Cumberland American claims New England championship, heads to World Series

Cumberland American claims New England championship, heads to World Series

Little Leaguers grab 10-6 win over Fairfield, Conn.

BRISTOL, Conn. -- For the second time in four years, Cumberland American is a New England champion.

A five-run rally in the bottom of the fourth inning proved to be exactly what Cumberland needed to defeat Fairfield, Conn., 10-6, in Saturday night's championship game before a packed house at Breen Field.

Two-out RBI singles by Jayden Struble and Addison Kopack keyed the fourth-inning rally, and Cumberland American also scored twice on wild pitches.

Next up for Cumberland American is the Little League World Series that gets under way on Thursday in Williamsport, Penn. The locals' opening game isn't until Friday night at 8 p.m. (the finale of a four-game schedule that day) against the Southwest champion, Pearland East LL of Pearland, Texas.

Both teams scored three runs in the opening inning, with Cumberland American producing its runs on a wild pitch that brought home C.J. Davock and an infield error that allowed Struble and Kopack to score.

Fairfield then took a 5-3 lead in the top of the second on a two-run homer to right-center field by leadoff batter Brian Kiremidjian, but Cumberland came back with its five-run uprising in the fourth.

Down by five runs, Fairfield made things interesting in the sixth by scoring a run and loading the bases with two outs, but Davock, who relieved starting and winning pitcher Nick Croteau in the fourth, struck out the final batter he faced to end the game and sew up the title (as well as a five-out save).

Struble finished the night with a pair of doubles, and along with Davock, went 3-for-4 to lead Cumberland's 10-hit attack. Mason Matos belted a solo homer to right in the bottom of the fifth, and Croteau, Struble, Davock, Kopack, and Matos each also scored twice.