World Series: Fairfield defeats New Jersey, 7-6

Ethan Righter was the winning pitcher for Fairfield American in its World Series opener. — David G. Whitham photo

Fairfield American defeated Holbrook (N.J), 7-6, in the United States bracket at the Little League World Series on Thursday at Williamsport (Pa.).

The locals will next play Southwest champion Lufkin, Texas, a 5-1 winner over Great Lakes’ champion Grosse Point, Michigan, on Sunday at 11 a.m. (ESPN).

Fairfield fought off the Mid-Atlantic champions from New Jersey (20-2), who scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning before Tyler Bauer came on to get the final out.

Matt Vivona marked his 13th birthday by knocking in two runs and was one of three Fairfielders to record two hits (Bauer and Sean O’Neil).

Vivona had a double and scored on Bauer’s single in the first.

New Jersey tied the game at one in the bottom of the first inning on Tai Mann’s home run.

Fairfield’s Aidan Rivera led off the second with a single.

Andrew Cutler then doubled with Rivera being cut down at the plate, as N.J. catcher J.R. Osmond made the catch and tag while blocking the dish.

Cutler had went to third on the play.

He scored on Anthony Pollack’s grounder to short, beating the throw home with Osmond again blocking the plate.

Fairfield (19-0) took the score to 4-2 when O’Neil singled home Michael Iannazzo (double) and Bauer (walk) in the third.

New Jersey drew one run back in the bottom of the third.

Vivona tripled in Ethan Righter (single) and Iannazzo (walk) to make it 6-2 in the top of the fourth inning.

Righter struck out seven batters to get the win, allowing two runs on four hits in three-and-two-third innings.

Iannazzo came in to pitch in the fourth.

Bauer had an RBI single that scored Righter (single) in the sixth for a 7-2 advantage.

Chris Cartnick’s two-run home run brought New Jersey within one in the sixth.

After the home run, Leo Randazzo made a fine play on R.J. Vashey’s hot shot over the third base bag and threw him out.

That was the final batter for Iannazzo, who had reached the 50-pitch mark.

He now must rest two days before pitching again.

Bauer hit a batter before Iannazzo at shortstop fielded a grounder and stepped on the second base bag for the final out.

 

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