FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield National had North Stamford on the ropes several times in Thursday’s Little League Section 1 10-year-old championship game in Milford. Unfortunately for the Nationals, they could not deliver the knockout blow.
North Stamford rallied from two two-run deficits to stun the Nationals, 5-4, in nine innings. Adam Stone’s one-out solo home run won it for North Stamford, which advances to play the Section 2 winner in the best-of-three championship series beginning Saturday in Waterford.
Fairfield National’s best chance to end the game came in the seventh. After scoring two runs in the top of the inning, the Nationals got two quick outs before T.J. Wainwright doubled. Montana Semmel, the cleanup hitter in North Stamford’s lineup, hit a 1-0 pitch deep over the fence in left-center to extend the game.
“I wanted to go after him,’’ Fairfield National manager Bradley Weinstein said. “I had my best pitcher on the mound who has been striking out everybody. It just didn’t work out.”
Fairfield National took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI triple by Joey Gulbin, and Gulbin’s RBI single in the third made it 2-0. North Stamford came back with a run in the third and one in the fifth.
In the seventh, the Nationals took the lead when a hustling Nick Parisi singled to short and moved around the bases on two passed balls before scoring on a wild pitch. Lauterbach, who walked, also scored on a two-out single by David Summers.
That seemed to be enough, but North Stamford responded with the Semmel homer in the seventh before Stone’s game-winning blast.
Fairfield National lost 18-2 to North Stamford during pool play, but was far more feisty Thursday.
“We told them to put that game in the rear-view mirror,’’ Weinstein said. “We wanted to come out and get ahead of them. We did almost everything right, we had our best pitchers available tonight. They battled hard. That’s all you can ask.”