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Ridgefield American Reaches Little League Semis

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – After Darien American scored a run in the top of the fifth to tie the score at 1-1 in Sunday’s District 1 Little League quarterfinal, it seemed momentum might have been shifting away from Ridgefield National. Tony Macchia got it back with one perfect swing.

He drilled a pitch the opposite way over the left field fence at Bisceglie Field in Weston for a two-run home run to lift Ridgefield to a 3-1 victory. Ridgefield National will play Wilton in the semifinals Tuesday at Scalzi Park in Stamford at 5:30.

“It was a fastball, middle out,” Macchia said. “That’s a pitch that you want to put in the opposite field gap. I didn’t know if it’d go out. I thought I got under it a little bit.”

James McCann’s double followed a two-out double by Jimmy Green in the second to give Ridgefield a 1-0 lead. Darien tied it in the fifth with an unearned run. That set the stage for Macchia’s big blow. Jack Ligouri started the winning rally with a one-out single, and then was erased on a fielder’s choice by Matt Lombardo. Macchia followed with his home run.

Green’s terrific pitching and excellent defense, particularly by shortstop Max Ringer, helped Ridgefield keep Darien off the board. Green pitched into the sixth and allowed just three hits. Joe Signorelli came on to get the final two outs after Green reached the 85-pitch limit.

Ringer made several fine plays, including a force out at second to nip a Darien runner. He stopped the ball behind second and alertly touched the bag with his glove, helping to short-circuit a Darien rally. Green stranded the go-ahead run at third base in the top of the fifth. Ringer turned an unassisted double play to end the game and strand the tying run at second base.

“Pitching and defense is how we win,” Ridgefield manager John Macchia said. “That can take you a long way in baseball, at any level.”

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