Shelton American defeats Watertown-Oakville in District 3
Shelton American’s Josh Bryan slugged a three-run home run to provide separation and Connor Fahey never let Watertown-Oakville get comfortable at the plate when SALL scored a 10-0 run-rule five-inning victory in District 3 12U Little League play at Fortin Field on Wednesday night.
Shelton American stays in the winner’s bracket with a 2-0 record. It will play again on Sunday at 2 p.m. at P.J. Foley Field in Naugatuck. Water-Oak leveled off at 1-1.
“Every Little League District game is like playing in Fenway Park...No lead is ever safe,” Shelton American manager John Fahey said. “Water-Oak is a good club, as they proved in their first game win (19-4) over Derby. Josh had that big home run, we played well on defense, and Connor gave up only the one hit and had 10 strikeouts.”
Michael Spadaccino led off the bottom of the first with a triple and Ben Liberatore promptly took an outside 3-2 pitch into center field for an RBI single. Connor Fahey singled before Bryan pulled a long home run to deep left field for a 4-0 lead. Kyle Lanese set the next three batters down in order.
“We beat Derby and hit the ball well,” Water-Oak manager Eric Lanese said. “Then we have to go against this young man (Connor Fahey) who was in a zone. We couldn’t catch up to his pitches. And, then when we made the adjustments (at the plate) they made the plays in the field. They are as fundamentally sound as any team I’ve seen in a while.”
Liam Kieley and Dylan Greenlaw reached base safely to open the SALL second. M.J. Cruz came on in relief and retired the next two batters. Connor Fahey then salvaged the rally with a two-run single to center for a 6-0 advantage.
Water-Oak's Dylan Fekete, who played a stellar shortstop, walked in the first inning. Ben Khouri drew a free pass in the second. Each time Connor Fahey used strike outs to strand the runners.
Boden Stanton was hit in the foot by a pitch with two out in the top of the third. On a delayed steal, SALL catcher Kieley threw down to Spadaccino at second for the third out.
SALL came out swinging the bats in the home third.
Max Formato jump started the rally with a single. Owen Telesmanick then doubled to left field. Spadaccino capped the inning with a two-run triple.
Greenlaw made a great play on Riley Yezerski’s rocket-like grounder to third for the last out in the Water-Oak fourth.
With two down in the Water-Oak fifth, Tyler Egan broke up the no-hitter with a clean single to left field.
After Fekete made a fine play to retire Logan Sepkaski to start the SALL fifth, Mike Leonzi doubled. Matthew Fortin then twice ripped balls just foul down the third base line. Staying back a second longer on the next pitch, he was rewarded with a single inside the line.
With two men aboard and two out, the long-ball hitting Spadaccino shortened up his game with a bunt single to bring the 10th and rule-rule deciding run home.
“Our subs went 2 for 4 and everyone off the bench came up and did a great job,” John Fahey said.
Water-Oak's Eric Lanese said, “As a kid I played Little League in Watertown. Now as an adult, a coach and a teacher, I get to live these moments with the kids. Little League baseball brings with it a sense of values, and I can see that with our players.”
Shelton American’s All-Star team is made up of Michael Spadaccino, Ben Liberatore, Connor Fahey, Josh Bryan, Max Formato, Logan Sepkaski, Mike Leonzi, Liam Kieley, Dylan Greenlaw, Will Schiappa, Will Hugya, Matthew Fortin and Owen Telesmanick. John Fahey is assisted by Mike Spadaccino and Chuck Sepkaski.