Fairfield Junior Legion falls to Stratford in states

Fairfield first baseman Riley Mead takes the pickoff attempt from Mason McKay, as Stratford’s Colin Richards just gets back. — Bill Bloxsom photo

Fairfield Junior Legion’s 17U team didn’t have many opportunities to dent the scoreboard when the 15th-seeded locals lost a 3-0 decision to No. 2 Stratford Post 42 in the opening round of the state tournament at Penders Field on Monday night.

Fairfield will play at No. 10 Ridgefield on Wednesday at 5:30 in the second round of the double elimination event.

Stratford, the Zone 2 champion, will host No. 7 Greenwich, a 12-2 winner over Ridgefield.

Post 42’s Brendan Duffy took a perfect game into the seventh inning and finished with a one-hitter.

A rising senior at Stratford High, the right-handed Duffy set down 18 batters in a row, eight on strikes, before Ben Steele singled inside the third base bag to open the seventh inning.

Duffy got an infield pop up, another strikeout, and a fielder’s choice grounder to end the game.

Mason McKay tossed a great game for Fairfield, the fourth entry out of Zone 4 in states.

He allowed five hits, no earned runs, and struck out four.

Brendan Duffy had a bunt single and Ryan Duffy an infield hit in the fourth, but were stranded on a fine catch by Sam Davenport in left-center field.

Tyler Vancho opened the fifth with a double and Richards singled, but McKay pitched out of trouble.

The three Stratford runs came in the second inning, aided by a pair of Fairfield errors.

Colin Richards opened the inning with a walk and Taylor Perry was hit by a pitch.

Ryan Nelson grounded out to second to advance the runners, before Brendan Duffy’s grounder to Nick Parisi at short resulted in Richards being tagged out at home.

Alex Koletar’s grounder led to a throwing error and Perry scored.

Ryan Duffy’s grounder was similarly misplayed, taking the score to 2-0.

Kevan Duffy then singled to plate the third run.

Stratford made four stellar defensive plays to keep the no-no alive.

Richards dove to his left at first base to snare a line drive off the bat of Parisi in the first inning.

Ryan Nelson at second baseman went to his right to backhand a ball and made a strong throw to retire McKay, the lead off batter in the second inning.

Perry at third knocked down a hard grounder, collected the ball, and threw across the diamond for the first out in the sixth inning.

Kevan Duffy made the fourth play one out later.

Cory Gomes dumped an 0-2 pitch over Nelson’s head and into right field. Kevan Duffy came up throwing and fired to Richards at first to nip the runner.

 

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