NORWALK, Conn. The Norwalk Babe Ruth 13-year-old baseball All-Stars won the District 1 tournament earlier this year. Saturday, they'll begin the journey that they hope will take them to the World Series next month in Clifton Park, N.Y.
Norwalk begins the New England Regional tournament Saturday at 7 p.m. at Brien McMahon High School against Maine. If Norwalk wins, it advances to a game Sunday at 7 against the winner of a game between New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts. A loss would force Norwalk to come through the losers' bracket, which also begins Sunday. All of the games will be played Brien McMahon. The bracket is available online .
Norwalk manager Tom Cossuto said he has the pitching depth to carry his team through the tournament. Dan Romanello anchored the staff during the run to the district title. The team's other pitchers are Matt Parlanti , Christian Lengyle and Matt Diurno.
"They're going to have to throw strikes and give me innings,'' Cossuto said. "We have seven guys who can come in and pitch. I have a lot of confidence in our pitching staff."
Edwin Owolo, Lengyle and Romanello are among Norwalk's offensive leaders. Parlanti and A.J. Ibarrando, who played on the Norwalk Cal Ripken team that reached the World Series last year in the 12-year-old tournament, bring big game experience to the team.
"We're a small ball type of team,'' Cossuto said. "We did a lot of good things in the district tournament in terms of getting guys on base and moving them along. We're going to have to learn how to win games 4-2 and 3-1. I think our pitching and defense will get us through this tournament."
This is Cossuto's first time coaching a Babe Ruth All-Star team. He has experience coaching in Westport and New Haven, and also played on some terrific Norwalk Babe Ruth teams. His assistants are Jim Purcell and Mike Roberto.
"I went to a regional tournament and we played the host team on the first night,'' Cossuto remembered. "I know everyone wants to knock us off. We're going to have to be ready."
How do you think the Norwalk Babe Ruth 13-year-olds will do in the New England tournament? Start the discussion below!
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