District 2 Little League Power surge
TRUMBULL - If Pierce Cowles was old enough, he probably would have driven the team bus home because according to Fairfield American manager Jeff Gouley, he certainly did everything else.
Cowles pitched a complete game and hammered two home runs, driving in four and scoring twice as Fairfield American broke out the hitting shoes, rolling past Westport 13-3 at Unity Park.
“That was great. I don’t know if he’s driving the bus home for us too,” Gouley said. “He did a great job. He threw strikes, pounding the zone, mixing it up. And he hit the ball.”
Cowles’ first home run came with one out in the top of the first, part of a three-run inning that was also highlighted by a sacrifice fly from Rob Donahue and an RBI single from pinch-hitter Dustin Walters.
Armed with the lead, Cowles went right after the Westport hitters, striking out four of the first six batters he faced.
“I was starting them off with the curve ball a lot but my curve wasn’t that great today, my fastball was pumping the zone,” Cowles said.
A two-run home run off the bat of Jon Morris pushed the Fairfield American lead to 5-0 after two innings.
In the third, a double from Westport’s Chris Zajac and a pair of wild pitches cut the Fairfield lead to 5-1 but in the top of the fourth, Cowles launched a three-run blast to deep left-center to make it 8-1.
“At the plate I was just looking for something to drive,” Cowles said. “And on the mound, I’ve just been doing what I’ve been doing, throwing strikes, filling it up, pounding the zone, letting my teammates do the work behind me.”
Westport kept fighting and added single runs in the fourth and fifth Andrew Hess singling and scoring on a wild pitch in the fourth and Sinjin Videler singling and scoring on Jack Farnen’s RBI single in the fifth to make it 8-3. But in the sixth, Fairfield American used a walk, an error and four singles to scored five times and put the game out of reach.
Donahue had a two-run single and Charlie Yates, Aidan Gouley and Liam Grady also had RBI in the inning.
“We’ve been hitting well in BP … the last couple of games we’ve faced really good pitching, and today, those (Westport) guys were throwing well, but our bats finally came alive a little bit. They sat back and waited for their pitch and did the job.”
Throwing 75 pitches and nearing his pitch count limit of 85, Cowles went back out for the sixth and needed just three pitches to get three ground outs to end the game.
“Pirece is a great competitor, he plays on our spring team with a bunch of our guys and we like when he’s playing with us and not against us,” Westport manager Jim Farnen said. “We put the bat on the ball there toward the end but we hit it at people. Hey, tip your cap to them, they played a clean game. Good job all around by that squad.”
The victory, Fairfield American’s fourth straight in this five-game, round-robin play, gives them the No. 1 seed heading into double elimination play on July 9. Fairfield American will face town rival Fairfield National in its final round-robin game on July 7.
Westport falls to 2-2 with a final game against Monroe. Westport will also advance into double-elimination tournament play.
“We hope to see that team again,” Farnen said of Fairfield American. “We learned some things today. We didn’t play our best today and we’re looking forward to getting another crack at them.”
FAIRFIELD AMERICAN 320 305 -- 13 11 1
WESTPORT 001 110 -- 3 5 2
Records: Fairfield American (4-0); Westport (2-2)
Batteries: FA - Pierce Cowles (W) and Tim Domizio, Rob Donahue (4); W - John Staub (L), Grant Ziegler (2), Chris Zajac (6) and Max Jossen
Highlights: FA - Jon Morris went 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBI, scoring three runs. Pierce Cowles hit two home runs and had four RBI. He also pitched a complete game, striking out six. Charlie Yates went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Rob Donahue had three RBI. W - Andrew Hess, Chris Zajac and Sinjin Vidleler scored Westport’s runs. Jack Farnen had an RBI.Zajac had a double.