Fabbri and staff back coaching Ridgefield baseball team

Ridgefield baseball coach Paul Fabbri. — Catherine Avalone / Hearst Connecticut Media

As Ridgefield was taking on Trumbull Friday afternoon, Ridgefield coach Paul Fabbri and his coaching staff were being informed they could return.

After a fire was set using gasoline as an accelerant in an attempt to dry off the infield at Governor’s Park Field April 6 prior to a game against Amity, Fabbri and two of his assistants, Tom Neville and Len Merullo, were put on administrative leave April 8 pending an investigation.

The fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damages to the field.

After five days, Fabbri and his assistants were told they were cleared and able to return to the team.

Fabbri made it to Trumbull in time to talk to his team after the game Friday.

“I certainly am back,” Fabbri said. “Friday they told me ‘you’re back’ and we all could resume coaching.”

The day he was put on leave the team was voted No. 1 in the GameTimeCT poll, but the coaches leaving and pending investigation put a damper on the honor.

“It was confusing for the kids and frustrating for them. But they are kids and they are resilient and that’s the important thing,” Fabbri said. “It was incredibly frustrating. Especially with the team doing well, we just beat Amity, we were No. 1 in the state. It was really frustrating being in limbo and not knowing what was going to happen.”

The Tigers are scheduled to play a home game Wednesday against Ludlowe at 4 p.m.

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