Fairfield's baseball talents are being witnessed not only across the state, but also the region. The 2-0 Fairfield American Little League 10-year-old All-Star squad sits in first place with two games to play in the first round of the East Region Invitational Tournament in Cranston, R.I.
The regional tournament, in its first year, is the highest level of competition for the 10-year-olds. Before the East Region began this tournament, the state championship was the final level of play. "We have a very fast team and the only things we tell them are to be aggressive on the bases and put the ball in play at the plate, because that puts pressure on the defense," coach Bill Meury said on the tournament's web site.
"This is a hell of a run our town is having," Meury added, referring to the three state titles for the league. The 11-year-old All-Stars finished their season with a state title, while the 12s are on their way to the New England Regional in Bristol, with a chance at the World Series in Williamsport.
The 10s All-Stars started the tournament with a 3-0 victory over Scarborough, Maine. Lefty pitcher Matt Kubel went five shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four. Ryan Meury scored Fairfield's first run after hitting a single in the first and scoring after three wild pitches. That would be all the runs Fairfield needed, but an error in the second allowed Drew McAvey, who had walked to score. Later in the fifth Will Lucas reached on a fielder's choice groundout and scored on a RBI single by Henrik de Jounge. Kubel was named the tournament's player of the day for his performance.
Fairfield used strong pitching again to defeat New Hampshire, 7-0. The All-Stars, who now wear the name Connecticut across their chests, return to action on Tuesday against Massachusetts (2-0). They finish out the round against Rhode Island on Thursday. The top two seeds from the New England division will play the top two seeds from the Mid-Atlantic division in the semifinals starting on Friday. The championship game is set for Saturday.
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