Rhode Island wins thriller in extra innings over Vermont in Little League Baseball New England Regional

Published on Monday, 5 August 2019 22:25


BRISTOL - Monday’s first three games of both the Mid-Atlantic and New England Regionals in the Little League Baseball Tournament at Breen Field came down to the wire. 

One was an instant classic featuring a walk-off home run, another was an extra-innings thriller, and another contest ended with the bases loaded in a three-run game. 

The finale didn’t disappoint, either. 

Rhode Island and Vermont scored four runs apiece in the second inning, and they stayed tied at 4-4 throughout most of a long, slow-paced game that extended to more than two hours by the time they went to extra innings. 

That’s when Christopher Promades set off the day’s final fireworks to celebrate his birthday. The Rhode Island catcher slashed an opposite-field two-run single to right in the top of the seventh, boosting his team to a 6-4 victory as reliever Mason Crain stranded Vermont’s game-tying runs at first and second in the bottom half. 

“It was kind of an outside pitch, and I just got it. It was right over the first baseman’s head, barely,” Promades said. “It was just a big relief hit because it was my birthday, obviously, and I thought the team really needed it. … You can’t swing at a really high pitch … when it’s a 2-1 count, you’ve gotta find a really good pitch to hit hard.”

After starters Owen Pfeffer (Rhode Island’s left-handed starter) and Boone Fahey (Vermont’s right-handed starter) both spent time struggling with walks and also each at one point throwing five consecutive strikeouts, they eventually canceled each other out with four runs allowed apiece in the second inning. 

Pfeffer walked the first three batters he faced before firing three straight strikeouts to leave the bases loaded in the first inning. Fahey loaded the bases then allowed four runs on a walk, hit batsman, fielder’s choice and another walk for a 4-0 Rhode Island lead in the top of the second. 

Pfeffer then rung up two more for five straight strikeouts, and he had an 0-2 count on Rowan Leckerling before the Vermont hitter roped a double down the third-base line to jump-start a four-run inning that tied the game at 4-4 on a single, fielder’s choice and an error that scored two. 

Due to some good defense and strong relief appearances from Rhode Island’s Alex Anderson (3 ⅔ shutout innings with seven strikeouts) and Vermont’s Will Eaton (one hit allowed in 2 ⅓ innings), however, the game remained at a stalemate until Rhode Island loaded the bases on a single, hit-by-pitch and a walk to set up Promades’ heroics. 

Rhode Island (1-0) advances to face Massachusetts (2-0) at 1 p.m. Thursday, and Vermont (1-1) will play in an elimination game against Maine (0-1) at 1 p.m. today. 

“This team is a bunch of guys, top to bottom, it’s all about the team,” Rhode Island manager Chris Promades said. “They play with a lot of grit and tenacity. They never give up. They have a never-say-die attitude. … Tonight was another one of those great examples of that, and I couldn’t be prouder of these kids.”

Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or zcarpenter@bristolpress.com

Posted in The Bristol Press, General Sports on Monday, 5 August 2019 22:25. Updated: Monday, 5 August 2019 22:27.