OLD ORCHARD BEACH – Hitters from Cranston, R.I., and Norwalk, Conn., had to make the transition from wooden to metal bats for the American Legion baseball Northeast Regional at The Ballpark.

“We used wooden bats all summer, but we adjusted,” Cranston Manager David Schiappa said.

The Rhode Island state champions were eliminated Saturday from the eight-team tournament for players 19 and under.

They managed just one run in an opening loss to Bedford, N.H., on Thursday, then scored seven runs in each of their next two games.

“You have quicker bat speed with the metal bat because it’s a little lighter, and I think they were trying to push some balls and hit for power in the beginning rather than just meet the ball,” he said.

“It took us a game and a half to make the transition.”

Norwalk won two of its first three games but was eliminated Sunday.

“When you’re using a wooden bat and you come to metal, you’d think you’d hit a little better,” Norwalk Coach Chris Brown said.

“There is an adjustment, and we had a short period to make that adjustment. We only had two days of practice before we came up here with metal bats.

“It would be nice if it was all wooden bats because it is a great game. But, hey, it’s not the bat’s fault if you can’t hit the ball. What do they say? It’s not the tools, it’s the carpenter.”

Norwalk catcher Kevin Daniele said some of his teammates had difficulty making the transition.

“It was difficult because we were using wooden bats pretty much the whole summer,” he said. “I know it was a significant change for some of guys. They got real comfortable with the wood.”

Daniele said there’s a noticeable change in bat speed when making the switch from wood to metal bats.

“Some of the wood bats that I use are a lot heavier than the metal,” he said.

“You really have to wait a lot longer with the metal bats. But once you played one or two games, we really got our timing back and started hitting the ball real well. It took a game or two, but we battle no matter what we use.”

BEDFORD, N.H. 3, WORCESTER, MASS. 1: Ryan Mossman scattered five hits as the New Hampshire state champions became the lone unbeaten team in the tournament.

Bedford can wrap up its first regional title by defeating Whitestown, N.Y., at 1 p.m. today. If the New York state champions win that game, a second game will be played at 7 p.m.

Patrick Parker had a single and two doubles and knocked in two runs for Bedford.

Ysander Figueroa hit an RBI single for East Side Post, which went 2-2 in the double-elimination tournament.

WHITESTOWN, N.Y., 9, NORWALK, CONN. 5: Whitestown scored five runs in the sixth inning and went on to eliminate the Connecticut state champions.

Ryan Watson hit a two-run single as the New Yorkers moved into 9-2 lead in the sixth. Connor Passalacqua drove in Watson with a double.

Watson and Passalacqua each finished with three hits.

Kevin Cawley singled twice for Norwalk.

Norwalk’s departure from the tournament ended Connecticut’s string of regional championships at four.

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

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