NORWALK, Conn. Sports Authority, of the Rowayton Little League, pushed home a run in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Signature Landscaping, of the Norwalk Little League, 6-5, in the first round of the District 1 Tournament of Champions Wednesday night at Bayley Beach.
The victory sends Rowayton to the semifinals Thursday against Ridgefield National. It marks the third straight year Rowayton has won at least one game in the eight-team tournament, which includes squads from Darien, Ridgefield, Wilton, Weston and Norwalk.
Sam Czaja delivered the game-winning run with a fielders choice to score Peter Tinnesz. With the bases loaded and one out, Czaja hit a hard ground ball to second and Tinnesz raced home with the winning run without a play.
Tinnesz ripped four hits for Rowayton, which battled back from deficits of 3-0 and 5-2. Rowayton forced extra innings in the sixth on a two-out RBI triple by Peter Massey. Griffin Root had two doubles and three RBI for Rowayton.
Liam Carroll started for Rowayton with relief help from Root and Massey, who pitched out of a jam in the ninth to get the win.
Jack Fitzpatrick, Vishma Patel and Dax Generoso led Signature Landscapings offense. Alex Canavari pitched well for the champions of the Norwalk Little League, going into the eighth before being lifted after reaching the 85-pitch limit. Matt Howard took over for Canavari.
Rowayton meets Ridgefield National in Thursdays semifinals at Aldrich Field in Ridgefield. Wilton plays Ridgefield American in the other semifinal. The winners advance to Saturdays championship game at a field to be announced.
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