Little League: Milford to play Fairfield for title Saturday

Zach Worzel hit a tie-breaking two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning, then shut the door with two innings of relief, as the Milford Lou Gehrig Little League defeated Weston 5-4 in the Sectional 1 Tournament at Stamford’s Springdale Park on Friday night.

With the victory, Milford will take on Fairfield American in the championship game on Saturday afternoon. First pitch, also at Springdale, is at 2:30.

With Friday’s score tied 3-3, Hunter Hoxie led off the fifth with a booming double to left center field. Worzel followed with an opposite field blast off the scoreboard in left.

The southpaw pitcher relieved Declan Wywoda, after Weston plated a run in the bottom of the fifth.

Worzel stranded the tying run at third base and ended up striking out the side in each of his two innings of work.

Milford, coming off a 10-0 loss to Fairfield the day before, was looking to regroup and did so by plating a run in its first at bat.

Kasen Lanese led off the game with a single, was sacrifice bunted to second by Gavin Kaminski, and scored on Brendan Buchner’s single.

Weston answered with three runs in the bottom of the first.

Lanese sparked a two-run rally in the third with another leadoff single, helping set the stage for Jake Stash’s two-run double to tie the score.

“These kids have fought for weeks now, basically a month, and they’re a tight group of kids,” Milford manager Rob Hansen said. “They could care less about individual stats. It about the whole team.”

Worzel’s efforts stood out given the timing of his big hit. He had struggled with off-speed pitches in earlier at bats, and Hansen liked his adjustment at the plate and late-game ability to go with the pitch.

“That was the first fastball I got,” Worzel said.

Hansen was pleased with the way his team came back after the loss to Fairfield.

“We just didn’t play well at all. We knew we had a better game in us,” said Hansen.