on the program’s success.
 
“It’s the entire program,” he said. “It’s every coach and every player in the league. It’s what we do. It’s how we practice more than anybody, as a league. It’s how we hit and field before the game. It’s a philosophy, if you will, and the kids buy into it. We’ve had a lot of success.”
 
It is the kind of success that Albareda wants to see Adams-Cheshire attain.
 
“I am very, very happy that we beat Pittsfield American,” he said. “They are what we strive to be. They’re a perennial powerhouse. We have the utmost respect for them. But after we beat [Pittsfield National] the other day, I knew we had a shot at this thing. The boys can play. I knew we had a shot.”
 
11- and 10-year-old All-Stars
Pittsfield Americans’ 10-year-old and 11-year-old squads each opened sectional play with a loss on Thursday night.
 
In the 11-year-old tournament, Westfield beat Pittsfield, 6-2 at Cross Field. The 10-year-olds opened sectional play at Deming Park with a 15-4 loss to Westfield in four innings.
 
Both Pittsfield American teams will be home on Friday in losers’ bracket games of their double-elimination tournaments.
 
The 11-year-olds will be at Deming. The 10-year-olds will be at Clapp Park. Both games are at 5:30.
 
 
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St. Stanislaus Kostka School Honor Roll

ADAMS, Mass. St. — Stanislaus Kostka School in Adams has announced its Honor Roll for the fourth and final marking period of the 2023-2024 academic year. 
 
A student merits High Honors for an average of 93 or higher. A student merits Honors for an average between 85 and 92.9.
 
The list is below:
 
High Honors (93+)
 
8th Grade: Claire McGrath, Abigail Meaney
 
7th Grade: Julia Daly, Marlene Eason, Kailin Kareh, Aiden Mendonca, Audrey Potvin 
 
6th Grade: Owen Manning
 
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