FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Ryan Meury made a convincing opening statement on the mound for Fairfield American in the team's first game in the Little League New England Regional Tournament on Friday. The lefty went a complete game, striking out 13 and scoring the game's lone run on a wild pitch, as American downed Rhode Island champion, Coventry, 1-0.
Fairfield made it through the state tournament on the power of its bats, but Meury proved Friday evening the Connecticut state champs have a pitching staff to be reckoned with as well. Meury struck out seven in a row at one point and fanned the final Rhode Island batter of the game with the tying run on base.
Rhode Island's Manny Bjorklund nearly matched Meury, allowing a lone single to Biagio Paoletta through five-and-a-third innings. Bjorkland struck out eight Fairfield batters.
But Fairfield capitalized on Rhode Island's bullpen, with Meury and Paoletta lacing back-to-back hits and getting into scoring position. Two batters later, Meury scampered home on a wild pitch to account for all of the game's offense.
Fairfield, now 1-0 in the New England tournament, will take on Vermont champion, South Burlington, on Saturday at 8 p.m. in Bristol.
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