Rhode Island defeats Fairfield American, 5-1

Matt Sawyer slides into third base in first inning action at the New England Regional final. — Photos by David G. Whitham

Matt Sawyer slides into third base in first inning action at the New England Regional final. — Photos by David G. Whitham

Rhode Island’s Colin Lemieux slugged a two-run home run into the trees in left field to key a three-run third-inning rally, and North Warwick Little League won the New England Regional, 5-1, at Breen Field in Bristol on Saturday.

Rhode Island went 3-0 in the tournament and now heads for the World Series in Williamsport, Pa., that begins on Thursday.

Fairfield American, winners of four straight elimination games, finished the post-season with a 16-2 record.

“Those boys couldn’t have had a more fun summer,” said Fairfield American manager Brian Grady of his charges. “They were tremendous. It’s tough to see them sad now, but they’ve grown so much both on the field and off the field. It was a tremendous run.”

Michael Iannazzo reacts after scoring the first run of the game in the top of the third inning.

Ben Gaffney reacts after being ruled safe in the top of the fifth inning. The call was later reversed on appeal.

“We just got to tip our hats to them. I can’t really think of a mistake they made. He (Lemieux) pitched great. They were tough to beat.”

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third, Dylan Bourret had a nine-pitch walk. He was sacrificed to second and scored on Domenic Brazeau’s hard single to left. Lemieux then hit his homer to give Rhode Island the lead.

Fairfield American had its chances.

Matt Longo, who pitched the first five innings, opened the sixth with a single, Ryan McIntosh kept the rally going with a two out single, before Cullen McGrew on in relief put the last out in the book on strikes.

Richie Kerstetter tries to get his foot in under the tag in the third inning.

Richie Kerstetter tries to get his foot in under the tag in the third inning.

In the fifth, Ben Gaffney and Michael Iannazzo had singles with one out. Matt Sawyer grounded the ball to Kenny Rix at third, who came home. Gaffney was first ruled safe, a called reversed on review. Lemieux exhausted his pitch count at 86, but got out of the jam.

Fairfield American took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third.

Iannazzo doubled with one out in the third, went to third on Sawyer’s comebacker before Richie Kerstetter was hit by a pitch. Kerstetter took off for second with Ryan Grady at the plate. That drew an errant throw from the catcher, as Iannazzo scored. Kerstetter was out at third on Grady’s grounder.

Matt Longo pitched into the sixth inning for Fairfield American.

Matt Longo pitched into the sixth inning for Fairfield American.

Fairfield American received back-to-back singles from Sawyer and Kerstetter in the first, only to have D.J. Sollitto throw Sawyer out attempting to go to third to end the rally.

Michael Innaimo doubled in the second, but was caught in a run down on Sean McAdams grounder to shortstop. McIntosh walked on four pitches, before Lemieux notched his third strikeout of the game.

Rhode Island’s first hit came in the second on Sean Gallagher’s one-out single to center. Innaimo made a fine play on a roller to third by Chase Pariseau and Gaffney caught a fly ball to center.

For seven consecutive seasons, either Connecticut or Rhode Island has represented New England at the World Series.

About author

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. Fairfield Sun, 1000 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress