Little League: Fairfield advances with 8-2 win

Ryan McIntosh follows through on his swing. His two-run triple helped Fairfield American score five runs in the third inning. — David G. Whitham photo

Ryan McIntosh follows through on his swing. His two-run triple helped Fairfield American score five runs in the third inning. — David G. Whitham photos

Fairfield American extended its season with an 8-2 victory over Scarborough, Maine, in a Little League New England Regional elimination game at Leon Breen Field in Bristol on Tuesday night.

“Really happy to be alive and still playing,” said Fairfield American manager Brian Grady, whose team’s only loss of the postseason came at the hands of their next opponent  — New Hampshire.

“It will be fun to go back and play those guys. We got to know the coaches a little bit and they’re nice guys. It’ll be interesting.”

Matt Longo (left) and Michael Innaimo celebrate after each scored a run on Ryan McIntosh's triple.

Matt Longo (left) and Michael Innaimo celebrate after each crossed home plate on Ryan McIntosh’s triple.

Fairfield American will play New Hampshire Thursday at 1 p.m. It will be a rematch from the regional opener, won by New Hampshire 7-1.

Fairfield came back from a 2-1 deficit to Maine with a five-run outburst in the third.

Ryan McIntosh had a two-run triple.

Ben Gaffney and Michael Iannazzo had singles to open the frame.

A pair of errors brought the first run in and loaded the bases for Michael Innaimo, who lined the ball into right field. Two runs scored, the second on an errant relay.

McIntosh then hit his three-bagger.

“That was huge,” Grady said. “He really crushed the ball. Ryan’s a little bit further down in the lineup (batting seventh), and to have a guy that can drive the ball is key. He’s had a great summer.”

Ben Gaffney follows the flight of his hit that landed over the fence in left field for a solo home run.

Ben Gaffney follows the flight of his hit that landed over the fence in left field for a solo home run.

Gaffney slugged a leadoff home run to left to make it 7-2.

In the eighth, Sean McAdams doubled with one out and scored on a throwing error, Maine’s fifth of the contest.

Maine took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, similar to New Hampshire’s four-run rally on Sunday.

After a walk to Joseph Townsend, a one-out infield error on a ground ball by Nic Frink greased the skids.

Sam Clark knocked in the first run.

Frink scored on a wild pitch, before Fairfield starter Matt Longo notched his second strikeout of the inning.

Ryan Gambardella walked on a 3-2 pitch, but Cade Sullivan was erased on a soft liner to second base to leave runners on the corners.

Iannazzo helped get a run back in the home first.

With one out, he hammered a double to dead center. Iannazzo went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Matt Sawyer’s fielder’s choice grounder.

In the second, Longo reached on an infield error. He ended up at third, but after a walk Maine starter Frink got Matt Vivona to line out softly to shortstop.

Longo retired seven straight batters, including three on strikes, before Clark doubled to the fence in left field.

After hitting T.J. Liponis with a pitch, Longo caught Gambardella looking at an 0-2 pitch.

Iannazzo came in to pitch in the fourth.

Thomas Donahue opened the inning with a single and went to second when the ball was misplayed.

Iannazzo dove to his left to snare Sam Rumelhart’s grounder and get the out at first.

A strikeout and grounder to Sawyer at shortstop left a run at second.

In the sixth, Liponis led off with a single and went to second after a strikeout led to a throwing error.

Sawyer came on in relief. He had a strikeout and put the last out in the books on a fly ball out to Gaffney in center field.

 

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