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Norwalk Cal Ripken 11s Win West Division Of State Tournament

Jeremy Cooke pitches for the Norwalk Cal Ripken 11-year-old All-Stars. At shortstop is Ben Boccanfuso.
Jeremy Cooke pitches for the Norwalk Cal Ripken 11-year-old All-Stars. At shortstop is Ben Boccanfuso. Photo Credit: Contributed

DANBURY, Conn. — With a 2-0 victory over Greenwich on Sunday at Danbury’s Rogers Park, Norwalk Cal Ripken’s 11 year old all-star team won the Connecticut West Division pool play tournament and clinched a No. 1 seed for the Connecticut State Championship Tournament beginning Saturday, July 18 at Tim Devine Field in Norwalk.

Norwalk has a 17-2 record, and earlier won the prestigious Al Leonard Jimmy Fund Invitational Tournament in Bethel, fighting off elimination for seven straight games after dropping its opening game, 2-1, in 9 innings. On Sunday, Norwalk’s Jeremy Cooke and Brendan Edvardsen combined on a one-hit shutout, not allowing a Greenwich runner to advance past second base. Edvardsen also delivered the game’s only runs with a two-out RBI single that drove home Jayden Gonzalez and AJ Robinson in the bottom of the third.

Norwalk entered Sunday’s game tied for first place with four other teams on the final day of the highly competitive week long pool play tournament in Danbury.

“I’m very proud of how hard the boys have worked this year and how they’ve fought through some tough games,” said Norwalk manager Mark Boccanfuso. “Hosting States this year gave us an automatic bid in the Final Eight. But, we wanted to make a statement at Districts to show we belonged at States based on our caliber of play on the field.”

Coach Boccanfuso is assisted by Mike Palmer, Dave Ely and Hank Berkowitz.

Players are: Mike Berkowitz, Ben Boccanfuso, Jeremy Cooke, Brendan Edvardsen, Chris Ely, Jayden Gonzalez, Jake Palmer, Zion Profit, AJ Robinson, Kyle Root, Kamron Walker and Vance Ward.

In the State Tournament, Norwalk will be joined by Newtown, New Milford and Greenwich from the West Division tournament and Stratford, West Hartford, Hebron and Southbury from the East Division. The winning team will advance to the Cal Ripken New England Regional Tournament in Dover, N.H.

Norwalk’s first game in the State Tournament is Saturday July 18 at 3 p.m. vs. Hebron. “We are thrilled to be hosting the 11/70 Cal Ripken State Championship tournament,” said Sean Ryan, Commissioner of Norwalk Cal Ripken Baseball.  “It’s truly an honor and a first for the Norwalk Cal Ripken program.”

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