|Maine event over,
but not after win against Owensboro
Westbrook takes battle of two 0-2 teams
Too little, too late.
Unfortunately, that was the case for the Westbrook
After losing their first two games at the Little League
Baseball World Series, they would not be advancing to a
United States semifinal contest, regardless of the
outcome of their game vs. a similar 0-2 Owensboro squad.
Unlike the regional tournament in Bristol, Connecticut,
where they lost their first three pool play games and
still managed to move on to single elimination play, the
Westbrook mites are going home after three games and a
1-2 record in South Williamsport.
That’s nothing to hang their heads about, considering
their magical run through the regionals.
It was Zach Collett’s three-run homer in the bottom of
the third that erased a 2-0 deficit, and Joey Royer’s
three innings of no-run, one-hit relief that gave the
Maine mites a 3-2 win over Owensboro, Kentucky (0-3) in
the Pool B finale.
Two games after failing to hold a 2-0 lead in the last
of the sixth vs. Lafayette, Westbrook this time held on
to its lead, using a fine defensive play from Zack
Gardiner at shortstop to end it with the tying run on
“This time we did turn it around,” said Maine manager
Rick Knight. “And it took the entire team to do it.”
“I felt very confident,” Royer said about going into the
last inning. “I had nothing to worry about it.”
Royer, whose throw home was late on the game-winning
single in Westbrook’s 3-2 loss to Lafayette, and who
allowed Kalen Pimentel’s game-deciding grand slam in a
7-3 setback vs. Vista, allowed only a bloop infield hit
in the fourth.
The righthander did issue a leadoff walk in the sixth,
but struck out the next two hitters before Owensboro’s
Bryan Sanders popped one into shallow left field.
Gardiner, who had been the team’s closer throughout the
summer but couldn’t pitch due to arm troubles, made a
lunging catch to his right, tumbling over and hanging on
for the final out and the defensive version of a “save.”
“I felt really good after that,” said the soft-spoken
Collett’s three-run blast in the third was the second of
three hits for Westbrook, which was outhit 4-3 in the
ballgame. Reid Coulombe worked a one-out walk to start
things off. He went to second on a wild pitch, and
advanced to third when Owensboro’s Bryson Morrow wasn’t
able to field a throw from second baseman Dalton West on
a ground ball off the bat Tommy Lemay.
With runners at the corners, Collett took the first
pitch he saw from Luke Daugherty over the wall in center
“To tell you the truth, I thought it was out,” Collett
said. “It felt great off the bat, and after it went out,
it felt even better.”
Owensboro scored twice in the top of the third to crack
a scoreless ballgame. The first run came on Dalton
West’s RBI double. Daugherty then made it 2-0 with his
run-scoring groundout that plated West, who had advanced
to third on a passed ball.
Daugherty took the loss on the hill, allowing three runs
(two earned) on three hits and a pair of walks in five
innings. He fanned seven.
“Luke pitched a great game,” said Owensboro skipper
Ricky Hale. “He looked like the Luke of old. I was
really proud of him.
“I just wanted the kids to have fun and play baseball,
and that’s what they did.”
So did Maine, which has now had three representatives in
the history of the tournament. And the kids weren’t shy
about being sentimental…with a touch of expected humor
from the fun-loving bunch.
“Not everyone can say they’ve won a game at the Little
League World Series,” Royer said.
“Yeah, especially if you’re from Maine,” quipped Sean
© 2005, Little League Baseball
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