NORWALK, Conn. -- The Norwalk Cal Ripken 9-year-old All-Stars continued their domination Wednesday with an 11-1, five-inning mercy rule win over Milford.
Norwalk got on the board quickly with two runs in the first inning. Chris Balchius walked to lead off the inning and Mike Russo singled up the middle. Balchius was driven in on a fielder’s choice by Matt Claps and Russo scored on a single by hot hitting Kostaki Kodonas. Norwalk tacked on a run in the second on a sacrifice fly by Isaiah Gonzalez and another in the third as Balchius was again driven in by Claps, who hit a double.
Sean Lengyel started on the mound for Norwalk and frustrated Milford hitters, who managed to score only one unearned run during his three innings. When Milford hitters did make contact, Gonzalez left them empty-handed with two Gold Glove plays in left field.
Norwalk scored six runs on the bottom of the fourth inning as Kodonas, Jack Vahle, Vin Velez and Balchius all reached base on walks. Gonzalez was also hit by a pitch as Milford pitchers struggled to find the strike zone. Russo added another hit to his total and drove in two runs during the inning.
After Lengyel, Matt Claps pitched two innings for Norwalk and shut down the Milford offence giving up no hits and no runs and striking out three.
In the bottom of the fifth, Vahle singled and then stole second and third to put himself into scoring position. He was driven in by Pete Denman, who hit a rocket over the center fielder's head, bringing the score to 11-1 and ending the game.
The Norwalk 9’s are preparing for the state tournament, which begins Saturday, July 19.