After advancing past what he called a "brutally tough" district, Westport manager Tim Rogers was concerned his team could be due for a letdown entering Thursday's Section 1 opener against Edgewood.
Chad Knight made sure that didn't happen.
The right-hander dazzled on the mound, hurling a no-hitter with 13 strikeouts as the Westport 12-year-old all-stars downed District 5 champion Edgewood 8-0 at Springdale Little League in Stamford.
"He is that good," Rogers said of Knight, who allowed only two baserunners, both on errors, over six innings. "But they're (Edgewood) a good team too. Chad had his A-game today."
Knight, who was equally effective with both his fastball and off-speed pitches, retired the last seven batters he faced -- six by punchouts.
"My curveball was really working," he said.
Now 8-0 dating back to the start of pool play, District 2 champion Westport advances to face Orange of District 4 on Saturday at Frank Noto Field in Stamford at 1 p.m. Orange defeated District 3 winner Seymour 8-2 on Wednesday.
"I was nervous for a little bit of a letdown," Rogers said, referring to Thursday's game. "Nervous about, `OK, we got the hard part done.'"
Edgewood, which thumped Stamford National 23-10 on Wednesday, was silent at the plate on Thursday. It hit just one ball out of the infield.
"We've faced a couple pitchers who threw similar stuff, but he had good control tonight," Edgewood manager Rick Fredette said of Knight. "He was keeping us off-balance with his curveball and his fastball. They couldn't lay off his curve."
Edgewood will play Stamford National of District 1 again on Friday in an elimination game in Wilton at 7 p.m.
Westport held onto a one-run lead before exploding for four runs in the fifth inning and three in the sixth. That was more than enough support for the overpowering right-hander.
"It's really comfortable to know that you've got guys backing you up there. ... It takes a lot of pressure off you," Knight said.
Charlie Roof homered off right-hander Noah Plantamuro to lead off the fifth, narrowly clearing the left-field fence to make it 2-0. After a bunt single and an error, Matthew Brown scorched a double to expand the cushion to four runs.
Plantamuro, who defeated Westport twice two summers ago in the 10-year-old all-star tournament, surrendered eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. Thursday's win left Westport beaming with confidence.
"He was in a lot of the boys' heads," Rogers said of the Edgewood starter. "I just said to them, `The way you hit at the end of the game, that's over with now.' Now we feel like we could hit anybody.
"But he's a good pitcher. He mixes (his pitches) well."
In complete control entering the sixth inning, Knight polished off his outing, striking out a pair around a ground out. And Rogers, who was "nervous" about a potential letdown on Thursday, no longer had to worry.
"I saw a little bit of that early in the game ... but they corrected it," Rogers said.
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WESTPORT 8, EDGEWOOD 0
WESTPORT 010 043 -- 8 10 2
EDGEWOOD 000 000 -- 0 0 1
Doubles: W -- Matthew Brown. Triples: W -- Alex Reiner. Home runs: W -- Charlie Roof.