Fairfield American takes 1-0 walk-off victory over Trumbull American
TRUMBULL - Rob Donahue went to the plate looking to get a pitch to drive.
He got it.
The Fairfield American first baseman lined a 2-1 fastball into left-center field, scoring Tim Domizio with the game’s only run as Fairfield American -- the defending District 2, Connecticut and New England Region champions -- posted a heart-stopping 1-0 victory over Trumbull American Monday night in the District 2 tournament at Unity Park.
“We had first and second … he came through,” Fairfield American manager Jeff Gouley said of Donahue. “It’s been great coaching him and I knew he was one of the guys I would definitely want up there in that spot. He made great contact.”
Held hitless through the first five innings by Trumbull American pitchers Matt LaSala and Ryan Warner, Domizio finally got Fairfield’s first hit, leading off the bottom of the sixth, with a single to right. A walk to the next hitter, Charlie Yates, put runners on first and second with no one out.
Warner toughened up and struck out Aidan Gouley and Will Meyers, but Donahue took a fastball out and up in the zone and banged it into left center to plate Domizio for the walk-off win.
“Both teams played great, this is a very tough district to play in,” Trumbull American manager Vince LaSala said. “We have to get back to work and see what we can do.”
Right from the start, this was a pitcher’s battle as LaSala went toe-to-toe with Fairfield American starter Pierce Cowles. Cowles allowed just three hits and no runs over his five and two-thirds innings, walking just one and striking out 12. Only one batter got as far as second base.
“I think my curve was really on point today and I was just pounding the zone really nicely,” Cowles said. “My teammates kept pumping me up and my breaking stuff was really working.”
“(Cowles) was hurt last year so he wasn’t able to pitch for us so it’s great to have him back,” Gouley said. “He was really commanding his fastball. His curve was a tiny bit off but over the first five innings he made the pitches when he had to, against their better hitters. It was a great job. He was pumping it in there.”
Fairfield American loaded the bases in the third with two outs but LaSala got out of the jam with a fielder’s choice. In the fifth, after walking the leadoff batter, Warner replaced LaSala and he escaped harm thanks to a strikeout and a fielder’s choice.
“That’s a very good team over there and they’ve got some great bats,” said Donahue. “But we were confident that we were going to break through.”
And they did, thanks to Dimizio’s leadoff single and then Donahue’s game-winner.
“Fastball up and outside, he was throwing a lot of that,” Donahue said. “It was a very good pitch, I just knew it was coming and I slapped it the other way.”
“They played a great game,” LaSala said. “Fairfield is a fantastic team and it’s going to be tough beating them and getting out of this District.”
The District 2 tournament started on Saturday with Fairfield American routing Monroe 14-0, Trumbull National edging Fairfield National 2-1 and Trumbull American getting past Westport 6-3 in seven innings. Along with Fairfield American’s win Monday, Fairfield National knocked off Monroe 10-4 and Westport topped Trumbull National 4-1.
On Thursday, at Unity 1, Fairfield American faced Trumbull National, Monroe met Trumbull American at Unity 2 and Westport battled Fairfield National at Unity 3.
Round-robin play continues with games on July 1 and July 7 before double elimination play starts on July 9.
FAIRFIELD AMERICAN 000 000 -- 0 3 0
TRUMBULL AMERICAN 000 001 -- 1 2 1
Records: Fairfield American (2-0), Trumbull American (1-1)
Batteries: FA - Pierce Cowles, Will Meyers (6, W) and Tim Domizio; TA - Matt LaSala, Ryan Warner (5, L) and Derren Wood
Highlights: FA - Rob Donahue had the game-winning single and RBI; Domizio scored the winning run; Pierce Cowles struck out 12 and walked one on in 5 2/3 innings. TA - Matt LaSala, Ryan Warner and Nick Lobouno had singles.