BRISTOL, Conn. — Shelburne, Vt., rallied from a 5-1 third-inning deficit to defeat Bangor East 8-5 in the New England Little League Baseball New England regional tournament Tuesday.
The two-time reigning Maine champions end pool play with a 1-3 record, but Bangor East remains alive for a berth in Thursday’s semifinal round.
While Bangor East is idle on Wednesday, a 10 a.m. game pitting 1-2 Portsmouth, N.H., against 1-2 Vermont and a 1 p.m. clash between 1-2 Southborough, Mass. and 2-1 Fairfield, Conn., could result in Maine being part of a three-team tie for the fourth and final semifinal berth.
The New Hampshire-Vermont winner will clinch a semifinal berth along with 4-0 Cumberland, R.I. and Connecticut.
Should Massachusetts then defeat Connecticut, Massachusetts would clinch the final semifinal berth.
Should Connecticut defeat Massachusetts in Wednesday’s second game, that would leave Maine, Massachusetts and the New Hampshire-Vermont loser all at 1-3.
The tiebreaker among those three teams for the final playoff berth then would come down to runs allowed divided by innings played.
Ironically, the Westbrook team that represented Maine in the 2005 New England regional also went 1-3 in pool play before advancing in a tiebreaker. That team went on to win the regional and advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn.
Bangor East’s chances for moving on to the semifinals looked good early in Tuesday’s game against Vermont.
Ryan Moore led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run off Vermont starter Shea Ireland.
Twin brother Nick Moore then hit a grand slam in the third to give Bangor East a 5-1 cushion, driving home Jeff Lewis, Ryan Moore and Joey Moir ahead of him.
But Ireland and William Hesslink combined to hold Bangor East scoreless over the last three innings, enabling Vermont to come back with three runs in the fourth inning and two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings.
Bangor East managed just four hits, the home runs by Ryan and Nick Moore, a double by Ethan Dorman and a single by Lewis.
Ryan Moore pitched the first five innings for Bangor East, yielding three earned runs on 10 hits while striking out two batters and walking one.
Liam Reading pitched the final inning for Bangor East.
Rayne Supple led Vermont’s 12-hit attack with a solo home run, a double and a single, while Hesslink and Henry Conroy each had a double, a single and an RBI. Andrew Pitcher contributed two RBIs for Vermont.
Ireland yielded four hits and three earned runs over 5¤ inning for Vermont before Hesslink came on to retire the only two batters he faced to earn the save.
Shelburne, Vt. (1-2) 001 322 — 8 12 3
Bangor East (1-3) 104 000 — 5 4 3
Ireland, Hesslink (6) and Pitcher; R. Moore, Reading (6) and Lewis, Crichton (6)