World Series: Fairfield defeats New Jersey, 12-2

Matt Vivona hot a two-run double to ifnite Fairfield’s five-run outburst in the first inning.

Fairfield American defeated Holbrook (N.J.), 12-2, in Williamsport (Pa.) on Wednesday to advance to the Little League World Series’ version of the Final Four in the United States Bracket.

Fairfield improved to 3-1.

The New England champions will play North Carolina or Texas on Thursday night at 7:30 (ESPN) and the winner will play for US title on Saturday at 3:30 (ABC).

Ethan Righter shut down the New Jersey offense for the second consecutive game in handing Holbrook (6-2) its only two losses.

A right-hander, Righter pitched into the fifth inning.

He allowed two runs, gave up four hits, walked three and struck out eight.

Matt Vivona gave up a hit in relief, before getting out of a first-and-second jam in the fifth with an infield roller to Righter at second base.

Troy Askinos secured the second straight elimination game victory for manager Mike Randazzo’s club with a grand slam home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Ashkinos had an RBI single in the home fifth to make it 12-2 and the 10-run rule came into effect.

After Righter set New Jersey down in order in the first, Fairfield sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five runs in its first at bat.

Righter and Michael Iannazzo had singles and scored on Vivona’s two-run double.

Tyler Bauer and Askinos walked to load the bases for Aidan Rivera, who drove in a run with a fielder’s choice grounder to third.

Andrew Cutler singled home another.

Owen Kalagher had Fairfield’s fifth hit in the inning, and Leo Randazzo drove in the last run of the frame with a grounder to the right side.

New Jersey got on the board with a two-out rally in the second on two hits and two walks, before Righter notched a strikeout to leave the bases loaded.

In the third, New Jersey scored after a double and a wild pitch.

Rivera behind the plate tracked down a third strike and threw to Bauer at first, who made a great scoop play to end the inning.

Fairfield added four runs on Ashkino’s blast to center field in the fifth.

Iannazzo singled and went to third after New Jersey made two two errors on the play.

Vivona was intentionally walked and Bauer hit the ball to third base.

Iannazzo avoided the tag in a prolonged rundown to load the bases.

That brought Askinos to the plate and he hammered a pitch into the bushes.

Ashkinos and Iannazzo each had two hits.

Vivona, Righter, Randazzo, Cutler and Kalagher had one hit.

Ashkinos drove in five runs, Vivona two, and Rivera, Cutler and Leo Randazzo added RBIs.

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