Alex Mella hit a two-run, go-ahead home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to propel North Stamford to a 5-3 victory Saturday in the 10-11 District 1 championship game.
With the game tied at three in the bottom of the fifth and extra innings looming, North Stamford's Telly Colarossi reached base on a fielder's choice, and Mella followed up with a bomb over the right-centerfield fence to put his team ahead.
"We were calling it before the game," North Stamford manager Dave Grafstein said of Mella's home run. "I was throwing batting practice yesterday and he was hitting shots all over the place."
Darien National got on the board first when Brad Morgan hit a two-run single to put his team up 2-0. National tacked on one more in the third on a one-out Christopher Drake RBI single. Grafstein said that even when his team went down 3-0, they never felt they were out of it.
"We just felt like we had to get that first run," he said. "Once you get the first run, things start to loosen up and that's exactly what happened."
North Stamford got all three runs back in the fourth. Gil Daneils led off the inning with a walk, and Patrick Seegers and Chris Glynn added singles as North Stamford tied the game and set the stage for Mella's fifth-inning heroics. Darien manager Ron Drake said he urged his team to take the loss in stride.
"I told them just to keep their heads up," Drake said. "They were champions, too. North Stamford was just a little bit better today."
North Stamford will now play host to the Connecticut 10-11 Section 1 tournament, which begins Wednesday at Scalzi Park.
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