Big first inning seals the game for New
Bean deals and Hartmann delivers as New Hampshire
takes game one of the 2006 Little League World Series
By Brandon Miller
the song, “It’s a Small World,” had faded away from the opening
ceremonies, it was time to get down to business, and get down to
business is exactly what Portsmouth Little League did. The All-Stars
from New Hampshire showed that the time-tested key of steady
pitching and timely hitting is still the key to winning games.
In front of a crowd of 9,436 that included the governor of New
Hampshire, John Lynch, Portsmouth Little League from Portsmouth, N.H.,
defeated the Murrayhill All-Stars from Beaverton, Ore., 6-1, in the
opener of the 2006 Little League Baseball World Series.
“It just speaks volumes about people in our state,” said Portsmouth
manager Mark McCauley, when informed that the governor was on hand
to take in the game. “It’s typical of our state. We’ve got so much
support and I know our mayor was throwing a big party.”
Speaking of support, after shutting out its previous two opponents
in regional play, Portsmouth knew that all it needed was a couple
runs and the pitching would take care of the rest.
“We’re deep in offense” said Mr. McCauley. “(The team) loved the
fact that they got to play game one….this is what we do, we play
The runs came in a hurry with a first-inning grand slam by shortstop
Billy Hartmann. The rest was up to starting pitcher Jordan Bean who
shut down the Oregon All-Stars with a 14-strikeout, two-hit
Bean got things going in the first when he drew a one-out walk and
pinch runner John Graham scored when the next batter, third baseman
Matthew Feeney, doubled to left-center field. The inning continued
with a hit batsman, a single, and then the big blow by shortstop
Hartmann who hit a ball that cleared the wall in right-center field.
“(The grand slam) was one of the best moments of my life,” said
Hartmann who had previously had only one home run during All-Star
play. When asked if the ball did in fact hit off the top of the
fence and go over for a home run, Hartmann replied, “I don’t really
know, I just put my head down and started running.”
Murrayhill manager Jeff Keller explained that it was jitters that
hurt his team, especially since it’s the first time in 48 years that
a team from Oregon has made the Series.
Fueled by the quick run support, Bean began dealing. Included in his
complete-game performance was a crucial strikeout with the bases
loaded in the third against Devon DeJardin, whom had bested Bean in
the second inning with a solo shot to center field. The home run
surrendered to DeJardin proved to be the only mistake Bean made on
the day as he pitched Portsmouth to their first victory of the
“Every time he (Jordan Bean) pitches, we know we’re in the game”
said McCauley. “We know he’s not going to give many up.”
“It feels special to be on that field,” said Bean who was calm and
collected the entire game. “I just don’t want to look stupid on TV.”
Murrayhill Little League was not without there own heroics. DeJardin
provided the offense for the team with a blast in the second inning.
“It wasn’t really a bad pitch,” said Bean when asked about giving up
the home run. “I hit the location, but he had a good swing and hit a
Aside from the first inning, Murrayhill manager Jeff Keller liked
the way the team played noting that without the first inning, it
would have been a 1-1 game with possibly some extra innings. “We had
opportunities and didn’t get the hit,” said Keller.
Derek Keller came in the game in relief of DeJardin and pitched a
solid five and two-thirds innings, giving up only two hits and one
run while striking out six.
Manager Jeff Keller expects DeJardin to bounce back from his bad
outing and possibly start the team’s next game on Sunday. “He showed
the heart he had inside,” said Keller about DeJardin staying in the
game and hitting his home run.
© 2006, Little League Baseball
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