MANCHESTER — The Salem Little Leaguers ran out of rallies — one victory shy of a trip to Connecticut.
The District 1 champions were unable to match Rye’s offense as Salem dropped a 19-7 decision yesterday in the third and final game of their state championship showdown in front of a nice crowd of about 500 at Harris Field.
“That was actually our worst game,” manager Dean Borrelli said after the loss that prevented Salem a berth in the Northeast Regional beginning next week in Bristol. “We just didn’t execute. When our pitchers were in the zone they were on too much of the plate, and (Rye) hit it. Plus we made a lot of errors that didn’t help us.”
Hitting was definitely something Rye did yesterday. Two days after putting up only two hits in a 2-1 Game 2 victory, Rye pounded three Salem pitchers for 18 hits, including three doubles and two homers. Throw in six Salem errors and the champs had more than enough fire power to advance.
“Up to this point we had played pretty good baseball with very few mistakes,” said Borrelli, whose squad won the opener of the series 8-4. “But tonight was a different story. But give (Rye) credit because they didn’t really hit against us in the first two games.”
Rye, which struck out 10 times in Game 2, jumped on Salem with two runs in the first and five in the second. Rye scored at least one run in every inning and at least four in three while sending at least six batters to the plate in five of the six innings.
Salem tied the score at 2 in the bottom of the first on an RBI double from Nick Robertson, who later scored on a Mike Borrelli ground out. Then after falling behind 8-2 in the top of the third, Salem attempted one of its patented comebacks with a three-run homer from Jake Delaney in the bottom of the frame. It was Delaney’s second homer in the series.