MANCHESTER — Lightning suspended play Tuesday and the winners bracket final will resume today at 5 p.m. with Waterford, Conn., leading Bennington, Vt., 5-1, in the fourth inning of the New England Regional Babe Ruth Tournament at Gill Stadium.
The winner advances to Thursday’s championship final at 5 p.m. The loser returns to the diamond tonight to play host Manchester in the losers bracket final at 7 p.m.
Bennington reached the winners bracket final by beating Manchester, 6-3, on Sunday behind Austin Condo’s 140-pitch complete game effort.
Bennington starter Ryan O’Neill got off to a rocky start, hitting leadoff hitter Mike Rocchetti to start the game. With two outs, clean-up hitter Chase Speller unloaded on a high fastball for a 325-foot homer down the left field line and a 2-0 lead.
Waterford padded its lead to 3-0 in the second inning when an errant pickoff throw to second allowed Alex Petchark to easily score from third base. Bennington catcher Cole Lamoureaux was trying to prevent a Waterford runner from stealing second, but his throw was off the mark and allowed Petchark to tally.
Bennington mounted a mini-rally in the home second when Lamoureaux walked and rambled home on a two-out triple by Bryce Bush.
O’Neill couldn’t help his cause further as he bounced out to second, stranding Bush.
In the third inning, Waterford pushed its lead to 5-1 behind an RBI single from Speller, who stole second on an errant throw and scored on the same play on another throwing error from the outfield.
With Waterford batting in the fourth inning, lightning in the area forced the umpires to clear the field at 8:34 p.m. before play resumed 20 minutes later. But lightning struck again at 9:03, causing stoppage a second time before the game was suspended.