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Monday, April 23 Sports

Westport Little League reaches District 2 finals

Nick Rossi began the game on the mound for the Westport Little League team hoping to extend his team's season by a day in a must-win scenario against Monroe on Friday night.

Rossi delivered early with his arm, and then put his bat to work as part of a total team effort that kept Westport's season alive.

Rossi clubbed a three-run home run and ended the game with a bases-loaded single that clinched an 11-1, four-inning win for Westport over Monroe at Unity Park. Westport (5-2) advanced to the District 2 finals and will face Fairfield American on Saturday back at Unity Park at 4 p.m.

Facing its third elimination game of the summer already, Westport delivered under pressure one more time.

"I didn't feel that it was a different from any other game we've approached," Westport coach Andy Thompson said. "We knew (Monroe) was going to come out hungry; I think our guys showed up and played well."

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Max Shamus hit a solo home run to give Monroe a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning before Westport took charge. Fraser Lyons tied up the game with a home run and Luc Yokoi and Blake Lawrence each had RBI hits to push the lead to 3-1. In the second, Adam Petro hit a two-run double that increased the lead to 5-1, and Rossi's home run in the third inning provided the knockout blow.

"(Westport) hit and we didn't," Monroe coach Chris Klipp said. "They're a good team, we're a good team. They got at our starting pitcher early and we couldn't hit their pitcher."

Rossi and James Trinkle split duty on the mound for Westport with pitch counts in mind. The duo combined to allow just two hits and a walk while recording four strikeouts and will be available to pitch Saturday.

"We had very good pitching outside of one ball that got hit out in the first inning," Thompson said. "Our guys were able to locate their pitches; we were efficient, which was key for us tonight."

Westport got contributions from nearly the entire lineup as eight players recorded hits. Rossi went 2-for-2 with four RBI while Lawrence went 2-for-2 with a walk and Yokoi went 2-for-3.

"Everyone was contributing today," Thompson said. "The guys that came in off the bench, as well as our regular starters, had their chance and had some fun today."

Westport must defeat Fairfield American Saturday and Sunday to win the District 2 title while a win by American Saturday will earn it the championship. The season ended Monroe's run after competing well in one of the toughest districts in the state.

"The goal of any season our tourney is to get to the last game," Klipp said. "We came within a game of being in the last game. We're little Monroe going against the Westport's and the Fairfield's of the world to make it to the Little League World Series. I think these kids made a name for themselves and they did Monroe very proud, and I'm very proud of them."

rlacey@bcnnew.com, twitter.com/RyanLacey11

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Westport 11, Monroe 1

MONROE 100 0--1 2 1

WESTPORT 333 2--11 12 1

Records: Monroe 4-3; Westport 5-2. Batteries: M--Jeremy Rodriguez, Max Shamus and Chad Fedeli; W--Nick Rossi, James Trinkle and Luc Yokoi.