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Salem’s Jake Delaney is congratulated after his three-run home run in the third inning. Rye won the deciding Game 3 by a score of 19-7. (Harry Kozlowski Photo)

Salem falls to Rye in state championship game 19-7

Game three of the Little League state championship turned into a nightmare for the team from Salem, with Rye winning the deciding game 19-7.

Rye scored runs in all six innings. The game was so lopsided that the 10-run mercy rule almost took effect in the fifth inning at 15-5, but Salem managed two runs to keep the game going.

The problems started immediately when starting pitcher Jake Delaney did not have his control. Delaney hit four Rye batters in the first two innings. Max Morrasse relived him afterward.

Salem fielders were out of sync most of the game, committing five errors and not making plays when needed.

Salem manager Dean Borrelli said it was a rough start that his team could not recover from.

“We fought hard and did what we could,” said Borrelli.

Salem did try to keep up. Jake Delaney hit a three-run homer in the third to make it 8-5 Rye. But Rye kept piling on the runs until the deficit became too large.

Game 1 went to Salem 8-4, thanks to a five-run, four-hit fifth inning that put the game out of reach. With Rye up 4-3, eight straight Salem batters reached base that inning, five of which scored.

Salem’s John Olivo replaced starting pitcher Jake Delaney in the second after he allowed two Rye runs. Olivo was solid the rest of the way to seal the Game 1 victory.

While 12 runs were scored in Game 1, Game 2 was a pitchers duel, with Rye eking out a 2-1 victory to even the series.

Pitchers for both Salem and Rye were virtually unhittable. Salem’s Matt Soldano struck out 11 of 16 Rye batters he faced.

But he did allow two one-run homers that were the difference in the game. Those were the only two hits Soldano allowed.

Max Morassee relived Soldano in the fifth and threw two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and striking out four.

Dylan Chase went the distance on the mound for Rye in Game 2. He allowed just one home run by Nick Robertson in the first.

But his most impressive moment came in fourth when Salem, behind by a run, loaded the bases with no one out.

Chase struck out two and got the final out to pop up to center preserving Rye’s 2-1 lead and eventual final score.

That set the stage for the deciding game on Tuesday, July 23, but torrential rains postponed the game to Wednesday, July 24.

Borrelli said he was proud of his team. They came back after tough games in the past. But this game would allow no second chance.

Meanwhile, Rye will advance to the New England regionals in Bristol, Conn. Some of their games will be shown on NESN and ESPN next week.

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