Simms pitches New Hampshire into New England semifinals after beating Vermont

Published on Sunday, 7 August 2022 20:45
Written by Cameron Beall


BRISTOL - After spoiling a 13-strikeout performance from their starter on Saturday, the New Hampshire state champions from Concord Little League were able to capitalize on another strong outing by Will Simms on Sunday. Concord’s 2-0 win made Vermont’s representative from Brattleboro Little League the first team eliminated from the Little League East Regional Tournaments.

Simms tossed five and one third innings of shutout ball before meeting his pitch limit. He allowed three hits and struck out five along the way before giving way to Nolan Walsh who came on for the save.

The New Hampshire starter had no issue pitching to contact after 48 total strikeouts from the New England bracket on Saturday. Simms was a part of seven ground ball putouts while on the mound on Sunday.

“I loved it,” said Simms about pitching in such a big spot. “I was having so much fun just throwing strikes and letting them hit the ball.”

Vermont saw another quiet day from their offense after being no-hit by Maine on Saturday. Three total hits in Sunday’s elimination game weren’t enough to last another day.

Brattleboro starting pitcher Ryan Peloso pitched four innings allowing two runs on three hits while striking out five. He was also the most productive batter for his side reaching base three times including an intentional walk in his second plate appearance.

New Hampshire manager Jon Connor was once again happy with his team in the field after their second-straight impressive showing but was thrilled to see the production come through at the plate as well in the win-or-go-home matchup.

“The tournament has been great,” Connor said. “Obviously, our pitching has stood the test so far. Between Henry [Thresher] and Will [Simms] we knew we had a pretty dynamic one-two punch, and we came up just a little bit short yesterday but the bats came through today and the pitching and defense was great like it’s been all postseason for us.”

Connor isn’t ready to crown themselves champions yet, however. He explained that his team’s at-bats haven’t been perfect to this point and would like to see better execution for their semifinal game on Wednesday.

“We need to be more consistent with having better at-bats,” said Connor. “We need to work the small game a little bit better and get bunts down when we need to. Today we got a couple clutch hits in key situations, but I’d like to see us be a little bit better with two strikes and try to control the at-bats a little bit more.”

Concord Little League will face the eventual loser of Maine and Massachusetts who will square off on Monday at 9 a.m.

If New Hampshire wins Wednesday’s semifinal, Henry Thresher – the manufacturer of 13 strikeouts on Saturday – will be available to pitch a potential New England Championship with a trip to Williamsport on the line on Thursday. Thresher expressed his confidence if his team makes it to the finals and his number gets called.

Posted in The Bristol Press, General Sports on Sunday, 7 August 2022 20:45. Updated: Sunday, 7 August 2022 20:48.