Cloudy
37°
Cloudy
Hi 37° | Lo 32°

Thomson Lawn Care caps perfect season, repeats as Hilliker Cup champs

  • Sean McDonough carries the trophy as he and the rest of the Thompson Lawn Care team take a victory lap around the perimeter of the Grappone Park baseball field after winning the Hilliker Cup little league championships in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Sean McDonough carries the trophy as he and the rest of the Thompson Lawn Care team take a victory lap around the perimeter of the Grappone Park baseball field after winning the Hilliker Cup little league championships in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Kurtis Stadnicki, pitcher for the Thompson Lawn Care team, had 86 pitches helping bring the team to victory during the Hilliker Cup little league championships in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Kurtis Stadnicki, pitcher for the Thompson Lawn Care team, had 86 pitches helping bring the team to victory during the Hilliker Cup little league championships in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Sebe Pardo, left, a shortstop for the Giants, tags out Tyler Simpson of Thomson Lawn Care, at second base during the Hilliker Cup little league championship game in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Sebe Pardo, left, a shortstop for the Giants, tags out Tyler Simpson of Thomson Lawn Care, at second base during the Hilliker Cup little league championship game in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Sean McDonough carries the trophy as he and the rest of the Thompson Lawn Care team take a victory lap around the perimeter of the Grappone Park baseball field after winning the Hilliker Cup little league championships in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • Kurtis Stadnicki, pitcher for the Thompson Lawn Care team, had 86 pitches helping bring the team to victory during the Hilliker Cup little league championships in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • Sebe Pardo, left, a shortstop for the Giants, tags out Tyler Simpson of Thomson Lawn Care, at second base during the Hilliker Cup little league championship game in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • The Hilliker Cup little league championships took place in Concord on Saturday, June 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

With eight players back from the team that won last year’s Hilliker Cup, Thomson Lawn Care knew it would be good. Yesterday, the Concord Northeast champions proved to be perfect, completing a 21-0 season and claiming back-to-back Hillikers with a 3-0 win at Grappone Field over the Giants from Concord National Little League.

“In both years the guys had the attitude that they wouldn’t accept anything else,” Thomson Coach Mike Simpson said. “I guess the difference was this year they knew what it felt like.”

But knowing about the emotions didn’t stop them. After recording the final out, Thomson players still whipped their gloves and hats in the air and mobbed each other, celebrating the first back-to-back Hilliker championship since Concord American’s Rath & Young did it in 1990-91. And before the game Thomson’s starting pitcher, Kurtis Stadnicki, still felt some butterflies.

“I was pretty nervous,” Stadnicki said. “Because this is why I came back, to repeat.”

Stadnicki also plays for the Concord Cannons AAU team, and he only pitched four innings for Thomson during the regular season. But that didn’t matter, and neither did his nerves, during yesterday’s contest for the city title. Stadnicki struck out 13, walked two and allowed just two hits and no runs over 5 2∕3 innings, and the only reason he didn’t finish the game was due to pitch count limitations.

“He was unbelievable,” Giants Coach Joe Bruns said. “He’s the best pitcher they’ll face all year, certainly during the regular season and probably during all-stars, too.”

Stadnicki also provided the bulk of the offense with a two-run, opposite-field home run in the top of the third off Giants starter Nick Grimbilas (4 2∕3 IP, seven strikeouts, no walks, four hits, three runs).

“Kurtis was tremendous. When you need him to step up, he steps up,” Simpson said. “He’s a wrecking ball.”

Stadnicki pitched around an error in the first and a walk in
the second before retiring the side in order in the third. The Giants (17-3) threatened in the fourth when Tyler Bruns (1-for-2) led off with a walk and Steven Drewes followed with a single. But Thomson catcher Sean McDonough threw out Bruns trying to steal third and Stadnicki took care of the rest with a pair of strikeouts.

Zach Miles made it 3-0 in the third with an opposite-field homer of his own. The Thomson shortstop finished the day 2-for-3 with a double, home run, RBI and two runs.

After striking out the side in the fifth and getting the first two outs of the sixth, Stadnicki had to leave the game with 86 pitches, just one over the 85-pitch limit. Tyler Simpson came on in relief to face Bruns, who refused to make the final out, fouling off five pitches in a nine-pitch at-bat before doubling to left center. But Simpson then got Drewes to pop out to second baseman Scott Prospert for the last out and the celebration was on for Thomson, which became the first Northeast team to win two straight Hilliker Cups.

“I wanted to finish it,” Stadnicki said, “but it was a good thing we had Ty to come in and shut em down.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3371 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)

Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.