Thomas Ward hit a ground ball up the middle to drive in the winning run and give the Jaycees from the Norwalk Little League a 4-3 victory over Rowayton Hose and win the District 1 Little League All Towns Tournament of Champions Sunday at Veterans Park.
Ward's hit in the bottom in the seventh plated Danny Romanello with the winning run. Romanello, the winning pitcher, sent the game into extra innings with a home run in the bottom of the sixth. "It feels great,'' Ward said with a huge smile after his game-winning hit. "This is the first time I've been on a team that won everything."
The Jaycees scored two runs in the first inning on three straight singles off of Rowayton Hose starter Zach Paraglia. The Rowayton pitcher shut down the rally and retired 11 straight batters. His team tied it with two runs in the second, with Andrew Mathews' double and Jake Berkowitz's RBI single leading the way. Berkowitz scored the go-ahead run in the fourth when he walked with one out and advanced around the bases on a wild pitch.
In the sixth, Romanello tied the game with a blast to left-center to lead off the inning. The Jaycees loaded the bases with two out, but pitcher Chris Giordano wiggled out of the jam. In the seventh, Romanello singled with two out and two walks loaded the bases. Ward's single up the middle ended the dramatic contest.
Kyle Mossop started for the Jaycees and pitched four strong innings before giving way to Romanello, who fanned six and did not allow a hit in three innings. He was helped by catcher Alex Kydes, who gunned down two potential base stealers at second base. Paraglia pitched 5 1/3 innings before being removed when he reached his pitch limit. He struck out 10 and allowed five hits before yielding to Giordano.
"It was a little bit of shock for tiny Rowayton to get here,'' Rowayton Hose manager Steve Feinstein said. "They tried their hardest and gave a good effort."
"Norwalk hasn't won the Tournament of Champions in quite a while,'' Jaycees manager Steve Potochney said. "We were close last year. It was good to come back this year and win it."