GUILFORD - Newingtonâ€™s Alex Cappellucci had a performance for the ages in the Connecticut Little League State Championship.
His two home runs in the game kept the resilient Newington teamâ€™s hopes alive, but the late rally fell short as Newington lost to Fairfield 6-4 on Monday.
Newington did not let Fairfieldâ€™s recent success in the tournament get to its head. Down 6-0 going into the fifth inning, the offense came alive.
Alex Cappellucci and Shawn Callahan hit back-to-back home runs to start the fifth inning. The pair of solo shots cut the deficit to 6-2.
Following the two-run fifth inning, Cappellucci was given another opportunity in the sixth inning with a man on first and Newington down to its final out in the contest.
Cappellucci delivered again, this time with a two-run homer, putting Newington within two runs.
However, Callahan could not repeat his fifth inning plate appearance, striking out for the final out.
Fairfield received an outstanding pitching performance from its ace, Tyler Bauer, who earned the win, pitching five strong innings, allowing just two earned runs.
In the bottom of the second inning, Bauer was tested when Newington had the bases loaded and nobody out.
Bauer did not let the base runners affect him as he struck out the next three batters in a huge momentum builder with his team only up one run at the time.
Fairfieldâ€™s Troy Ashkinos had a solo home run in the second inning to put his team up 1-0. Another run scored in the second inning on a single ripped by Leo Randazzo.
The fourth inning was when Fairfield opened up a big lead. Ethan Righter laced a three-run home run.
Righterâ€™s three-run blast led to the departure of Newington starting pitcher Ryan Gilliam, who took the loss.
J.T. Galinoto relieved Gilliam in the fourth inning and did not allow a run. Cappellucci replaced him in the fifth inning and also did not give up a run.
With the victory, the defending champions, Fairfield, advanced to Bristol for the Little League New England Regional.
The team will receive a bye in the first round and await the winner of Vermont and Maine. Fairfieldâ€™s first game will be Monday at 1 p.m.
Daniel Orencole can be reached atÂ 860-973-1811, orÂ firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @OrencoleDan