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Goffstown Little League falls in New England tournament

Staff report
August 11. 2017 10:40PM
Goffstown's Little League squad leaves the field after their state championship win last month. (BRUCE TAYLOR/UNION LEADER FILE)

BRISTOL, Conn. — The Goffstown Little League All-Stars came up just short of reaching the New England Regional final.

South Portland, Maine, rallied twice to beat Goffstown, 7-6, in Friday’s semifinal game at Breen Field. Maine advanced to play Fairfield, Conn., for the New England crown today at 1 p.m.

Johnny Poole’s two-run double to right field in the fifth inning was the key blow of the contest, giving Maine a 6-5 lead. Poole later scored from third on a double steal, giving the winners an insurance run they would eventually need.

The New Hampshire champs scored a run on three hits in the bottom of the sixth. Logan Simmons singled with two outs, moved up on Brayden Hollinrake’s hit and scored on Nate Innerfield’s single. But Maine closer Richie Gilboy nailed down the save by getting a foul pop for the final out.

Hollinrake finished with three singles for Goffstown, which finished 2-2 in the New England tournament.

“Everyone wants to go to Williamsport,” said Goffstown coach Jeff O’Connell. “But our players had an accomplishment of a lifetime and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Aiden O’Connell hit a leadoff homer, and Innerfield finished with two runs batted in. Logan Simmons and Ryan Strand had doubles.

Innerfield pitched the first 3 2/3 innings, permitting four runs, three coming on Matthew Fogg’s three-run homer. Simmons worked the final 2 1/3, allowing three runs.

The game featured some controversy. Jeff O’Connell used only 12 of his 13 players, and Little League rules require each player to get at least one plate appearance. Had Goffstown won, O’Connell would have been suspended for two games.

According to the Portland Press Herald, O’Connell said the player declined a chance to bat in the fourth inning. O’Connell told the Union Leader he didn’t want to discuss the matter further.

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