Plays at Home Spark New Hampshire
New England Advances
Behind Bean’s Arm
By Brandon Miller
It was an elimination game at Lamade Stadium when the Portsmouth (N.H.)
Little League All-Stars took on the South Lake Charles All-Stars
from Louisiana. Ultimately, the Portsmouth Little League team from
the New England Region prevailed 5-0 in a game much closer than the
New Hampshire pitcher Jordan Bean continued his Little League
Baseball World Series dominance picking up his second win in two
tries as he shut down South Lake Charles, allowing only two hits
over six innings, striking out 12.
“This was not Jordan’s best performance, but as you can see, Jordan
is the gutsiest kid I know,” said Portsmouth manager Mark McCauley. “He
absolutely goes to entirely another level. It’s his heart and his
head that really gets him through all this.”
Coming into the game, Bean’s game plan was to, “pitch strikes, don’t
give up a lot of walks, and stay around the strike zone. Nothing
wild. Let the defense make the play like they did all game.”
And the defense did step up when it needed to. In the fourth, South
Lake Charles pinch hitter Hunter Ford drew a leadoff walk and was
followed by a single by pinch hitter Jordan Karam. An error by the
centerfielder put runners at second and third with nobody out and
Taylor Butler coming to the plate.
Bean let loose a wild pitch and Ford attempted to score, but was
thrown out at home on a flip from catcher Connor McCauley to Bean.
“It took a good hop off the backstop and came right to me,” said
McCauley. “As soon as I threw it to Jordan I knew he was dead.”
With Karam advancing to third on the play, the next batter grounded
the ball to third base. Karam broke for home on contact and was
thrown out on another close play at the plate.
“(Feeney) makes a nice play going to his left and spins back and
throws it home, makes a good strike and the catcher blocks the
plate,” said South Lake Charles manager Josh Corman. “I really felt
like if we’d have scored there that would have been a big
A strikeout later and the inning was over with a 0-0 tie still in
“I did feel good about our chances as we got into the later innings
because we were making solid contact,” said manager McCauley. “I
felt that going into the bottom of that fifth inning if we could
just get to the top of our order…eventually when you’re hitting the
ball like that you’re going to find some holes, and that’s what you
With the momentum shifted, New Hampshire was able to break it open
in the bottom of the fifth when a walk, three hits and two errors
scored five runs.
“We went back to playing Portsmouth baseball today,” said manager McCauley whose team committed seven errors yesterday,
but managed to bounce back with a solid defensive effort in this game.
“We have a saying that ‘regardless of whether you hit a home run or
you just made a mental or physical error, its history channel.’”
The game-winning hit came off the bat of Matthew Feeney when he
singled in the first run of the game.
“It just felt good cause that was a timely hit right there,” said
Feeney. “I’ve been kind of waiting for a good key hit like that.”
“Matty’s a good enough hitter, plus a number three hitter, he bats
behind Jordan. That’s a tall task because a lot of teams will pitch
around Jordan,” said manager McCauley of Feeney’s offensive skills.
South Lake Charles showed their defensive prowess in the third when
shortstop Matt Gallier chased down a ball in the hole behind
second base, made a spin, and completed the highlight reel play with
a strong throw to first to record the out.
The defense stepped up again in the fourth when a leadoff single was
wiped out with a 5-4-3 double play, prompting South Lake Charles
pitcher Nick Zaunbrecher to get high fives from everyone in the
“That was about some of the best defense, if not the best defense,
we’ve ever played (against),” said manager McCauley.
South Lake Charles ends the tournament having played their hearts
out and enjoying the run the entire way.
“It was really, really special, for all the kids,” said manager
Corman. “I don’t think the kids will realize it until we get home.
They’re going to realize that it was something else.”
Corman, who will be leaving his hometown of Lake Charles after the
tournament to coach high school baseball in Zachary, La., could not
say enough about the experience and what the team has meant to him.
“That’s going to be something special when those guys are 30 and 40
years old and I’m an old man and we can get together and say ‘this
is what we did. We did something here.’ I will miss the players on
Corman also wanted to thank his wife, Jennifer, for her support over
the past five years while he coached and spent time away from home.
“We were so entirely focused on this ballgame that we didn’t allow
ourselves to get beyond it, so we’ll have a day to regroup and we’ll
figure out who we’re going to throw either Wednesday or Thursday,”
said manager McCauley.
© 2006, Little League Baseball
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