BRISTOL – Massachusetts got its revenge Thursday evening as it defeated Maine in the New England Regional Championship to advance to the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Penn.
The Bay State representative Middleboro Little League defeated Maine 10-1 to return to the big tournament for the first time since 1994.
Manager Chad Gillpatrick said he is proud of how the team came out and played and picked right up from where left out Wednesday night.
“Today was a team effort for sure,” Gillpatrick said. “I told the coaches in the dugout that this whole thing feels like a dream and I had to shake myself and pinch myself to make sure it’s not.”
After Wednesday night’s win over New Hampshire, Jayden Murphy said entering the championship game he just wanted to show Maine exactly what the team was made of. The team scored early and often putting up five runs by the midway point of the third.
During the fifth, Jayden Murphy hit a two-run home run to increase the score to 7-1. He said the moment he hit the ball and saw it go over he knew that the team was headed to the World Series.
“I feel like that just set it off that we were going to close it in and be good the rest of the way,” Murphy said. “All of the practice we’ve been doing and hitting finally came along today.”
Cayden Ellis echoed Murphy’s statement expressing the team has battled all season.
“I was just really excited at the end,” Ellis said. “We’ve been battling throughout this entire year and what really helped us was just the timing today.”
Looking forward, the Little League World Series will be taking place between Aug. 17 and Aug. 28. As the winner of the New England Regional, Massachusetts will play the Southeast Region champion and Tennessee representative, Nolensville Little League, at 3 p.m. on Aug. 17.
“These guys have the drive, the commitment, the attitude, the effort and they just play as a team,” Gillpatrick said. “It’s been our motto all summer and I’m proud of each and every one of these guys.”