STAMFORD -- Norwalk Bravest 14-year-old Babe Ruth Baseball manager Victor Silano summarized the situation perfectly.
"Tonight, we ran into a buzzsaw."
Gonzalez hurled six innings of no-hit ball Aug. 16, leading Norwalk District to a 6-1 victory over Norwalk Bravest in the 14-year-old division championship of the Sharkey Laureno Memorial Baseball Tournament at Cubeta Stadium.
"I really wanted the no-hitter," Gonzalez said. "But most importantly, we got the job done and took home the title."
Due to the Laureno Tournament's innings-restriction pitching policy, Gonzalez ran out of available innings. In his six innings of work, the righthander struck out six and walked one. Norwalk Bravest also had three batters reach on errors.
Left-hander Matt Galyas entered to pitch the seventh inning. Norwalk Bravest's lefty-swinging Mike Pascarelli hit a long, no-doubt-about-it, one-out double to left to break up the gem. Pascarelli eventually scored on an error.
However, it didn't stop Gonzalez from earning the Laureno Tournament 14-year old Division Most Valuable Player honors.
"My wall is full of trophies," Gonzalez said. "I'll need another shelf for this trophy."
"Mike hit .500 in the tourney. He earned four of our five victories. He had two walk-off-game-winning hits. All with wood bats," said Norwalk District manager Jim Purcell said. "Mike Gonzalez is a pleasure to coach. He has the physical tools. And he knows the game of baseball. He knows HOW to play the game. Nothing ever bothers him. Everybody on the squad draws confidence from Mike."
Norwalk District had come-from-behind to win its two previous Sharkey Laureno contests. District had no interest in drama Aug. 16.
District's Isaac Keehn scored on a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead in the first. District made it 4-0 in the third as Jake Fishman and Gonzalez ripped RBI hits. Aggressive base running capped by Gonzalez' run-scoring fielder's choice made it 5-0 in the fourth.
The other question left was the no-hitter.
"My fastball was good. It had a lot of movement. My curve wasn't great so I stuck more with the fastball," Gonzalez said. "I played in last year's Laureno Tournament with the Greenwich Warriors and we fell short. So to win this year's title is great. And our team has a lot of bragging rights around Norwalk now."
Keehn scored on Fishman's RBI single for an insurance run in the sixth.
It is hard to keep a team together for a tournament during the August vacation season.
The dedication of Norwalk District was shown by Moe Ortiz, playing the opening four innings despite a flight to Florida early Aug. 17. Jack Potochney arrived after the first pitch to sub in for Ortiz.
"Normally, I just coach 13-year-old Babe Ruth in the summer. But I liked this group so much I wanted to coach them as 14-year-old All-Stars," Purcell said. "We won our District Tourney but were disappointed in the states. To win this Laureno Tournament is special. I'm so happy these kids got the experience of being champions. They did everything I asked of them all summer."
Norwalk Bravest also made Norwalk Babe Ruth Baseball proud.
"It's been an unreal summer. We were 19-4 and I proud to be a part of this team," Silano said. "We knew how good Mike Gonzalez is. And he was dealing tonight."
In the Sharkey Laureno 15-year old Division championship final late Aug. 16, Stamford Legion Prep faced the Pelham (N.Y.) Diamond Buddies Hawks.