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Norwalk Little League Playoff Action

NORWALK, Conn. — The following are recaps are from recent Norwalk Little League playoff games.

Monker Grotto Hangs On To Beat Kiwanis, 6-5 Monker Grotto defeated Kiwanis, 6-5, to advance to the championship game. Both teams settled down after an error-filled first inning, with Monker Grotto taking an early 4-3 lead. In the inning, Moe Ortiz drove in two runs with a triple and scored on a passed ball. Scott Whalen singled in a run. Monker Grotto got a run in the top of the second on an RBI single by Nick LaFranco, who drove in Ty Samuel. LaFranco and Samuel each had two hits. Monker Grotto scored again in the top of the third when Victor Silano drove in Moe Ortiz, who led off the inning with his second triple and went three-for-three in the game.  Kiwanis scored a run in the bottom of the third inning to cut the lead to 6-4. Scott Whalen relieved starting pitcher Victor Silano in the fifth. Silano pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up one walk while striking out five for the win. Whalen entered the game with one out and a runner on first. He gave up a triple, which cut the lead to 6-5, and hit a batter before settling down. Whalen struck out the next batter for the second out and induced a pop up to second baseman John Hogan, who made the catch to end the inning. The score remained 6-5 entering the bottom of the sixth. The first two batters reached base for Kiwanis on a walk and a call at second that was overturned by the home plate umpire. Whalen struck out the next batter for the first out. The second out was made by shortstop Victor Silano, who made a spectacular diving catch on a pop up hit down the third base line. Whalen ended the game by striking out the next batter. For Kiwanis, Nick Granata pitched well, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and striking out five. Tommy Benincaso came on in relief and tossed the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing no runs and two hits and striking out four. At the plate, Granata launched a pair of triples, driving in a run and scoring two. Mike DiIorio had a two-run single and scored a run. Alex Ruther had a pair of singles, and Joey Benincaso singled and scored a run.

Pascarelli leads Laurel AC over Kiwanis Mike Pascarelli tossed a complete game shutout, allowing only two singles and walking none in a 71-pitch effort to lead Laurel AC to its 13th straight win. Pascarelli also led the offense with a three-for-three effort and added an RBI. The other hits for Laurel AC came from Anthony Bombace and Danny Frattaroli. Laurel AC once again showed its excellent defense, with great plays by Joey Laracca behind the plate, Danny Frattaroli in center, Jeff Joslyn at short and Jimmy Evans at first base.

For Kiwanis, Joey Benincaso was the tough-luck loser as he hurled a complete game, allowing two earned runs and four hits and striking out nine. Kiwanis bats were held silent as Tommy Benincaso had an infield single in the first inning and Chris Restaino served a pop-up single that landed between four fielders in shallow left center field in the fifth inning.

AAA

Mathews Restoration Takes AAA Championship In a thriller Mathews Restoration took the AAA Championship by beating Stew Leonard's, 3-0, in the season finale. Kyle Gordon threw a complete game shutout, allowing only two hits, striking out 12 batters and allowing no walks. Eric Palacio started for Stew's, going 2 2/3 innings. In relief, Cooper Grillo shut down the Mathews bats over 3 1/3 scoreless innings. The night belonged to Gordon, who pounded the strike zone, allowing only one base runner to reach second. Mathews quickly got out in front by scoring two in the first and one in the third. Its defense backed the strong effort from Gordon, led by Nathan Stiles, who flagged down two fly balls to left field after a single by Jack Fitzpatrick in the first and a single by Cameron Shockley in the fifth.

Stew's in the AAA Championship Stew Leonard's squeaked by Mathews Restoration, 6-5, in the AAA Playoffs. As a result, both teams qualified for the AAA Championship. Mathews scored four unearned runs off Stew's starter Jack Fitzpatrick, who pitched 3 2/3 innings. For Mathews, Michael Boyian went 4 1/3 innings, striking out nine. Stew Leonard's had a four-run fifth inning to take the lead. The team held in the bottom of the sixth as Kevin Pascual turned a line drive shot off the bat of Shawn McKay into a double play to end the threat. That sealed the win and forced the deciding Championship Game on Tuesday night. Kyle Gordon, Michael Boyian and Nathan Stiles led the Mathews attack while Jackson Fiscina (one hit and one RBI) and Daniel Miller (one hit and an RBI) led the Stew's attack.

Stew Leonard's survives and advances to AAA Championship Patrick Coulter pitched four innings of two-run baseball, while Cameron Shockley came through with a single, two RBIs and clutch pitching. Daniel Miller delivered the walk-off single with two outs, knocking in Clayton Bray, who had doubled in the bottom of the sixth. The win advanced Stew Leonard's to face Mathews Restoration in the AAA Championship Game. Jack Fitzpatrick had two doubles, Bray two ground-rule doubles and Cooper Grillo had two hits and two RBIs for Stew's. The team played great overall defense as Eric Palacio threw out two runners behind the plate and Shockley and Bray flashed some fine leather. Matarese never gave up battling back with three runs in the fifth and two runs in the sixth to tie the score after trailing, 7-2. Matarese pounded out 12 hits in all, led by Zach Brace, Brandon Lesoveck and Keyshawn Crawley all with two hits each. Kyle Dobson tripled home two runs for Matarese. Stew's had a big five-run third inning as Darren Battle and Vishva Patel set the table, followed by a single by Shockley and doubles by Fitzpatrick, Bray and Grillo.

Stew Leonard's pounds out 10 hits to eliminate Grizzlies Stew Leonard's, led by Cooper Grillos' three-hit, three RBI day, and Eric Palacio's fine pitching knocked out the Grizzlies team, 10-6, in the quarterfinals of the AAA Norwalk Little League Tournament. Cameron Shockley and Clayton Bray added two hits for Stew Leonard's, which advanced to the semifinals.

Mathews Restoration Continues to Roll! Mathews Restoration beat a free-swinging Materese team, 8-2, in the third round of the playoffs. Mathews went to the pitching “Horse” Kyle Gordon, who went the distance of 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and 10 strikeouts. Michael Boyian closed the deal by getting the final out. The score does not tell the whole story as the Materese team came out slugging. Arthur Cocchie led the game off with a single and after getting Sean Buzzi to ground out, Kyle Dobson flexed his muscles. Dobson smashed a two-hoop home run to the left field fence as Materese took a 2-0 lead. But the Mathews team returned the favor. After singles by Gordon and Boyian, Jack Mathews drove them in on a single to right. Gordon settled in on the mound and allowed only two base runners through the next four innings and collected nine out of 10 strikeouts. While Gordon was on the mound holding Materese, Jack Mathews was the “Lumber Jack” swinging the wood. He accounted for four of the eight runs as he continues to produce RBIs in the clutch. Nathan Stiles was called on the play all over the field and came up with two key defensive plays to stall any chances of a Materese comeback.

Minors

Alliance Heating and Air Conditioning played against Wendy's. Alliance was led on defense by the play of Chase Meyer at first base, Joseph Cirifalco's pitching and Ryan Darling's overall fielding.  Brendan Arroyo led the hitting attach with two long hits to the outfield, while Joseph Calo, James McCormack and Aiden Willkehr also contributed hits.

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