Fairfield American rallies past Trumbull in District 2 Little League final

TRUMBULL — A blast had tied the District 2 Little League Baseball championship game for Fairfield American, and then came the mandatory play portion of Friday evening.

Don’t think that meant any weak at-bats. Fairfield American’s subs worked counts and created the go-ahead rally in a 5-3 victory over Trumbull at Unity Park, moving their team on to the sectionals.

“The bottom of the order always hits,” said Fairfield American pitcher Drew Kane, named district tournament MVP. “They come up in clutch positions.”

Fairfield American advances to the Section 1 tournament, also at Unity Park, along with District 1 champion Ridgefield and District 4 champion Orange. Those two teams meet Monday, and Fairfield American will face the other two over the following two days. The top two teams meet Thursday for a spot in the four-team state tournament in Waterford; that begins July 27.

All the Section 1 games are scheduled to start at 5:45.

Trumbull had forced this deciding game with a 6-5 win over Fairfield American on Thursday night. And it jumped on top early Friday: Brayden Showah hit Kane’s second pitch over the center-field wall, and David Bagley’s RBI double gave Trumbull a 2-0 lead in the second.

And then Kane settled in, throwing 16 consecutive strikes through the middle innings.

“I was nervous in the first couple of innings,” Kane said. “When I got through the first two innings, I was all confidence.”

Fairfield’s four pinch hitters got them the lead after Tristan Rivera’s two-run opposite-field homer tied it in the bottom of the fourth. Tommy Gardiner and Patrick Jodice started it with walks, and after a strikeout on a 3-2 pitch for the first out, Will Hathaway popped a single down the right-field line. As Trumbull got the ball back to the infield, Gardiner scampered home.

Jodice scored on Dylan Lawlor’s bases-loaded walk, and Hathaway came in on a wild pitch.

“Listen, we preach team. We really don’t have subs on our team. Any of our subs can start on another team,” Fairfield American manager Matt Lawlor said.

“When it’s their turn, they usually come to life.”

Showah had kept Fairfield American off-balance through the first three innings before that big fourth turned it around.

“That Fairfield team was excellent. They took advantage of a couple of opportunities. We had a really good battle. Hats off to them,” Trumbull manager Geoff Sauer said.

“In the middle of travel season, (Trumbull) came together as a team and really just bonded. Special, special kids. I’m so proud of them for what they did the past few days and even the fight they had tonight. It was a great battle.”

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp

FAIRFIELD AMERICAN 5, TRUMBULL 3

TRUMBULL110 010—3 9 0

FAIRFIELD AMERICAN000 50x—5 4 1

Batteries: T—Brayden Showah (L), J.J. Studeny (4) and Anthony Moura; FA—Drew Kane (W) and Max Mulhall. Home runs: T—Showah; F—Tristan Rivera.