The Darien American 10-11 team advanced to the Connecticut Little League Section 1 championship game, but fell to a strong Fairfield National 11-5 last week in Naugatuck.
Fairfield National advanced to the Connecticut State Championship in Manchester against Section 2 Champion Coginchaug.
Late inning heroics were the norm as District 1 Champion Darien completed Section One Pool Play with a 3-1 record.
In the pool play game against District 2 Champion Fairfield National, Darien trailed 6-3 with two outs and bases empty in the top of the sixth inning.
Jake Hyde kept the game alive with a single and, after walks to Jack Bogdan and Sean O’Malley, Reid Gesualdi hit a dramatic grand slam to give Darien a 7-6 lead. Hyde set down Fairfield in the bottom of the sixth to hold on to the victory.
Three days later, against District 5 Champion Berlin, Darien outdid this comeback by rallying from a 6-2 deficit with two outs and bases empty in the top of the sixth.
Nick Conte kept the game alive with a single. Brian Cicero followed with a walk and Nathan Hadlow singled to load the bases.
Aldo Stefanoni, Hyde, Bogdan, and O’Malley followed with RBI’s to tie the game.
Conte’s home run in the top of the seventh proved to be the game winner as pitchers Gesualdi and O’Malley shut down the Berlin offense.
Darien also recorded a 17-4 pool play victory against District 3 Champion Shelton American, behind the pitching of Max Deberadinis, and fell to District 4 Champion Branford 7-2.
In the championship game, Fairfield National quickly jumped out to a 6-0 lead. A single by Griffin Ott and an RBI by Stefanoni got Darien on the board, and two RBI by Deberadinis further closed the gap, but this time Darien’s rally fell short and Fairfield held on for the victory.
Mac McLean and Reilly Warble helped Darien to victory in the District tournament, but were unable to play in the Sectionals.
Darien American was managed by Tom Conte and coached by Frank Cicero and Anthony Gesualdi.