Breaking down New England title game

Brian Kiremidjian (5) returns home to a welcoming committee after hitting a two-run home run.  (Photo by David G. Whitham)

Brian Kiremidjian (5) returns home to a welcoming committee after hitting a two-run home run.
(Photo by David G. Whitham)

The Fairfield American baseball team twice took leads on Cumberland American, but each time the Rhode Island champions came back to eventually win 10-6 and garner the New England title in Bristol on Saturday night.
Fairfield American finished the summer with a 16-3 record. Cumberland advances to Williamsport with an 11-1 mark. Its only loss came against Fairfield, 5-3, in pool play.
The Connecticut champs scored three runs in the top of the first inning.
Brian Kiremidjian drew an eight-pitch walk off Cumberland righty Nick Croteau, Jamie Flink had an infield hit by second base, and Howell followed with a high-hopper to third. He beat it out and the throw was low to first base as Kiremidjian scored.
Jamie Flink showed off good base running to get to the plate on Vince Camera’s grounder to third, and Jack Steed’s run-scoring hit with two outs gave Fairfield American a three-run cushion.
Cumberland rallied back in the bottom of the first inning with three unearned runs, as Fairfield American committed two errors around a double by Jayden Struble.
After Trey Hensel walked with one out in the second, the 5-2 Kiremidjian hit a two-run home run to right field for 5-3 lead. Flink and Howell had base hits, but were left stranded.
P.J. Egan got the start for Fairfield American, and after the first frame left two runners on base in the second and retired the side in order with two strikeouts in the third.
Fairfield American saw Egan walk to no avail in the second. In the third, Flink walked but Croteau struck out three batters.
Fairfield’s two-run advantage disappeared in the the fourth inning when Cumberland scored five runs with two outs to take an 8-5 lead. Three Cumberland runs in the game crossed the plate on wild pitches.
In the bottom of the fifth, Camera was hit by a pitch to lead off inning, but a pair of stellar plays after Tyler Provost came on in relief denied Steed and Egan base hits.
Mason Matos hit his first home run of the postseason in the fifth for Cumberland, with the blast coming with two outs. A walk, a single and an RBI double from Struble put Rhode Island in front 10-5.
In the top of the sixth, Sam Davenport doubled to lead off the frame. After a ground out sent him to third, Kiremidjian singled him home.
Flink, who had two hits and drew a walk, was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base. Provost notched a strike out, before Camera singled up the middle for Fairfield’s ninth hit.
With the bases now loaded, Provost got ahead in the count and got the strike out Cumberland needed to celebrate its second trip to Wlliamsport (2011).

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