The goal of bringing a Babe Ruth state championship to Darien for the first time in 42 years has been put on hold for 24 hours.
Darien suffered its first loss in the 13-year-old state tournament Thursday, falling to New Milford 5-2 at Ridgefield's Ciuccoli Field.
It was a frustrating defeat as Darien had numerous opportunities, but could not deliver the timely hit, stranding 15 runners.
The good news for Darien, however, is that it will get another chance as the teams will square off again on Friday (5 p.m.) in a winner-take-all battle. The winner advances to the New England Regionals to be hosted by Norwalk.
In the top of the third, New Milford’s Tim Rehm led off with a single. After moving up on fielding miscues, he scored on Jackson Olson's single for a 1-0 lead.
Andrew Enzor started the bottom of the third with a single to center and stole second and third. Enzo Stefanoni then singled to tie the game.
Darien loaded the bases as Jake Fresca singled and John Schofield reached on an error. However, Craig Miller and Tyler Costantino struck as Darien missed a huge chance to gain the lead.
New Milford took the lead with two runs in fourth and tacked on two insurance markers in the seventh.
The team dedicated the game to coach Sean Gallagher, whose family lost a foster child in their care to an unknown illness earlier in the week.
Darien coach Joe Marzano still likes his team's chances.
"If someone is going to beat us, they are going to have to beat us twice and that will be hard to do," Marzano said.