Wild pitch sends Maine past Rhode Island in Little League New England Regional

Published on Tuesday, 8 August 2017 23:17
Written by SHELBY IAVA

Staff writer

BRISTOL - Nolan Hobbs scored on a wild pitch in the fifth inning to push past Rhode Island’s Cumberland American Little League and bring home the winning for Maine’s South Portland Little League on Tuesday evening, 3-2.

Rhode Island took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Charlie Tarara singled on a line drive to left center and Joe Cote grounded into a fielder’s choice.

Jack LaRose doubled on a line drive, allowing both Tarara and Cote to score.

Rhode Island and Maine were at a standstill until the bottom of the third, when Matthew Fogg singled and Johnny Poole doubled on a line drive to center field to drive in Fogg and put Maine on the board. Matthew Hobbs’ single brought in Poole to tie the game, 2-2.

The teams remain tied until the bottom of the fifth when Hobbs singled. Richie Gilboy and Aiden Lee both walked to fill the bases. Hobbs scored on a wild pitch to break the tie and give Maine the 3-2 lead.

Hobbs caught the game winning fly out despite colliding with a teammate to eliminate Rhode Island from the tournament.

“It was really exciting,” Hobbs said. “It was the highest ball I had ever seen. I saw it, but I didn’t call it, then right when I caught it I went down to my teammate and asked if he was okay. It was good, I liked it.”

Manager Jim Poole said that there are some things the team needs to improve upon.

“We have to work on communication, just like that pop-up, which was outstanding, he caught it; that, trusting each other, hitting our spots, the little things that mean executing.

“We made some mistakes, it’s a big stage. I don’t know if we played our best game right there, which is a good thing we can still win, we got more to do and we’re going to keep on practicing the things we can do better and these guys are up to the task,” Poole said.

Maine will continue in the New England Regional on Thursday at 1 p.m. against Vermont’s Essex Junction Little League.

Excited to see what they’ll accomplish next, Hobbs said, “You just can’t get down on yourself, even if you strike out.”

Posted in New Britain Herald, General Sports on Tuesday, 8 August 2017 23:17. Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2017 23:19.