BANGOR, Maine — With a trip to the Senior Little League World Series on the line, the Bangor and Brewer offenses erupted for 29 runs on 32 hits Monday in a back-and-forth District 3 championship game at Mansfield Stadium.
Bangor won 20-9 in eight innings.
Bangor held a slim 9-8 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning when a Jesse Wood wild pitch to Tyler White allowed Dan Davis to score from third and force extra innings.
That would prove to be Brewer’s last hurrah as Bangor sent 16 batters to the plate in the eighth, scoring 11 times and taking the win in 3 hours, 13 minutes.
Bangor heads to the Senior League World Series for the third straight year and seventh overall.
As the host team, Bangor opens the SLWS at noon on Aug. 15 against Canada.
It was Wood who sparked Bangor’s outburst.
“When I got the hit, coach probably would’ve killed me because it was a 3-0 [pitch] and he’d like you to take a pitch,” said Wood, who didn’t enter the game until the seventh. “But it was a belt-high fastball and I just took my rip and hoped for the best.”
Wood laced a two-run single to left field, just inside the foul line, to give Bangor an 11-9 lead.
Bangor never trailed in the game, but Brewer battled back to tie it on three occasions.
“It was kind of up and down the whole game,” said Wood. “Brewer came back and we battled back. They’re a good team.
“We got the hits when we needed to.”
Bangor looked as if it was going to cruise to victory after the first four batters in the first inning singled, and seven of the first eight batters reached base to four scored.
Bangor added another run in the second to make it 5-1 before Brewer answered with four runs in the third.
Brewer was used to coming from behind. It lost to Bangor on Friday 6-3 and was forced to the loser’s bracket where it had to win twice Sunday. It did. Brewer beat Hermon 9-1 and later topped Bangor 5-2 to force Monday’s de-cisive game.
Wood earned the win in relief, pitching the final five outs.
He tried to not think about what was at stake.
“I kind of try to block stuff out of my mind when I pitch,” said Wood. “I tried to concentrate on this game and getting to the World Series.”
He wasn’t the only one to aid Bangor’s run to the World Series as there were 19 hits by 11 different players.
Wyatt Frost hit a triple, two singles and drove in three runs to pace Bangor. Leadoff hitter Luke Hetterman added two singles and three RBIs.
Josiah Hartley chipped in a double, single, two RBIs and three runs scored. Anthony Capuano hit three singles and scored three runs, while Adam King added three runs and two singles.
Brewer had 13 hits by eight players, led by Yuhi Sasaki, who went 4-for-5, all singles, with two runs and an RBI.
Nick Moore hit a two-run triple off the glove of the right fielder Hartley to bring Brewer within a run at 5-4 in the third. Zach Violette followed with a pinch-hit RBI single to center.
Bangor again built a three-run lead before Sasaki capped a three-run fifth inning with an RBI single for Brewer.
An unusual play put Bangor back on top in the sixth. Christian Corneil struck out swinging with the bases loaded, but the ball got away from catcher Ian Forrest. Capuano scored from third, but Nic Cota was thrown out to end the inning trying to add an insurance run.
Bangor (4-1) 410 121 0(11) — 20 19 1
Brewer (4-2) 104 030 10 — 9 13 5
Savage, Duff (3), Hetterman (5), Wood (7) and Morris, Frost (1); Alexander, Bissell (5), Morrow (8), Hand (8) and Forrest