Fairfield American clinches second straight state Little League crown with rout of Glastonbury
The Fairfield American Little League team used power to reach the state final series.
So why wouldn't it use the long ball to win the organization's second straight state crown?
Fairfield blasted five home runs, including two from center fielder Brendan Layne as it repeated as Connecticut Little League champions with a 13-3 win over Glastonbury at Fusco Memorial Field in Prospect.
Fairfield won the best of three series, 2-1, socking 16 hits and scoring in every inning in the decisive game three. Fairfield also improved to 4-0 in elimination games.
"We're very deep," Fairfield American coach Kevin Flynn said. "It's comforting when you can put in guys off the bench who can hit... these guys can all do it."
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Fairfield will now play in New England Regional tournament-- just the second baseball team from Fairfield to reach that level-- against Barre Community (Vt.) Little League on Friday at 8:15 p.m. at Breen Field in Bristol.
"That's the cool part," Flynn said of his team reaching regionals. "We'll have a good time."
Starting pitcher Jack Oricoli allowed just five hits, while striking out four in a complete game effort. Oricoli also had four hits in the game, scoring two runs.
"I was not nervous," Oricoli said of giving up the two home runs. "They call us the cardiac kids because we come back."
His team-- and more specifically its bats-- did just that. Layne's three-run homer in the second gave Fairfield the lead for good, and Grant Carnemark's two-run blast in the third gave Fairfield breathing room in the form of a 6-2 margin.
"The offense was really good today," Layne said. "We broke out and started hitting really well."
Jon Annuzzi's three-run homer in the fourth broke the game open in the fourth, a line drive over the right-center field wall, giving Fairfield a 9-2 lead.
"I got an inside fastball," Annuzzi said. "I just tried to drive it."
Brendan Bucher's three-run homer in the sixth capped Fairfield American's scoring.
All the while, Oricoli cruised, retiring 14 of the last 15 he faced, relying on off-speed pitches to keep Glastonbury off balance.
"I felt really comfortable on the mound," Oricoli said. "Curve ball, slider, my catcher (Aidan Kudzy) had good spots for those."
He also struck out Scott to end the game and send the state championship crown back to Fairfield.
"We believe in each other," Oricoli said. "We never give up."
This group of Fairfield American Little Leaguers earned its second straight state title, it won the 11-year-old Connecticut title in 2010 as well.
"Most people never get to win a state title," Flynn said. "Now we've got two in two years and I've got a bunch of young men who have two under their belts, it's fantastic."