North Stamford advanced to the District 1 Little League final Thursday night with a 3-0 win over Darien National. Luke Dawson struck out 11 for Stamford in an complete game effort, and the his team took advantage of some timely baserunning to secure the win.
With the score tied 0-0 in the bottom of the third, Jeremy Benjamin led off the inning with a single to right field. Dawson followed up by hitting into a fielder's choice, with Benjamin out at second. After Peter Horn walked, Kevin Stone ripped a double to right field to score Dawson and put runners at second and third with only one out. Horn and Stone then scored on a pair of passed balls .
"We got a hit when we needed it, a couple of walks, and we took advantage of good baserunning," North Stamford manager Doug Horn said. Three runs were all the support Dawson needed, mixing in his curveball effectively to hold National to just four hits in the game. "I was throwing (my fastball) good, hitting my spots," Dawson said. "And my curveball was just a plus."
North Stamford advances to play National Lione in the final Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Noto Field. North Stamford has made the final the previous two years, but lost in 2008 to National Lione as 10-year-olds and in 2009 to Darien National in the 11-year-old tournament. Dawson said Thursday's win was even sweeter because it came against the team that ended their season a year before. "It feels great, just the redemption," he said.
Horn said his team would be extra motivated to take home the title this time around. "We're tired of being the bridesmaid," he said. "We like our chances, but it's Little League baseball, so anything can happen."
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