Darien National will take a well-deserved day off on Wednesday to recuperate from a marathon of a game against Springdale, which they lost 13-12. National and Springdale used almost as many pitchers in their final game of pool play as the pros did in the MLB All-Star game.
Both teams already qualified for the elimination round so coaches limited their hurlers' pitch counts to just 35 pitches to save their arms for later in the week. Sloppy defense, deep counts, and a lot of hits racked up the pitch counts very quickly, however, and the game saw a combined 10 pitching changes and clocked in at just under three hours.
"We had a couple bad breaks, lost a couple balls in the lights," Darien National head coach Larry Voigt said. "Every game though we score 10, 11, 12 runs. This team can hit."
National took advantage of sloppy Springdale defense scoring four times in the first with three runs coming unearned. National soon dealt with their own defensive woes and Springdale stormed back to take a 10-6 lead.
National attempted to mount a comeback tying the game in the fourth on back-to-back RBI doubles by Jake Frasca and Charlie Travers. Danny O'Boyle briefly put National on top 11-10 on a fielder's choice. Springdale's offense proved too strong though, as it eked across three runs in the fifth. National threatened in the sixth, putting the tying and go-ahead runs on base, but Enzo Stephani grounded out to end the game.
Darien National now faces its most difficult task yet, taking on tournament favorite North Stamford in the District One semifinals on Thursday at Frank Noto Field in Stamford at 5:45 p.m.
"They're the team to beat," Voigt said. "We were going to need to beat them anyways to win the districts. I'd rather beat them earlier than later. It's going to be a good battle."
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