By Jeff Hamrick
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.
Rye, however, upped its advantage with seven runs in the ensuing two innings to secure the victory.
“We knew the bats had to come together,” Rye manager Ron King said. “Losing the first game (in the best-of-three series) was a tough loss and the second game was not a decisive win. Salem’s a great team.”
Salem wrapped up its scoring in the fifth. Robertson singled and Delaney doubled before Borrelli drilled an RBI single and Max Morasse plated Delaney on a ground ball. Besides Robertson and Delaney, Matt Soldano also had a pair of hits for Salem.
“The kids battled through some tough situations,” Borrelli said. “Coming into this game, I thought we had a good chance, but we didn’t play well.”
Day of rest didn’t hurt
The rubber match of the three-game championship set was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was postponed by rain. But Borrelli didn’t blame the delay on his squad’s poor showing.
“We practiced hard (Tuesday) and we looked good, Borrelli said. “We went through our normal routine. Up to this point.”
Although the Salem players were disappointed with the loss, the team’s manager was upbeat when asked what was the best part of the tournament experience.
“Watching the kids grow,” Borrelli said. “Not only from a skill standpoint but also emotionally. They really learned how to play and how to control their emotions. I think they even did that today, but every time we tried to come back (Rye) just kept coming at us.”
agateHed:RYE 19, SALEM 7
agateText:Rye (19): Max Malila ss 4-4-3, Dylan King p/1b 5-3-4, Dylan Chase c 5-4-1, Jonathan Swenson 1b/p 3-2-3, Matt Leger rf 5-3-1, Spencer Leger lf 4-2-2, Calvin Kobylinski 3b 5-0-2, Will Gerrish cf 3-0-0. Joe Nadeau cf 1-1-1, Nick Guerin 2b 4-0-1. Totals 39-19-18
agateText:Salem (7): Matt Soldano cf 4-1-2, Jake Emerson ss 3-1-0, Nick Robertson c 4-3-2, Jake Delaney p/3b 3-2-2, Mike Borrelli 1b 2-0-1, Max Morasse 3b/p/rf 3-0-1, John Olivo rf 2-0-0, Matt Peletier rf 1-0-0, Andrew Shumski lf 2-0-1, Donovan Abraham 2b/lf 1-0-0, Jack Palardy 2b 2-0-0, Dom Paci lf 1-0-0. Totals 28-7-9
agateText:RBI: R — Chase 3, Swenson 3, Nadeau 3, Kobylinski 2, Malila, King, M.Leger, S.Leger, Guerin; S -- Delaney 3, Borrelli 2, Robertson, Morasse.
agateText:HR: R — Malila (none on in third), Chase (one on in fifth); S -- Delaney (two on in third)
agateText:WP: King. LP: Delaney
agateText:Rye: 251 344 — 19
agateText:Salem: 203 020 — 7