O'Neill's homer lifts Wilton LL 10s over Ridgefield; title game Saturday

Kieran O'Neill's solo home run in the top of the seventh inning gave the Wilton Little League 9/10-year-old All-Star team an 11-10 victory over previously undefeated Ridgefield on Friday evening in the District 1 tournament championship round at Springdale Field in Stamford.

Wilton's victory over Ridgefield, which had beaten Wilton twice earlier in the tournament —including an 8-0 victory in the winners' bracket finals on Monday — means the teams will meet again Saturday in the deciding game at 7 p.m. at Bisceglie Field in Weston. The loss Friday evening was the first for Ridgefield (6-1) in the double-elimination playoffs.

Ridgefield trailed 10-6 going into the bottom of the sixth inning but managed to prolong the game with a four-run rally. Hunter Jewell got a leadoff single and Will Hanna walked, with the runners moving to second and third on a passed pall. Matthew Bucciero then doubled to center field, scoring Jewell and Hanna and trimming Wilton's lead to 10-8.

Walks to Aidan Bogursky and Joel Strand loaded the bases, and Daniel Bucciero singled home two runs to tie the score at 10-10. But with two runners aboard and no outs, Ridgefield was unable to get the winning run, as Wilton (7-2) got a groundout, a strikeout, and a groundout to end the inning.

O'Neill then hit his solo homer in the top of the seventh to put his team ahead, 11-10. Ridgefield was unable to score the tying run in the bottom of the inning, with the game ending on a double play and forcing a rematch Saturday for the district championship.

Notes: In addition to O'Neill, Wilton's tournament roster includes Nevin Belanger, George DiRocco, Owen English, Zarius Eusebe, Matthew Ferrante, Samuel Gioffre, Charlie Guglielmo, Ryan Preisano, Alexander Reyes, Connor Robertson, Quinn Stengrim, Matthew Tabet, and Shane Taubin. The team's head coach is Steve Gioffre.