Bangor to face Connecticut champs in Legion baseball regional opener

Posted Aug. 04, 2014, at 7:14 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 04, 2014, at 8:28 p.m.
Bangor Comrades second baseman Sam Huston leans back to make a catch on a fly ball in the fifth inning of their American Legion Championship game against Bessey Motors on Sunday at Husson University in Bangor.
Michael C. York
Bangor Comrades second baseman Sam Huston leans back to make a catch on a fly ball in the fifth inning of their American Legion Championship game against Bessey Motors on Sunday at Husson University in Bangor.

The state champion Bangor Comrades baseball team will face one of three participating Connecticut teams in the opening round of the American Legion Northeast Regional at Middletown, Connecticut.

But the team’s opponent will have a similar championship pedigree as coach Dave Morris’ club, which on Sunday won Bangor’s first Maine American Legion state crown since 1979.

Cheshire won its first Connecticut state title Saturday by defeating RCP (Rocky Hill-Cromwell-Portland) 3-0 in the final game of their best-of-3 championship series.

Bangor (23-5) and Cheshire (31-11) will play at 4:30 p.m. in the third of four games scheduled opening day at Bill Pomfret Stadium at Palmer Field.

The double-elimination tournament is scheduled to conclude Monday, Aug. 11, with the regional champion advancing to the American Legion World Series, which begins Aug. 14 at Shelby, North Carolina.

Cheshire and RCP (25-8) already had received berths in the Northeast Regional before their state championship series because American Legion awards a second at-large bid to the six states nationwide with the largest number of teams in order to fill out the 64-team field. Connecticut boasts the sixth-most American Legion teams among all states.

The six at-large teams are joined by the 50 state champions and eight host teams.

And with Middletown hosting the regional for the second straight year, it receives an automatic berth to become the third Connecticut team in the eight-team Northeast Regional.

The other four state champions to have qualified for the event are Milford, Massachusetts (25-9), Central Falls, Rhode Island (29-12), Dover, New Hampshire (18-5), and Essex, Vermont (28-9). Middletown, Connecticut, will bring a 30-15 record into the tournament.

All games in the regional are scheduled to be streamed live from Middletown on www.sportingnewsCT.com.

Junior Legion

Bangor’s Junior Legion team, which secured the state title on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over South Portland, will not represent Maine in the Junior Legion Northeast Regional.

Bangor will not attend because some of its players have commitments to play for the Senior Legion squad and Bangor’s entry in the Senior League World Series at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.

South Portland plays the Rhode Island champion Saturday at 4:30 at Gill Stadium in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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