Milford earns state championship
TRUMBULL — It took a meeting on the hill, and a pair of five-run rallies, but Milford made it three consecutive wins with a 12-5 run-rule five-inning victory over Danbury in the Babe Ruth 13U championship game at Unity Park on Friday night.
“We had a talk on the mound,” winning pitcher Zach Worzel said of getting together with his infielders in the second inning. “We had to calm down and play our game. We had to focus. I turned that anger into a strength.”
Danbury had a 2-1 lead, helped by three Milford errors. Worzel struck out the next two batters to leave the bases loaded.
Milford tied the game at 2-all on Ethan Long’s RBI single in the bottom of the second, then batted around in the third and fourth innings to take a 12-2 lead.
Worzel left the game with two outs and a runner on second in the top of the fifth inning. Brandon Payne got the last out on a strikeout.
“This team never bickers, they pick each other up,” Milford manager Jerry Payne said. “That’s why we love to coach this team. We’ve made a lot of mistakes in Districts and now here in states, but we never let them get us down Our pitching is solid, and we’ve hit the ball better as the postseason has gone along. That is a winning formula.”
Milford will next play in the Regional Tournament that begins in Stamford on Friday.
Danbury came out of the loser’s bracket to win three consecutive games to earn a spot in the final.
“We lost that first game (16-0 to Trumbull), but we immediately put it aside,” Danbury manager Duke Hart said. “The key for us was to wipe that game from our memory. This is a great group and they pick each other up. I love coaching them.”
Worzel drove in three runs for Milford, the last two in the bottom of the fourth inning to reach the 10-run threshold. Long, Ryan Bull and Brandon Payne each had two RBIs. Matt Galligan had the other RBI.
Danbury’s Jack Halas had an RBI and made a sliding catch in left field to strand three runners and keep the game tied in the second.
Christian Jeffers (triple), Acevedo (double), Shafto and Chila had the other Danbury hits.
MILFORD 12, DANBURY 2 (5 innings)
Danbury 020 00 — 2 5 1
Milford 115 5x — 12 9 3
Batteries: Danbury Jim Acevedo (LP), Dominic Chila (3) and Andrew Shafto; Milford Zach Worzel (WP), Brandon Payne (5) and Ryan Bull
Records: Danbury 3-2, Milford 3-0