Westport defeats Fairfield National in District 2 Little League play
TRUMBULL - The first time through the Westport lineup, Fairfield National pitcher Paddy Galvin got ahead of seven of the initial eight hitters by throwing first pitch strikes and getting outs.
The second time through the lineup, however, Westport was ready.
Six hits -- five coming on the first pitch - led to five runs in the third as Westport posted its second District 2 tournament win, 5-1 over Fairfield National at Unity Park.
That young man (Galvin) is a very good pitcher and we told our guys that if he throws a fastball, you’d better jump on it,” Westport manager Jim Farnen said. “Because when he gets ahead of you, he’s got a nasty curve ball, so the second time through we told the guys to be aggressive.”
And that’s just what Westport did. In the bottom of the third, Nate Barrett opened with a single (first pitch) and Luke Oakley reached on an error (second pitch) to put runners at first and second. Jack Farner singled (first pitch) to load the bases and one out later, Max Jossen singled (first pitch) to bring home Barrett and get Westport on the board.
First-pitch RBI singles from Grant Ziegler and John Staub made it 3-0 before Chase Siegel’s two-run single (second pitch) made it 5-0.
“We were able to string a few hits together,” Farnen said. “We knew that Fairfield National was not going away quietly, so we needed to stay strong.”
“It was awesome,” added Westport pitcher Andrew Hess. “We just became so much more aggressive and that won us the game, that one inning.”
Hess threw 5 1/3 innings before reaching his limit of 85 pitches. He walked three and struck out only two, but he surrendered only four hits and when Fairfield National did hit the ball, they hit it right at the Westport defense - Ziegler making four solid plays at third base while Westport also turned a 6-4-3 double play in the fourth.
“We preach defense in practice … 18 outs,” Farnen said. “You have to play clean baseball. If you give them 19, 20, 21, 22 outs, bad things happen. We spend a lot of time working on our defense.”
“The field players were playing insane,” said Hess. “They were making every single play.”
Fairfield National finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth when pinch-hitter Tyler Harmoney was hit by a pitch. He went to second on a single from Carson Swaim and scored on Thomas Robertson’s two-out RBI double to left center.
“They made every play. We made an error and they capitalized,” Kelly said. “They never gave us a chance to capitalize on anything because they didn’t make any errors. They played great defense.”
Fairfield National drops to 1-2 in round robin play with a game on Sunday against Trumbull American before facing town-rival Fairfield American on July 7. Westport (2-1) takes on Fairfield American at 10 a.m. Sunday before meeting Monroe on July 7.
Double elimination play begins on July 9.
“I told them we still control our own destiny,” Kelly said. “Win these last two and we advance into the playoffs. They got big hits today, we didn’t get any big hits.”
FAIRFIELD NATIONAL 000 010 -- 1 4 1
WESTPORT 005 000 -- 5 8 0
Records: Fairfield National (1-2), Westport (2-1)
Batteries: FN - Paddy Galvin (L) and Charlie Gulbin, Tom Robertson (4);
W - Andrew Hess (W), Grant Ziegler (6) and Max Jossen
Highlights: FN - Drew Balogh had an RBI double. Tyler Harmoney scored a run. Ryan Oshinskie readed base three times with a single and two walks. W - Chase Siegel had a two-run single and a stolen base. Max Jossen, Grant Ziegler and John Staub had RBI singles.