TRUMBULL — Two big swings from John Heitzman’s bat was pretty much all Fairfield National needed.

Heitzman hammered a two-run homer in the first and added a three-run blast in the third as Fairfield National stayed alive in the District 2 Little League tournament with a 7-2 loser’s bracket victory over Westport Tuesday night at Unity Park.

Fairfield National (1-1) will play the winner of tonight’s (5:30 p.m.) winner’s bracket game between Fairfield American and Trumbull American on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

“Survive and advance,” Fairfield National manager Jeff Passeck said. “This isn’t how you draw it up, but you have to do it.”

In advancing, Fairfield National put together some solid pitching from starter Nick Hios and closer Paddy Galvin, along with getting clutch hits, not only from Heitzman — who now has six home runs in tournament play — and Will Eustace, who had a solo home run in the sixth.

“Heitzman hit two big bombs and that’s what it takes to move on,” Westport manager Walt Wolgast said. “Heitzman had two big home runs, he drove in five of their runs and we left some guys on. Second inning we had bases loaded and couldn’t score. That was tough.”

In the first, Jeff Passeck reached on a fielder’s choice. With two outs, rather than intentionally walk Heitzman — Trumbull American walked him four times in Monday’s game — they pitched to the first baseman and he hit a long home run to right to make it 2-0. In the third, after Garret Larsen and Passeck singled with one out, Wolgast elected to again pitch to Heitzman, who took an outside pitch deep over the fence in left for a 5-0 lead.

“I was looking to drive some stuff outside and when I got it, I just went with it,” Heitzman said.

“We did it (walk Heitzman) the third time, we should have done it the second time,” Wolgast said. “We probably should have done it every time but … we were trying to pitch around him but … it happens.”

“For a change, we had guys on base,” Passeck said. “We haven’t been doing that lately for him. Tonight, we got guys on base and he had five RBIs because we had runners on base. And when you put a five-spot up when your pitching is only allowing two runs and your defense is playing well, you’re not going to lose many games.”

Westport’s best chance came in the second when they loaded the bases with one out, but Fairfield threw a runner out at the plate and Hios got a fly ball to right to end the inning.

Hios pitched into the fourth, allowing four hits and one run with five strikeouts and four walks. He gave way to Galvin, who went the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing one run with four strikeouts, thanks to variety of off-speed pitches.

“Paddy throws so much junk, it’s unbelievable. It’s awesome,” Heitzman said.

“Paddy did great. I though Nick was laboring a little bit. His first couple of innings were great and then he started to battle, his pitch count got up there and he had to come out but he did a great job. Paddy came in and shut it down, threw strikes. He didn’t let them hit the ball hard off him. He was mixing stuff and keeping them off-balance.”

Westport ends District 2 tournament play with a 3-5 record.


John Heitzman, Fairfield National: Hit two home runs and drove in five runs in the first three innings.


“This group of players, I’m really proud of,” Wolgast said. “They played hard. They worked hard and brought it together and I just wish we could have gone further.” — Westport manager Walt Wolgast



WESTPORT 001 010—2 6 2

Batteries: W—James McGarry (L), Ethan Cukier (3) and Ryan Coutras; FN— Nick Hios (W), Paddy Galvin (4) and Brendan O’Hara. Home runs: FN— John Hietzman (2), Will Eustace