Little Leaguers take over Breen

by MICHAEL LETENDRE

BRISTOL – Breen Field over on Mix Street has been a happening place over the past week or so as the 2012 Little League Eastern Regional baseball tournament saw its own home team from Connecticut making some big time noise.
Fairfield American Little League is representing the Nutmeg State during tournament play and over its first four games in pool action. Connecticut went undefeated and qualified for the championship showdown.
And frankly, for Fairfield, the games haven’t been even close.
Connecticut has outscored its opponents 33-3 over the first three contests and only one game – Fairfield’s nail biter against Rhode Island – was a close affair.
Fairfield and Rhode Island dueled for six innings with Connecticut eking out a 1-0 win to start tournament play on August 3.
The two teams were enthralled in a 0-0 deadlock before Connecticut scored a run in the bottom of the fifth frame to capture a 1-0 edge that led to the eventual victory.
But over the next two days, Connecticut’s games were both shortened affairs as Fairfield piled up the runs in an extreme hurry.
On August 4, Connecticut took a 17-1 decision over Vermont while two days later, Maine fell to Fairfield by a 15-2 final.
In the 15-run victory over South Burlington Little League, Connecticut scored two runs in the first, added one in the second and then pasted Vermont with 14 fourth inning runs that ended the game.
Connecticut’s Will Lucas led the charge, going three-for-three at the plate with a home run and five big RBI.
Matt Kubel and Biagio Paoletta each added three RBI in the winning effort.
Against Scarborough Little League of Maine, Connecticut ended the suspense early.
Fairfield notched six runs in the first and posted seven in the second and edged in front 13-2.
Once again, Connecticut never looked back.
Paoletta had a big day at the plate, picking up five RBI and getting two hits – one being a round tripper – to pace Fairfield.
Also for Connecticut, Michael Ghiorzi went three-for-three, scored two runs and added an RBI in a busy day of action.
Over its first three challenges, Fairfield was batting nearly .400 as a team and had 27 RBI and three home runs during that same span.
Paoletta was Fairfield’s leading batter with an average of .625 while on the pitching front, Connecticut was the tournament’s best performers.
Between the arms of Lucas (0.00 ERA), Kubel (2-0, 2.70 ERA) and Ryan Meury (1-0, 13 strikeouts), the trio was only yielding one earned run on average per game. 
On August 8, Fairfield tackled Massachusetts and picked up a 9-2 win to end pool play.
Connecticut led 3-0 after two frames and increased that advantage to 6-1 after four stanzas of play.
Matty Clarkin won his first game of the tournament, giving up five hits and yielding only one earned run.
At 4-0, Connecticut moved out of pool play and was the number one seed in the Northeast semifinals on Thursday, August 9.
Vermont was again a victim, but against Connecticut, the contest needed eight innings and went nearly three hours before Fairfield eventually pulled out a 4-3 victory.
Connecticut scored a run over the first three frames but Vermont shot back and netted three runs in the top of the fifth as the game was knotted 3-3.
Kubel pitched the final 1.2 innings for Fairfield and picked up his third victory of the tournament.
The victory propelled Connecticut to the New England Finals against New Hampshire on Saturday, August 11.
The winner advanced to the World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  Paoletta each added three RBI in the winning effort.
Against Scarborough Little League of Maine, Connecticut ended the suspense early.
Fairfield notched six runs in the first and posted seven in the second and edged in front 13-2.
Once again, Connecticut never looked back.
Paoletta had a big day at the plate, picking up five RBI and getting two hits – one being a round tripper – to pace Fairfield.
Also for Connecticut, Michael Ghiorzi went three-for-three, scored two runs and added an RBI in a busy day of action.
Over its first three challenges, Fairfield was batting nearly .400 as a team and had 27 RBI and three home runs during that same span.
Paoletta was Fairfield’s leading batter with an average of .625 while on the pitching front, Connecticut was the tournament’s best performers.
Between the arms of Lucas (0.00 ERA), Kubel (2-0, 2.70 ERA) and Ryan Meury (1-0, 13 strikeouts), the trio was only yielding one earned run on average per game. 
On August 8, Fairfield tackled Massachusetts and picked up a 9-2 win to end pool play.
Connecticut led 3-0 after two frames and increased that advantage to 6-1 after four stanzas of play.
Matty Clarkin won his first game of the tournament, giving up five hits and yielding only one earned run.
At 4-0, Connecticut moved out of pool play and was the number one seed in the Northeast semifinals on Thursday, August 9.
Vermont was again a victim, but against Connecticut, the contest needed eight innings and went nearly three hours before Fairfield eventually pulled out a 4-3 victory.
Connecticut scored a run over the first three frames but Vermont shot back and netted three runs in the top of the fifth as the game was knotted 3-3.
Kubel pitched the final 1.2 innings for Fairfield and picked up his third victory of the tournament.
The victory propelled Connecticut to the New England Finals against New Hampshire on Saturday, August 11.
The winner advanced to the World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.