DANBURY, Conn. -- The boys from Danbury suffered a close 3-2 loss in their opening game Saturday at the Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, Md., in a see-saw battle against Pacific Southwest.
The team from Danbury, playing as the New England champions battled Pacific Southwest all afternoon, but a strong fourth inning powered team Pacific Southwest to victory.
New England had five hits compared with four for the team from Hanford, Calif., but left five runners stranded on base. New England scored on a groundout by Patrick Iannetta in the fourth inning and a single by Zach Demko in the sixth inning. Still, New England couldn't catch Pacific Southwest.
Despite the loss, New England’s Vince Rangel had a busy day at the plate, collecting two extra-base hits. He also doubled in the second inning and homered in the fourth.
Matthew Aguirre got the win for Pacific Southwest, hurling six strikeouts, one earned run, three hits and no walks over four innings.
New England’s Justin Solimine was charged with the loss. He lasted six innings, walked two, struck out 10, and allowed three runs.
New England now faces Southwest to start things off at Nationals Field on Sunday.
Danbury won the New England championship to earn its berth in the Ripken World Series, which features 11- and 12-year-old baseball teams.
The World Series includes 10 teams from the United States and eight international teams. New Zealand and Puerto Rico were added this year to the Ripken World Series, and Japan is the three-time defending champion of the World Series.
Pool play continues through Aug. 13. On Thursday, Aug. 14, the tournament will see four games of single elimination competition beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Danbury went 11-0 and outscored opponents 87-14 in winning Connecticut and New England championships. In the New England Regional final, Danbury beat Cranston, R.I., 7-2, behind the pitching of Justin Solimine. Zach Demko's two-run home run helped Danbury to the victory.
Rich Wekerle, Solimine and Demko are the mainstays of the pitching staff for manager Ken Clancy.
For complete information on the tournament, visit www.ripkenbaseball.com/world_series. For game updates and behind the scenes with Team New England, follow @CRWS_NewEngland on Twitter.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.