NORWALK, Conn. -- After defeating Berkshire, Mass. 11-5 and Northampton, Mass. 7-6 in the early rounds in the New England Regional in Hebron Conn., Norwalk Cal Ripken All Star 9s jumped out to an early lead on Gorham, Maine and won a 16-0 victory on Tuesday, putting them one win away from being crowned the best team in New England.
The game was decided quickly as Norwalk All Star 9s scored nine runs in the first three innings. A two-run double by Charlie LaFreniere, a two-run double by Kyle Close, and a two-run single by Devin Bowen during the first inning supplied the early offense.
Maine had no answer for pitcher Kyle Close, who kept runners off the base paths in his appearance. Close gave up just one hit, allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out three during his two innings of work.
Norwalk increased its lead with two runs in the third when Henry Feinstein singled, scoring Bowen. They piled on seven more runs in the top of the fourth thanks to a wild pitch and a battery of singles.
The mercy rule shortened game ended after four innings on a spectacular diving catch by Brian Weiss.
Next up for Norwalk is the Regional Championship game Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Hebron, where they will play either Dover, N.H. or Gorham, Maine. For the 9 year old age group, regionals are as far as a team can go.
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