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Auburn-Connecticut LLWS rematch set for 5 p.m. today; Ave to host viewing party
Fans can catch today's Auburn Little League All-Stars rematch with Fairfield, Conn., at the Auburn Avenue Theater, located at 10 Auburn Ave.
Coverage will begin at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. Doors will open at 4:15 p.m.
Proceeds from concession and all-star item sales will benefit the players' families.
For Auburn, it's a must-win situation in order for the all-stars to advance in the 64th Little League World Series at South Williamsport, Pa.
Connecticut defeated Auburn, 3-1, in the opening game of the LLWS on Friday afternoon behind the mastery of breaking-ball thrower Nick Nardone, who struck out 10 and scattered six hits in 5 2/3 innings of work.
"We really want to bounce back and beat Connecticut," Auburn coach Ikaika Nahaku told the Fairfield (Conn.) Citizen. "We feel that we should have won that game and that we were on our heels and weren't ready."
Auburn got into the win column Sunday by eliminating Plymouth, Minn., 5-2, with Casey Manning's two-run home run highlighting a three-run fifth inning.
Today's winner will face unbeaten Pearland, Texas, which blasted Fairfield, 14-1, in four innings Sunday night to reach the Pool B finals. Whichever team succeeds tonight must beat Texas twice to reach the American final.
The first game of the Pool B finals will be 3 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN2). A second game, if necessary, is set for Thursday (time TBA, ESPN).
Connecticut is expected to start either Jack Quinn or Eddie Magi, the starter in Sunday's loss to Pearland.
Quinn, who snapped a 1-1 tie with a fifth-inning two-run double in the win over Auburn, who was slated to pitch Monday.
Quinn has not pitched since Aug. 12, when he surrendered eight runs – seven earned – and 10 hits over 5 1/3 inning in Fairfield's 10-8 win over New Hampshire in the semifinals of the New England Regional.
Nardone won't be available until Wednesday. He had reached the maximum single-game pitch limit of 85 on Friday. Little League rules dictate a pitcher rest for the next four days when he reaches the 85 limit. Nardone plays shortstop when he isn't pitching.