Fairfield American scores comeback win, 7-4, in regional LL tournament
BRISTOL -- Patrick O'Leary re-entered the game in the fifth inning and crushed a two-out, two-run home run to help lift Fairfield American to a 7-4 win over Shelburne, Vt., in its second game Saturday of the New England Regional Little League Tournament.
O'Leary's blast off Shelburne pitcher Shea Ireland over the left-field fence at Breen Field at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center here also scored Liam Wurzel, who had reached on a walk.
It was O'Leary's first home run of the post-season, Fairfield American manager Chris Daley said.
"I was definitely thinking base hit and that helped with everything," O'Leary said about his plate appearance. "I got the pitch that I was expecting and I made contact."
Tom Ryan followed O'Leary's heroics with a solo blast to center to make it a 7-4 game. the winning score and evening Fairfield's tourney record at 1-1 in the regional tourney. The locals had lost to Rhode Island, 2-0, on Friday night.
O'Leary made things interesting for Fairfield American when he came on to pitch in the top of the sixth. But after he walked William Hesslink to load the bases with two outs, O'Leary got Nick Fecteau to strike out swinging, ending the game.
Although O'Leary showed signs of shakiness, Daley said he was confident his reliever would get the save.
"You never want to go down 0-2 in pool play so this took some pressure off of us," said Daley, whose team lost Friday to Cumberland, R.I., in its tournament opener. "This was a big win for us."
Fairfield American has Sunday off and will face Portsmouth, N.H., at 8 p.m. Monday in Bristol.
Nate Ryan followed with an infield single to bring Chris Howell across the plate, and Nick Nardone scored to tie the game on a wild pitch. Wurzel then grounded out to score Quinn, giving Fairfield a 4-3 lead.
Shelburne loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth. But Nardone got the second out with a perfect throw to the plate to catcher Connor Daley, and relief pitcher Eddie Magi got Ireland to strike out on an offspeed pitch to end the threat.
Vermont 102 010 -- 4 4 2
CT/Fairfield 004 03x -- 7 5 0
Batteries: V-- Rayne Supple, Henry Conroy (3), Shea Ireland (4), William Hesslink (5) and Ireland, Pitcher (4). C Jack Quinn, Eddie Magi (4), Patrick O'Leary (6) and Connor Daley.
HR: V--Supple 2, Andrew Pitcher. C--O'Leary, Tom Ryan.