OLD ORCHARD BEACH – Colchester, Vt., scored twice in the bottom of the 11th inning Thursday night to pull out a 7-6 victory against Fayette-Staples to end the opening day of the American Legion Northeast Regional at The Ballpark.

Fayette-Staples, made up primarily of players from Thornton Academy, will meet Cranston, R.I., around 12:30 p.m. today in an elimination game of the eight-team, double-elimination tournament.

“It was a long defensive game,” Colchester Coach Jeff Mongeon said. “It wasn’t an offensive show of any sorts. It wasn’t pretty to watch, probably. It was a grind.”

Fayette-Staples, which trailed for much of the game, was poised to win twice.

“We were one strike away both times and we just didn’t get it done,” said Fayette-Staples Coach Ray Petit.

Anthony Campbell singled solidly up the middle to drive in the winning run in the 11th. Earlier in the inning, Matthew Goulet was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 6-6.

Fayette-Staples took a 6-5 lead in the top of the 11th when Trevor Fleurent singled in a run.

In the top of the ninth, Fayette-Staples scored three runs and took a 5-4 lead on Fleurent’s two-run double.

But Colchester tied it in the bottom of the inning on a passed ball.

“I’m proud of my guys for just sticking with it,” Mongeon said. “When we lost that lead, we could have just mailed it in, but we fought back and got that run. We just battled with them. Every time they scored, we tried to match them or do better, and we did.”

Colchester scored an unearned run in the second to open the scoring. Jeff Sutherland led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on catcher Matt Turnage’s throwing error. He scored when Anthony Campbell bounced out to second base.

Colchester made it 2-0 in the fourth. Ryan Crowley led off with a single and scored when Sutherland launched a triple to the base of the wall 405 feet away in straight-away center.

Fayette-Staples finally broke through in the fifth. Pinch-hitter Steve Harmon led off with a walk, moved to second on Max Dube’s sacrifice, to third on a balk and scored when Sam Canales slammed his third single up the middle.

Colchester took a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the inning. David Lacroix led off a with a walk and moved to second on a bunt. With two outs, Nick Swim walked. Both runners moved up on a passed ball, and Lacroix scored when Turnage threw wildly to third. Crowley followed with his second single of the game to drive in Swim.

Alex Richardson-Newton led off the sixth with a double and scored to make it 4-2 on two groundouts.

Fayette-Staples, which left 10 on, had plenty of chances in the early innings.

“We just couldn’t get the timely hit,” Petit said. “We’d get the second-and- third situations and we couldn’t get the big hit.”

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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