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LITTLE LEAGUE: Stamford American beats Darien with rally in sixth

July 1, 2018 GMT

STAMFORD—Having already clinched a spot in next week’s playoffs as the top team in Pool A, the Stamford American Little league team did not, technically, need to win Sunday against Darien.

Still, Stamford American rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth, scoring the tying and go-ahead runs on two-out hits and defeating Darien 6-5 at Caporizzo Field in Stamford.

“It was a slow start but the kids really showed fight. We didn’t need the game but we wanted the game,” Stamford American coach Mike Fenske said. “It is the first time we have been 3-0 as 12-year olds in a long time. I am really proud of the kids because in that last inning they didn’t quit and they showed that they really wanted to win.”

Stamford American finished pool play with unblemished record of 3-0 for the first time in recent memory and will begin the final four of District 1 next week.

Darien was eliminated by virtue of a loss Saturday to Wilton but still gave Stamford all it could handle for six innings.

Stamford rallied for three runs in the top if the sixth, entering the inning trailing 5-3.

J.J. Salvatore scored on a wild pitch with one out but after two strikeouts, Stamford was down to its last out, trailing by one.

With two strikes, Kendal Conly smoked a double just fair inside the first-base line, scoring Jake Silver with the tying run.

“I was kind of nervous because my past at bats I didn’t do so well,” Conly said. “I knew it was a critical moment and I knew I had to get a base hit. Being 3-0 hasn’t happened for Stamford American in a long time. I am so proud to be on this team.”

Kevin Bock, who was back on the mound after missing much of the season with an injury, pitched brilliantly for Darien before leaving with the lead in the top of the sixth.

“He pitched great. I haven’t see a pitcher go into the sixth inning in this tournament with under 60 pitches,” Darien coach Terry Bock said. “If we are going to go out the way we went out I couldn’t be prouder of these kids. I have been with this group since they were nine and, while we certainly would have liked to go farther, I couldn’t be happier with the boys today and how they played.”

Both teams scored runs in the first inning, making it 1-0 after one.

Stamford went up 2-1 in the second on a solo home run by Silver.

Darien would answer with three in the third with Dom Zawacki and Andrew Olson driving in runs.

A RBI double by Pascarella in the fourth cut into the lead for Stamford but Darien answered again in the bottom of the inning with a run of its own.

Sericson@stamfordadvocate.com; @EricsonSports