Norwalk, the hosts of the 13-year-old New England Regional Babe Ruth tournament at Brien McMahon High School, was stifled by its guests from Central Maine on Saturday.
Managing only one hit - a bunt single in the second inning by Corey Hayes - Norwalk suffered a 3-2 loss in its tournament opener.
The team still had chances to score in several frames via walks and Maine miscues. However, it couldn't come up with a timely hit and stranded 12 runners, many of them in scoring position.
After Maine took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, its defense and solid pitching by Ben Frazee kept Norwalk in check until the fifth inning, when the home team loaded the bases with two walks and a fielder's choice.
Norwalk scored the tying run on an error by the Maine first baseman, which allowed Matt DiUrno to come home from third.
With runners on first and second, Frazee maintained his composure and induced an inning-ending double play to prevent Norwalk from taking the lead.
Norwalk had a chance to score in the second when manager Tom Cossuto waved AJ Ibarrando home, only to have the throw beat the runner by a full body length.
Cossuto took full responsibility for the decision, but seemed to back off in the seventh with one out and runners on the corners. He did not try to force Maine to make a bad play by having the runner at first attempt a steal or possibly call for a squeeze.
Norwalk scored its second run on an error and with relief pitcher JT Nutting throwing several passed balls, it seemed like a good idea to force Maine to make a play.
When asked why he shied away from small ball tactics in the seventh, Cossuto said, "I thought about it, but I wanted one of the kids to get a hit to win the game."
Norwalk drops into the loser's bracket and will face Western Massachusetts in an elimination on Sunday at 1 p.m. at McMahon.