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2 Norwalk Cal Ripken Teams Win Tournament Titles

The Norwalk Cal Ripken 11-year-olds won the recent Al Leonard tournament in Bethel. Photo Credit: Contributed
The Norwalk Cal Ripken 9-year-olds also won the Al Leonard tournament. Photo Credit: Contributed
The Norwalk Cal Ripken 10-year-olds lost in the championship bracket to Brookfield. Photo Credit: Contributed
The Norwalk Cal Ripken 12-year-old All-Stars went 2-2 in a recent tournament in Bethel. Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Cal Ripken Baseball (ages 4-12) announced today a number of strong finishes by its 9 through 12 year-old traveling all-star teams at the 22nd annual Al Leonard Jimmy Fund Invitational baseball tournament in Bethel,.

Drawing nearly 50 teams from throughout the state, the 22nd annual Al Leonard Jimmy Fund Invitational baseball tournament is one of the largest and most efficiently run tournaments in New England and has raised over $1 million for cancer research. Norwalk’s 9 year-old and 11 year-old teams won their respective divisions. The 10 year-olds were runners up and the 12 year-old team won two of four games in the toughest and most competitive division of the three week long double-elimination tournament at Bethel’s Mitchell Park complex. The Norwalk 9s, led by head coach, Billy Lengyel, went 4-0 in commanding fashion, defeating Brookfield and New Canaan by identical 11-1 scores, followed by a 13-5 win over Danbury, before dismantling New Canaan again, 23-5 in the championship game. The Norwalk 9s begin District tournament play on July 6 in New Canaan.

Players on the team are: Devin Bowen, Kyle Close, Keegan Cullen, Henry Feinstein, Justin Feinstein, Charlie LaFreniere, Sean Lengyel, Andrew McNamara, Taso Panagiotidis, Jack Roberts, Wil Stalzer and Brian Weiss.

The Norwalk 10s, led by head coach John Kodonas, edged New Canaan 5-4 in their opener and Brookfield 14-5, before dropping a taut 3-0 game to eventual champion Brookfield. The 10s rebounded for a thrilling 5-4 win over Danbury in the losers' bracket final, before falling short once again to Brookfield, 5-1, in the championship game of the double-elimination tournament. Without skipping a beat, the 10s went right into District Play and captured the District One Tournament on June 25 with a “double dip” victory over New Canaan. Kodonas is assisted by coaches Mike Claps, Frank Diurno and Bob Russo. Players on the team are:  Christopher Balchius, Nick Catino, Matthew Claps, Peter Denman, Jonathan Diurno, Isaias Gonzalez, Konstantinos Kodonas, Savvas Kodonas, Matthew Lanzarotto, Philip Nora, Brandon Rodriguez, Michael Russo and Jack Vahle.

The Norwalk 11s, led by head coach, Mark Boccanfuso, took an arduous, but ultimately satisfying route to the Al Leonard Tournament crown. After dropping their opening game 2-1 to Southbury in a tense 9-inning game, the 11s fought off elimination seven straight times against six different opponents for the championship trophy. Starting with an 8-5 win over Oxford, a 7-1 victory over Newtown (Team 1) and a 12-3 romp over Brookfield, the Norwalk 11s recovered from a 4-1 deficit to defeat New Fairfield 5-4, before winning a rematch with Southbury 14-3 to get into the championship round against undefeated Newtown (Team 2). Norwalk won the first game over Newtown-2 by a score of 7-1 and the championship “if” game by a score of 12-2.  

Boccanfuso is assisted by coaches Mike Palmer, Hank Berkowitz and Dave Ely. Players are Mike Berkowitz, Ben Boccanfuso, Jeremy Cooke, Brendan Edvardsen, Chris Ely, Jayden Gonzalez, Jake Palmer, Zion Profit, A.J. Robinson, Kyle Root, Kamron Walker and Vance Ward. After an opening round loss to New Fairfield 11-6, the Norwalk 12s, led by head coach, Rick Liscio, upended Danbury B, 14-1 and Newtown-2 by a score of 8-2, before dropping a close 6-4 decision to Danbury A to end the Al Leonard Invitational run. Liscio is assisted by coaches Keith McNamara and Rick Liscio, Jr. Players are Tyler Cappadona, Mike Donahue, Joe Druin, Brian Ehlers, Austin Hall, Owen Liscio, Malachi Longo, Bryan Lowden, Justin McNamara, Derek Natalie, James Nuzzo, Koy Price and Zaire Profit




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