Fairfield American two wins away from title

Fairfield American’s Brian Howell follows through on his home-run swing (above), while  Fairfield National third baseman Matt Raab (right) throws across the diamond in District 2 baseball action. (Photos by Bill Bloxsom)

Fairfield American’s Brian Howell follows through on his home-run swing (above), while Fairfield National third baseman Matt Raab (below right) throws across the diamond in District 2 baseball action.
(Photos by Bill Bloxsom)

FS-SPTS-Matt-RaabFairfield American defeated Westport, 8-3, and Fairfield National lost a 4-3 decision to Monroe in the District 2 Little League winner’s bracket semifinals at Unity Park in Trumbull on Monday, July 7.
Fairfield American will play Monroe in the next round and the winner will advance to the championship round on Saturday at 4 p.m. Westport defeated Fairfield National, 7-4, in an elimination game on June 8. Westport will play the loser between Fairfield American-Monroe in another elimination game on Friday at 7:30. All games are at Unity Park.
Westport defeated Fairfield National, 7-4, in an elimination game on June 8. Westport will play the loser between Fairfield American-Monroe in another elimination game on Friday at 7:30.
“We as coaches viewed this as absolutely the most important game of the summer,” Fairfield American manager Mike Steed said. “This is a great Westport team, top to bottom. They scored 16 runs in one inning against Trumbull.”
Fairfield American took a 3-0 lead over Westport in its first at-bat, when Vince Camera hit a three-run home run to plate John Reynolds and Jamie Flink, who had opened the frame with singles.
Westport made it 3-2 in the third on Frasier Lyon’s two-run single, but Fairfield American’s P.J. Egan held his rivals in check before giving up a run in the sixth.
“P.J. pitched his heart out,” Steed sad of his right-hander. We kept checking the pitch chart and had thoughts at 35 and then 65, but decided to let him go.”
Fairfield American, meanwhile, scored five runs on four hits and a walk to grow its lead to 8-2 in the home third.
Brian Howell opened the rally with a home run to right field. After a walk to Camera, Lyons lashed a home run over the fence in left-center field.
Jack Steed and Brian Kiremidgian followed with singles and eventually scored on wild pitches.
Jack Steed at second base made an outstanding play on a ball hit to his right with a runner in scoring position to end the Westport fourth.
Howell started and assisted on a 6-6-3 double play to take a Westport runner off the bases in the first inning.

Fairfield National
Monroe’s Jeff Nugent hit a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning to give Monroe a 4-3 victory over Fairfield National.
“Baseball is a humbling sport,” Fairfield National manager Brad Weinstein said. “One minute your a hero and the next….Our defense was stellar, but we didn’t capitalize on our chances.
“It was a good game. They (Monroe) battled back and banged away. That 99 kid (Nugent) can flat out hit.”
Nugent’s home run came with two outs and completed a Monroe come back that began after Fairfield National took a 3-0 lead in the home first on Chris Saladin’s three-run home run.
Monroe made it 3-1 in the second inning on Kenny Schneider’s home run.
Monroe took another run back in the third after Jared Kumar doubled to right and scored on Evan LaGuardia’s RBI hit.
In the fifth, Joe Kipp singled through the hole into left field with two out, and Nugent stepped into the batter’s box to face hard-throwing reliever David Summers.
Summers got ahead in the count 1-2, before Nugent couldn’t get around on the next pitch and fouled it off to the right side.
Nugent then turned around a fastball and sent it well beyond the center field fence to give Monroe its first lead..
Fairfield National looked to have tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with a home run, but it was ruled the runner missed home plate.
Nick Pariso led off Fairfield National’s last at-bat with a single and moved to second on a strikeout-wild pitch and to third on a ground out to Nugent.
Kipp came out when his pitch count reached 87, and Jeremy Rodrigues came in.
He threw a first-pitch strike to Ben Steele with Pariso on third and enticed a roller to Nugent at third on a 1-2 pitch to put the last out in the scorebook.
Fairfield National loaded the bases with two outs in the second on a Steele single, a Michael Murphy double and a Summers walk, but Kipp retired Saladin on a ripped line drive to right field.
Sam Weinstein singled and Seamus Carolan walked in the third only to be stranded.
Fairfield National (4-2) lost its elimination game to Westport (4-2) on a grand slam home run in the top of the sixth inning.
Parisi hit a two-run home run scored in the bottom of the first to cut into a 3-0 deficit and the locals tied the game at 3 on Saladin’s RBI single in the fifth.
Fairfield National put one more run on the board in its last at-bat.

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