Sunday, December 8, 2013
With a day off in the middle of the New England Babe Ruth 13-15-year-old regional tournament, Central Maine players and coaches relaxed on Monday. The team had batting practice scheduled for the late afternoon, and planned to watch the evening's elimination game between Braintree, Mass. and Newtown, Conn.
IN GOOD SHAPE: Players run onto the field to congratulate Ben Frazee after he hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Central Maine a 3-2 win over Eastern Mass. on Sunday in Newtown, Conn. Central Maine is 2-0 in the tournament and faces Cranston, R.I. today for a berth in the championship portion of the tournament.
Contributed photo by David Emery
Central Maine earned a day of rest with a 15-5 win over Pittsfield, Mass. on the tournament's opening day, followed by a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Braintree on Sunday. Central Maine trailed 2-0 going into the seventh inning, and tied the game on Trevor Gettig's two-run triple down the first base line. Ben Frazee's bases loaded single in the ninth was the game-winner.
Central Maine faces Cranston, R.I., the tournament's other undefeated team, at 6 p.m. today. The winner advances to the championship round Thursday. The loser plays an elimination game Wednesday at 3 p.m.
The winner of the tournament will represent New England in the Babe Ruth World Series, Aug. 17-24 in Loudoun County, Virginia, approximately 25 miles west of Washington, D.C.
Many members of the Central Maine team played on the 14-year old squad that was New England runner-up last summer. The experience in big games is apparent, coach Butch Cunningham said.
"They stayed relaxed. They stayed focused," Cunningham said. "This team, they know someone's going to pick you up."
Pitching and defense have been keys so far for Central Maine. Cunningham pointed to the effort of Nick Mayo, who pitched six innings of scoreless relief of J.T. Nutting to earn the win Sunday. Mayo struck out 11 Braintree hitters.
"Nick Mayo shut them down," Cunningham said.
In Cranston, Central Maine faces one of the top offensive teams in the tournament Cranston scored 11 runs in each of its first two games, an 11-8 win over Newtown and an 11-1 victory over Norwalk, Conn.
"They're a good hitting team. They pound the ball," Cunningham said.
Cunningham said he'll likely start Frazee, who played for Messalonskee High School in the spring, on the mound against Cranston. Winslow's Jacob Trask, who started Saturday's win over Pittsfield, could come on in relief.
Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242