Fairfield American rally comes up short against New York

BRISTOL — Coming out of a two-hour weather delay in the bottom of the first inning in a Metro Regional Little League Baseball game, the first of two lengthy delays, New York’s Joey Lionetti scored the game’s first two runs against Fairfield American on a two-run homer over the center-field fence.

Lionetti’s hit set the tone for the game, Christian Bekiers had two hits and an RBI, and New York held off a late Fairfield American rally for a 7-5 winners-bracket win at Breen Field at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center.

New York advances to the championship game Friday at 7 p.m. and will play the elimination-bracket winner between Fairfield American and Toms River-New Jersey on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

“It was an emotional day out there,” said New York (Massapequa Coast Little League) manager Roland Clark. “We’ve been here 61/2 hours in the heat dealing with two delays in an important game. But our guys stayed loose, we played music and we danced.

“Coming out of that first delay, Joey’s home run was big; we needed that coming out of a long delay. That hit got our fans in the game and gave a boost to our kids in the dugout for the rest of the game. Fairfield American never quit, so those early runs were important.”

After the first delay, New York leadoff hitter Bekiers had an infield single and Lionetti followed with his homer.

“I wasn’t sure it was going out, I thought it was going to be a double,” Lionetti said. “It was a big hit for me and got our team pumped up.”

In the top of the third inning, Fairfield American had four hits and managed to get its first run. An RBI single by Drew Kane trimmed the New York lead to 2-1.

Coming out of a 90-minute weather delay in the fourth inning, New York added two runs, highlighted by Anthony Badagliacca’s RBI double for a 4-1 lead.

New York added three runs in the fifth inning to take a 7-1 lead into the sixth.

Fairfield American manufactured four runs, including RBI singles by Will Ryan and Tristan Rivera. With runners on second and third and two outs, Bekiers, on in relief, stuck out Brooks Fonseca to end the game.

“New York played lights out,” Fairfield American manager Matt Lawlor said. “That two-run homer was huge, a fastball Drew (Kane) hung over the plate. We made some miscues and uncharacteristic errors. But the coaching staff wasn’t great either, and we made some mistakes.

“This game is on us. We will regroup. We have a game to play on Wednesday against Toms River and we are looking forward to that challenge.”




NEW YORK200 23X— 7 9 0

Drew Kane, Declan Gitman (4) and Meesh Mulhall; Brendan Hanley, Christian Bekiers (4) and Ryan Huksloot.