Ridgefield tops Stamford National, 5-3, in extra innings

Stamford National didn't hit into a double play Tuesday, and yet it still fell victim to a twin killing.

Back-to-back home runs from twins Matthew and Daniel Bucciero in the top of the seventh inning powered the Ridgefield 11/12-year-old All-Stars to a 5-3 win over Stamford National in the opening round of the Little League District 1 double-elimination playoffs.

Ridgefield will now play the winner of today's Wilton-Stamford North game in the winners' bracket finals on July 10 (site, time TBA).

In Tuesday's playoff opener, Ridgefield spotted Stamford National a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. National's rally included two solo homers.

Ridgefield got one run back in the top of the fourth. Justin Keller led off with a single and later scored on Will Hanna's RBI double.

The tying runs came one inning later. Aidan Stern drew a walk to lead off the top of the fifth, and, one out later, Matthew Bucciero blasted a two-run homer to even the score at 3-3.

After a scoreless sixth inning, the game headed to extra innings. With one out in the top of the seventh, Matthew Bucciero's solo homer put Ridgefield ahead 4-3. Two pitches later, Daniel Bucciero followed with his own solo shot to give Ridgefield a 5-3 lead.

Matthew Bucciero, who had taken over for starting pitcher Joel Strand with two outs in the fifth inning, retired Stamford National's first batter in the bottom of the seventh before issuing two straight walks. Hanna then came on in relief and got a flyout and a strikeout to end the game.

Notes: Matthew Bucciero, Ridgefield's leadoff hitter, finished with three hits (two homers), three RBIs and two runs scored. Keller and Hanna each added two hits, and Daniel Bucciero and Aidan Bogursky contributed one hit apiece.

Strand pitched the first four and two-thirds innings for Ridgefield, allowing three runs on five hits while walking two batters and striking out 11. Relievers Matthew Bucciero and Hanna combined to hold Stamford National scoreless (and hitless) over two and one-third innings.

Ridgefield, which won two of its three pool-play games, is now 3-1 overall in the District 1 tournament.