Weinstein adds MVP to medical x-ray

Fairfield pitcher Dillon Stimpson and third baseman John Carroll played major roles in Fairfield Junior Legion’s 6-0 victory over RCP in the state championship game in Stamford on Aug. 2. (Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

Fairfield pitcher Dillon Stimpson and third baseman John Carroll played major roles in Fairfield Junior Legion’s 6-0 victory over RCP in the state championship game in Stamford on Aug. 2.
(Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

Zach Weinstein was looking at an X-ray of his grotesquely dislocated pinkie finger at the hospital on Friday, Aug. 2 when he began screaming loudly.
Yes, Weinstein’s injury was still throbbing, but what brought about the guttural  response was the news his Fairfield Junior American Legion baseball team had won its state semifinal game, 10-9 in 11 innings over Trumbull, and would be playing for the championship the next day.
A junior to be at Fairfield Warde, Weinstein returned to Cubeta Stadium in Stamford on Saturday and helped Post 143 capture the crown and can now make room on a wall in his room for mounting the Tourney MVP Trophy alongside his framed X-ray.
“I can’t believe the last few days,” said Weinstein, who had two of Fairfield’s eight hits and scored a run in its 6-0 victory over RCP Post 105. “There have been a lot of crazy games, but we always found a way.”
Manager Bob Cote’s team won six straight games to earn the title, and will open regional play versus Cherry Hill, N.J. in South Windsor at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9.
“I think our run really started when we were ahead of Branford 3-2, but they had the tying run on second base and we left him there,” said Weinstein, who dislocated his finger on his left hand sliding head first into first base looking to beat out a single in the seventh inning of the Trumbull game.
“That was the turning point and we kept hitting, pitching and making plays on defense.”
Fairfield’s right-hander Dillon Stimpson pitched into the fifth inning, and after he had eaten up all his innings-pitched allowed with two outs in the frame, left-hander Dan Schmedlin came on in relief to complete the combined four-hit shutout.
“I came thinking it would be a challege (going on short rest), and it was difficult and I did my best,” said Stimpson, a rising junior at Notre Dame of Fairfield who had pitched down the stretch in the victory over Trumbull and was named best pitcher in the tournament.
“I pitched from the sixth inning on against Trumbull, and they battled. It seemed every inning they had another runner on third. This team has great chemistry and we built on every win we had in states.”
Cote, who was assisted by Kevin Keys and Todd Haas, said, “Playing so many tough games in Zone Four against Trumbull, Norwalk, Greenwich and Stamford prepared us for states.”
RCP (Rocky Hill, Cromwell, Portland) hadn’t allowed a run, and had outscored three state foes by a score of 17-0 entering the final.
It loaded the bases in the bottom of the second inning on catcher’s interference and two singles, but Post 143 third baseman John Carroll made the first of his three timely assists to end the threat.
“I just tried to clear my head (with the bases loaded) and make a regular play and Carter (Haas) at first made a great stretch,” said Carroll, entering his junior year at Fairfield Prep.
“After the Trumbull game, and we took the lead here, we couldn’t let up. It took so much energy to get here.”
Fairfield broke through in the sixth. After one-out singles by Weinstein and Chris Montani, Joe Ganim lofted a sacrifice fly to left field and Weinstein slid under the tag at the plate.
Tom Ryan immediately made it 2-0 with an RBI single to center.
Fairfield scored five times in the seventh. Chris Howell worked out Post 143’s first walk of the game, and Carroll and Drew Martin singled to load the bases.
With the infield playing in, Carter Haas hit the ball past the second baseman to score a run.
Two outs later, Ganim walked to force in another tall, before Ryan singled deep to the gap in right-center to plate two more runs.

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