Little League: Fairfield has reason to think big

Matt Vivona had a single to start a rally in the game with New Hampshire. — Bill Bloxsom photos

Matt Vivona had a single to start a rally in the game with New Hampshire. — David G. Whitham photos

Fairfield American suffered its first loss of the postseason on Monday night and manager Brian Grady only has to go back one season to show his team that all isn’t lost in its quest to win the New England Regional Little League title.

“This is what Rhode Island did last year, they lost their first game and they advanced (to the World Series) from there,” Grady said after Fairfield American dropped a 7-1 decision to New Hampshire. “Sometimes you get a little bit of a wake-up call, you come back and you fight like crazy from there and do your best.”

Matt Sawyer makes a play from his shortstop position.

Matt Sawyer makes a play from his shortstop position.

Fairfield American will play Scarborough, Maine today at 7 p.m. at Leon Breen Field in Bristol. Maine, after winning its opener 8-4 over Vermont on Sunday, was defeated, 5-2, by Rhode Island on Monday.

Trailing 2-0 after one inning, Maine drew within 2-1 in the top of the third. Rhode Island added a run in the fourth and answered a Maine tally with two of its own in the fifth.

T.J. Liponis had two of Maine’s six hits in the loss.

Nic Frink and Peter O’Brien each had a pair of hits in Maine’s eight-hit attack in the opener.

Ryan Gambardella drove in a run.

Fairfield American pitched Richie Kerstetter, who pitched 4.1 innings, and Jack Gremse, who threw 1.2 innings, against New Hampshire.

Ben Gaffney had two singles. Matt Vivona had a hit and scored a run. Michael Iannazzo had a double and an RBI.

Matt Longo or Iannazzo could get the call on the mound versus Maine.

New Hampshire manager Todd O’Connell believes Fairfield American is dangerous.

“They’re a really good team,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they went through the loser’s bracket and won a few games and maybe we see them again.”

With a win on Tuesday, Fairfield American will play either Vermont or New Hampshire Thursday at 1 p.m.

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