Saturday, August 13, 2011

July 8, 2011 BASEBALL American Legion New Milford Post 31

New Milford Post 31 -- New Milford posted a 3-2 record during a busy three-day stretch last week, dropping two of three to Danbury before winning two straight against Norwalk.

In a 4-3 win over Danbury on June 30, Greg Ostner pitched a complete game and struck out eight while walking none and allowing just three hits. Justin Voytek went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Clete LoRusso went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

In a 6-5 loss to Danbury, Brad Mannion went 2-for-3 with two runs, Dan Hedden went 2-for-4 and Joey Charles had a hit and two RBIs. Danbury pitcher Bryson Herr went the distance and scattered eight hits and one walk. Only one of the runs he allowed was earned. Ryan Berry went 2-for-3 with three runs for Danbury and Brian DelDebbio and Janco Cornelius each drove in a run.

In a 2-1 loss to Danbury, New Milford managed just one hit off Danbury pitcher Donald Miller, who went the distance and struck out 11 while walking three. Miller and Robert Meerman each drove in a run for Danbury.

June 5, 2011 Baseball – Class L State Tournament

The Bobcats enjoyed a rebirth of a season this year, advancing not only to the SWC playoffs but the State tournament as well. They were unable to continue the wild ride however as the fell in the opening round to New London by the score of 9-2.

For Bobcat sports fans it was the second time this year that the Whalers up-ended a BHS team in the post-season. In the fall, the football team fell in the state semi-final game to the boys from New London.

The Bobcats entered the tournament as the 25th seed and had to make the long trip to the coast to face No. 8 New London. Brookfield finished the year with a 13-10 record.

Brookfield began the season by winning its first six games, setting them up for a conference post-season run for the first time in eight years. Senior pitcher Harlan Zeerip carried the load early for the Bobcats and he was joined by senior pitcher Ryan Berry, who was held out for the first couple of weeks due to an off-season injury. The two proved to be a formidable duo, highlighted by their back-to-back dominant performances in 2-1, 2-0 wins over Newtown.

Fellow seniors Janco Cornelius, Austin Yusko, Dave Long and Evan Mozingo all played big parts in turning the team around, providing strong leadership for a team that was a nice mix of experienced players and younger players trying to make their mark.

While the Bobcats will be losing the senior players who brought a winner to the diamond for the first time in years, they will be left in good hands by the underclassmen who proved their worth on the field.

Current juniors Bryson Herr and A.J Cresci will play big roles next season, while sophomores Casey Burdick, Tre’ Gause, Mathew Gernert and Ryan Korb will look to build on their experience from this season. Freshman Ryan Rivas, who finished the season as the team’s hottest hitter, should make an impact as well.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 13, 2011 -- Pomperaug overpowers Brookfield, clinches No. 1 seed in SWC Kevin Duffy, Staff Writer Read

Kevin Maxon, of Pomperaug High School, is tagged out at second base, by Brookfield High School's Bryson Herr, in a game at Brookfield, on Friday, May 13, 2011. Photo: Jay Weir / The News-Times Freelance

Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 29, 2011 -- Brookfield Highlights

The Brookfield baseball team is off to a stellar start, winning seven of its first eight games, including a thrilling 4-3 win over Bethel Wednesday.

Bethel scored a go-ahead run on an error in the top of the ninth, but the Bobcats scored two in the bottom of the frame for the win.

Brookfield started its rally with two outs, with the winning runs coming in on a base hit to center with the bases loaded by shortstop Bryson Herr. Ryan Berry threw eight innings, giving up two runs, and Dave Long came in in the ninth for Brookfield.

Brookfield lost its first game of the season earlier in the week to Notre Dame. The Fairfield club jumped on Brookfield starter Harlan Zeerip for seven runs in the first inning and never looked back.

Said head coach Dan McKee. “We have been successful because of attitude. These players are here for each other not themselves. We also have a bench with players that could be starters. It’s hard to see such talent have to sit, but we can only use nine at a time. We have three sophomores in the top five in the batting order, Tre Gause, Matt Gernert and Ryan Korb. We’re playing excellent defense and hitting the heck out of the ball.”

April 28, 2011 -- Baseball, Softball Both Go Extra Innings with Bethel

Baseball (7-1, 5-1):
On Tuesday, the Bobcats finally lost a game, taking one on the chin in Fairfield, losing to Notre Dame 10-2.  They returned home on Wednesday to face perennial power Bethel (4-3).  The game went extra innings and in the bottom of the ninth inning they found themselves down one-run with two outs and nobody on. Suddenly a two-game losing streak was staring them in the face.
Up stepped senior Ryan Berry, who had pitched eight innings, surrendering only two runs in the classic pitchers duel.  Berry delivered a clean single through the right side of the infield to make him three-for-four on the day.  He was followed by first baseman Austin Yusko, who promptly drove a ball up the middle to continue the two-out rally.
Bethel pitcher Andy Guercio, who was on the mound for the entire game, was finally starting to wear down.  Bobcats catcher Evan Mozingo smartly battled him and drew a walk to load the bases and set things up for shortstop Bryson Herr.  Herr took advantage of the big moment by scorching a single into center field that brought home the tying and winning runs in the dramatic 4-3 walk-off win for Brookfield.
"I just wanted to follow my hands back up the middle," Herr said of his approach at the plate.  "I was looking for middle-in, that's what I got."
Brookfield took a 1-0 in the second inning when Yusko delivered an RBI double that drove in Berry, who had hit a two-out triple.  After Bethel scored two off Berry in third, the Bobcats promptly tied things up in the bottom of the inning when second baseman Ryan Korb hit an RBI single that drove home Mozingo, who had led off the inning with a double.
From there both pitchers were lights out, shutting each team down until the dramatic final inning.  Berry, who had thrown 112 pitches, gave way to relief pitcher Dave Long, who was greeted by a leadoff single.  The Wildcats then executed a perfect bunt play that led to a throwing error by Long that was misplayed by the right fielder backing up on the play, which allowed Bethel to take a 3-2 lead and have a runner on third with nobody out.  Long came up big by stranding the runner there and keeping the Bobcat deficit at one run.
BETHEL            002 000 001—3 6 0
BROOKFIELD 011 000 002—4 10 3
BATTERIES: BE—Guercio (L) and Nick Spinella; BR—Berry, Long (9) and Mozingo. SO: Guercio 11, Berry 6, Long. BB: Guercio 3, Berry 2.
2B: BE—John Sorice, Zach Albin; BR—Yusko, Mozingo. 3B: BR—Berry. RBI: BE—Sorice, Albin, Spinella; BR—Herr 2, Yusko, Korb.

April 28, 2011 -- Herr's clutch hit lifts Brookfield to baseball victory over Bethel

BROOKFIELD -- Bryson Herr belted a walk-off single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth that scored Ryan Dell and Austin Yusko and propelled the Brookfield High baseball team to a thrilling 4-3 victory over Bethel.
Brookfield, now 7-1 on the season, was led by Ryan Berry, who went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and also pitched eight innings of two-run ball. Berry threw 124 pitches and struck out six batters while allowing five hits.
BETHEL 002 000 001--3 6 0
BROOKFIELD 011 000 002--4 10 3
RECORDS: BE--4-3; BR--7-1
BATTERIES: BE--Andy Guercio (L) and Nick Spinella; BR--Ryan Berry, Dave Long (9) and Evan Mozingo. SO: Guercio 11, Berry 6, Long. BB: Guercio 3, Berry 2. 2B: BE--John Sorice, Zach Albin; BR--Austin Yusko, Mozingo. 3B: BR--Berry. RBI: BE--Sorice, Albin, Spinella; BR--Bryson Herr 2, Yusko, Ryan Korb.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 22, 2011 - Baseball Wins Again, Bobcats hold on for win over Stratford

Baseball (6-0, 4-0):
The Bobcats continued their winning ways at Stratford (2-5) yesterday afternoon, defeating the Red Devils 6-5 to remain undefeated and in first place in the SWC conference.
Brookfield jumped out to a 5-0 lead through five innings and then had to hold on as Stratford rallied for all five of their runs in the final three innings. Dave Long started the game and shut out Stratford for the first four innings. He gave way to Harlan Zeerip in the fifth inning during a Red Devil three-run rally.
Brookfield's big inning came in the third when they scored three runs. They picked up the game-winning run in the sixth inning after Stratford had cut the lead 5-3.  Zeerip held off the hard-charging Red Devils in the final two innings for the win.
Brookfield Shortstop Bryson Herr helped hold off Stratford with two unassisted double-plays -- to retire the side in each of the last two innings of the game.
Sophomores Tre' Gause and Matt Gernert both had three hits in the game, while senior captain Austin Yusko had two hits.
The Bobcats finish a stretch of four-games in one week when they play at non-conference rival Ridgefield (3-3) on Saturday.
BROOKFIELD 103 011 0—6 9 1
STRATFORD   000 031 1—5 8 3

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 18, 2011 Zeerip Powers Bobcats Past Newtown

Baseball (4-0, 1-0):
Senior pitcher Harlan Zeerip picked up his third win of the season as he helped the Bobcats remain undefeated. Playing at rival Newtown (4-2), Zeerip pitched a complete game two-hitter, striking out eight Nighthawks while holding them to only one run in  Brookfield's 2-1 win.
Both teams scored a run in the second inning and the game remained tied until Brookfield could take the lead with another run in the sixth. Sophomore Matt Gernert and junior Bryson Herr came up with the RBIs for Brookfield. Senior Dave Long had three of Brookfield's four hits in the game and scored a run.
The two teams will meet up again at Brookfield on Wednesday.

BROOKFIELD 010 001 0 — 2 4 0
NEWTOWN    010 000 0 — 1 2 2

BATTERIES: B — Zeerip (W, 3-0) and Evan Mozingo; N — Chris Haylon (L, 3-1) and Chris Tenney. SO: B — Zeerip 8; N — Haylon 7. BB: B — Zeerip 2; N —  Haylon.
2B: B — David Long; N — Kyle Packer. RBI: B — Matt Gernert, Bryson Herr; N — Ryan Powers.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

July 15, 2007 -- Titans' streak snapped

Two days after out-slugging the Southern Dutchess Lightning 8-1 to extend their recent winning streak to eight straight and lock up a spot in their upcoming summer league playoffs (USSA/ECTB), the Connecticut Titans U13 Blue Squad lost three consecutive heartbreakers to two of their league rivals, the Brewster Bulldogs and the Rockland Red Devils.

The Titans lost the first game against the Brewster Bulldogs 12-9 after rallying for six runs in the final inning. P.J. Jamieson sparked the rally by scoring on a Steven Zielinski RBI single. Nick Ferrari followed with another RBI single. Later in the inning, Chris Haylon hit a three-run double to bring the Titans to within 3, but that was as close as they got.

In the following doubleheader, the Titans lost two more to the Rockland Red Devils 6-4 and 6-4.

In the first game, Bryson Herr pitched a gem for the Titans, striking out 10 and walking none over six innings.

In the second game, the Titans forged a late-game rally that fell just short. Connor Trafton, B.J. Nimer and C.J. Sousa all had key hits in the rally and Zach Khoury laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt.

The Titans next play in the USSSA-sanctioned New York Wood Bat Tournament in Newburgh, N.Y., beginning July 20.

April 16, 2011 -- Baseball Moves To 3-0

Baseball (3-0, 1-0) Complete Article in Brookfield Patch:
In a game of rallies, the Bobcats rallied last to come up with their third straight win to open the season, knocking off Joel Barlow (2-3) 7-5 on a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon in Redding.
"Good start for us," Brookfield head coach Dan McKee said.
Junior Bryson Herr came on in relief to earn the win and Herr came up with the game-winning hit in the seventh inning to help his cause. With two out and a runner on first in a tie game, Herr smoked a ball down the right field line for an RBI triple and he would come home to score an insurance run on a throwing error on the play.
"Good guy, throws strikes," McKee said of Herr, who came on and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning before shutting the Falcons down for the final two innings. "Smart player, couldn't ask for more."
Herr was aided by a sensational defensive play by center-fielder Janco Cornelius. On a potential go-ahead sacrifice fly to center, Cornelius came up throwing and delivered a perfect ball to the plate, leading to a run-down and the final out of the inning, ending a three-run game-tying rally for Joel Barlow in the fifth.
"That was huge," McKee said of Cornelius' throw to the plate.
Cornelius led the game off with a single and scored to give Brookfield a 1-0 lead. They would fall behind 2-1 in the second inning before rallying for two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth for a 5-2 lead. Starting pitcher Dave Long battled through the first four innings, pitching in terrible conditions. He would leave the game in the fifth inning with Barlow rallying.
"It was nice seeing Dave," McKee said of Long making his first start of the season. "He worked hard, got the outs he needed, the defense played pretty good."
Long led off the fourth inning rally with a walk and followed first basemen Austin Yusko's single in the fifth with a single to help spark the two rallies for the Bobcats. He would come home to score in both innings.
Brookfield had 11 hits in the game, with every player reaching base at least once.
"This year everybody has been swinging the bat really well," McKee said of his team that has scored at least six runs in each of its first three games. "We cut down on the strikeouts by half from last year and everybody is making contact."
BROOKFIELD 020 030 2—7 11 3
BARLOW           020 030 0—5 7 3
Batteries: Br—Long, A.J. Cresci (5), Herr (5, W) and Evan Mozingo; Bar—Logan Barer, Mark DelVecchio (5, L, 0-1) and Casey Saunders. SO: Br—Long 2, Herr 1; Bar-—DelVecchio 3.  BB: Br—Long 4, Cresci 2. Bar—Barer 4, DelVecchio 1.
Highlights: Br—Cornelius 3-for-4, Yusko 2-for-4; 1 RBI, Long 2 Runs Scored, Matt Gernert 1 RBI, Mozingo 1 RBI; 1 Run Scored, Herr Triple; 1 RBI; 1 Run Scored. Bar—Alex Kowalski and Jake Lightman had two hits each. Keiran Geyer 3 RBI, Sam Knell 2 RBI.

April 13, 2011 -- Baseball Wins Second in a Row

Baseball (2-0, 1-0):
Bobcats starting pitcher Harlan Zeerip was back on the hill for Brookfield on Monday and he led the team to its second straight win to start the year. Zeerip pitched six scoreless innings, enjoying solid run support in the 6-3 win at New Fairfield. He struck out six while walking only two.
The Bobcats scored two runs in the second inning and one in the fourth before opening things up with a three-run fifth inning. The Rebels rallied for three runs in their last at-bat but it was too little too late as Brookfield held on for the win.
Sophomore third basemen Matt Gernert continued his strong start to the season with a double and two RBIs while senior right-fielder David Long went 3-for-3 with one RBI. Senior Ryan Berry, who came on to pitch in the seventh inning, also had a triple and an RBI in the win.

BROOKFIELD         020  130 0—6 9 0
NEW FAIRFIELD  000 000 3—3 10 3

BATTERIES: B—Zeerip (W 2-0), Berry (7) and Evan Mozingo; NF—P.J. Jameison (L), Ryan Moore (6) and Joe Roberti. SO: Zeerip 6, Berry, Jameison 5, Moore. BB: Zeerip 2, Berry, Jameison 2, Moore.

2B: B—Gernert; NF—P.J. Jameison. 3B: B—Berry. RBI: B—Gernert 2, Bryson Herr, Ryan Korb, Long, Berry; NF—Jameison 2, Alex Potoc

April 8, 2011 -- Brookfield High Sports Spring Season Gets Underway

Baseball Team Has High Hopes

The Brookfield baseball team has the makings of a winner this season after a 5-15 showing a year ago.

The Bobcats return six seniors, with the team’s only major loss being last season’s top hitter, Tom Pisarick.

“I have three good lefty pitchers this year in Harlan Zeerip, Dave Long and Austin Yusko, as well as three outstanding righties, Bryson Herr, Ryan Berry and A.J. Cresci,” said head coach Dan McKee. “This will be the fastest overall team I’ve had in the last five years. Our defense looks strong throughout the infield and outfield.”

Evan Mozingo will be behind the plate for the Bobcats, backed up by freshman Ryan Rivas.

“I think we’ll hold our own in the SWC this year,” added McKee. “I have possibly five players that will go on to play at the next level next year. We haven’t had much time on the field yet this year, so we’ll have to figure ways to manufacture runs.”

July 12, 2010 -- American Legion Danbury 10, Trumbull 2:

Nick Rolen went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI, and two runs, and Bryson Herr needed only 86 pitches to shut down Trumbull on a 4-hitter as Danbury rolled to victory on Sunday.
Dennis Sharp continued his hot hitting for Danbury going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run while Rob Meerman was also 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI. Danbury, which has won three of its last four games, visits Trumbull again tonight.

July 8, 2010 -- American Legion Danbury 2, Oxford 1

Pitcher Bryson Herr scattered five hits in the complete-game victory at Danbury High School on Wednesday. Herr needed only 96 pitches to complete the win while striking out four. Dennis Sharp's two-out double in the second inning plated Dan Lemire for Danbury's first run. Austin Samuelson's fourth triple of the season, followed by Sam Gillotti's grounder to third, accounted for the winning run. Oxford scored a run in the seventh on a groundout after Vinny DeFrancisco's leadoff triple. Nick Rolen erased a leadoff single by Oxford in the first by throwing out the runner on an attempted steal. Herr escaped a two-on, nobody-out threat in the fourth by picking the lead runner off second base and striking out the next batter. The Danbury defense negated a leadoff single in the fifth when Sharp snared a liner at second and doubled the runner off first. Danbury next plays a doubleheader against Monroe on Saturday.

April 25, 2010 -- Bobcats End Tough Week With Big Win

After Losing Three Games This Week And Four Straight Overall Brookfield Breaks Out Of Slump With 14-1 Win Over Abbott Tech

They lost a pitcher's dual against Bunnell (2-5, 1-1), a high-scoring affair against New Milford (3-5, 2-2) and hard fought battle against Newtown (6-2, 3-1).  The Brookfield High (3-4, 0-4) baseball team needed a win in a big way.  In a Saturday morning game played at home they got just what they needed.
Behind another strong pitching performance by junior Ryan Berry and a shakeup in the lineup that inspired an offensive outburst, the Bobcats were able to cruise to a 14-1 pounding of Abbott Tech (4-6).
Berry worked around back-to-back singles and an error that loaded the bases for Tech in the first inning by striking out back-to-back hitters to end the threat without allowing a run.  The team couldn't afford to get behind early with the way things had been going.
"I was more impressed with the pitching today," coach Dan McKee said.  "Ryan was strong.  He loaded the bases and got out of it.  We had a different catcher going today and they might have been mixed up early.  But they communicated and got on the same page."
After getting out of the jam the Brookfield bats went to work.  Led by junior center fielder Janco Cornelius who went four for five and scored four runs on the day to set the table for the middle of the order, the Bobcats pounded out 25 hits to score their 14 runs.
With Cornelius on second base in the first inning after a single and a stolen base Berry ripped a triple for the first of his five runs batted in on the day.  Senior Mike Palicz, who was playing third base, followed him with a run-scoring double and junior Evan Mozingo, who was catching, drove Palicz home with a single for an early 3-0 lead.
"Just get some contact," Cornelius said of his approach at the plate.  "We haven't been hitting a lot."
In the second inning sophomore second baseman Bryson Herr led off with a walk.  Freshman shortstop Casey Burdick who was playing in his first varsity game got a single in his first at-bat and junior first baseman Austin Yusko loaded the bases with a single.  Cornelius promptly drove in two runs with a base hit and a big inning was underway.  Berry delivered another run with a single before Mozingo's deep double opened things up.
The Bobcats brought ten men to the plate in the inning, bashing six hits and scoring six runs for 9-0 lead.
"It was good to come back and get a win," Berry said.  "We were trying to keep a good mentality and not get down."
After the two hits Berry surrendered in the first inning he only gave up two more in his five innings of work while striking out seven and allowing one run.  To go along with his five runs batted in, he went five for five on the day.
"This was a good pick-me-up game," the coach said.  "We can't rest on our laurels."
Palicz went two for three with a sacrifice fly and three runs batted in.  Mozingo had three hits with four runs batted in.
"I think everybody got a hit," McKee said.  The entire lineup including late game replacements Robert and James O'Neill were in the hit column.  Burdick ended up going three for four.  "That was his first game up, I like him.  And the O'Neill brothers were back and both got hits."
Hard throwing left handed relief pitcher David Long, a junior, replaced Berry in the sixth inning and struck out the side.  Palicz finished things off with a solid showing in the seventh inning.
"We got to come out strong," Cornelius said as the team looks ahead to next week, putting the losing streak behind them.  They face Newtown again, Stratford (1-7, 0-3) and Notre Dame, Fairfield (1-6, 0-1).  "Our main goal is to make states.  If we can win two more games next week that would be a good start."

April 16, 2010 -- Comeback Victory for Brookfield, Bobcats Prevail in Final at Bat

The way the schedule shakes out, the Brookfield and New Milford baseball teams are facing each other twice in eight days.

Round one went to the Bobcats.

The two squads faced off Wednesday on a beautiful afternoon for a ballgame. It began well for the Green Wave, which scored five runs in the first inning. That was all New Milford would get, however, and the Bobcats kept chipping away until they simultaneously took their first lead, and the win, in the bottom of the seventh, by a 6-5 score, at Brookfield High School.

The Wave and Bobcats are in very similar positions this season, in rebuilding mode with few players who have varsity experience. Wednesday’s outcome was a welcome one for Brookfield coach Dan McKee, who has had to work on getting his players in the right frame of mind for a slate of 20 games.

“We lost all our big hitters, so this is not a heavy-hitting team. We’ll do whatever we have to do to produce runs,” he said. “When we started practices, these guys were swinging for the fences, and I had to change their mindset. Now they’re buying into the system of small ball.”

The Bobcats found themselves in a hole quickly, as the Wave batted around in the first inning. The visitors picked up only two hits, getting help in the form of two walks, an error, and a hit batsman. Bobcats pitcher Ryan Berry retired two of the first three batters he faced, then ran into trouble.

After John Bernardi drew a one-out walk and stole second, Berry notched his first strikeout. Then came a throwing error, followed by a walk, to load the bags. Louis D’Ariano got plunked, plating Bernardi, and then Greg Ostner launched a double to deep center field which cleared the bases. Ostner got to third on the throw home, and scored easily on Dan Lacasky’s single.

“To give up five runs with two outs is unacceptable,” said McKee. “Our defense played better after that, and Ryan did what he had to do to keep us in it.”

After that rough first, Berry settled down. He didn’t give up another run, walked just one more, and scattered three more hits. The pitcher did his best to put that nasty inning behind him.

After that rough first, Berry settled down. He didn’t give up another run, walked just one more, and scattered three more hits. The pitcher did his best to put that nasty inning behind him.

Louis D'Ariano, Chris Casanova, Gavin Lavallee and Willy Wagner in back, and Josh Sakis and Joe Crisalli in front.

“I was just trying to keep my team in the game,” he said. “I pitched as well as I could and let them do all the work.”

The Bobcats set about turning things around almost immediately, scoring three runs in the second. Mike Palicz walked and scored on Dave Long’s fielder’s choice. Austin Yusko got the big hit, driving in Long and Evan Mozingo, whose sac bunt was thrown away, with a double to right.

Brookfield got within one with a run in the fourth. The frame started out well for New Milford.Bryson Herr led off with a single , but when Brian Gratt followed by bouncing the ball back to the mound, pitcher Derik Brady snagged it, threw to second where shortstop Ostner was covering the bag, and Ostner relayed to first baseman D’Ariano for the 1-6-3 double play.

April 8, 2010 -- Tigers Fall In Baseball Season Opener

After taking a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, things weren't looking too good for the Brookfield High School Baseball team. Ridgefield had responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning and then scored three more in the third, chasing Bobcats starter Eric Meyer for a 6-1 lead.

Relief pitcher Ryan Berry came in and settled things down for the Bobcats, then the bats finally came to life.

Ridgefield starting pitcher Dan Zarnik was cruising along into the fifth when leadoff hitter Austin Yusko got things going with a double. Center fielder Janko Cornelius followed him with another double and the hit parade was on in an eventual 14-8 victory.

The Bobcats produced six consecutive hits to start the fifth and came up with eight overall as they batted around in the order. By the time the inning was over, they had put up six runs to take a 7-6 lead, chasing Tigers starter Zarnik and knocking out reliever Jon Boucher.

"I think we got complacent with the lead," Ridgefield manager Tony Wilmot said. "We had a chance to turn six into seven and seven into eight but we left the door open for them to get going."

Ridgefield did rally to tie the score in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Brookfield blew the game open with five more runs in the top of the sixth, batting around for the second consecutive inning. This time it was walks that doomed the Tigers and a rarely seen double steal play.

With a runner on third and two outs, third baseman Evan Mosingo drew a walk. He then got into a run-down between first and second long enough to allow Cornelius to score from third. Two more walks followed to load the bases and pinch-hitter Bryson Herr delivered a two-run double to break things open.

"Coming into the season, we knew defense was our Achilles heel," Wilmot said. "But I was surprised more by our sloppy play and haphazard approach. Our baseball IQ wasn't very high today."

"We've been working on ways to produce runs," Brookfield manager Dan McKee said of the rarely seen double steal after a walk. "Sometimes the little things can lead to big things."

Brookfield belted out 14 hits to go with their 14 runs while Ridgefield had 11 to produce their eight runs. Most of the Tigers' damage came early off Bobcats starter Meyer. Reliever Berry provided the team a big lift.

"He is starting fresh," McKee said of Berry, who is coming back from a broken arm. "He's coming back strong and has the stuff to be a one or a two. When we are healthy and right, we have a great staff."

The season opener was played at the Arena At Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, the site of this year's state championships. McKee was excited to start the season there to give his team a chance to play in a bigtime setting. He's hoping they will be able to make it back here and have some familiarity with the field conditions.

"The guys have really bought into the system," McKee said. Getting an opening day win against a Ridgefield squad that embarrassed Brookfield 22-0 two seasons ago was "very sweet," he said.