Thursday, May 23, 2013
By KEN LIPSHEZ, Special to the Press Herald
BRISTOL, Conn. — In an epic pitcher’s duel Sunday, Scarborough was no-hit and came up short to Rhode Island 1-0 in the New England Regional Little League tournament.
Scarborough Maine's Ogdan Timpson heads to first with a walk during a 1-0 loss to Rhode Island Sunday morning in Bristol, Conn., in the New England Regional Little League tournament.
Photo by Mike Orazzi/Special to the Press Herald
In the loss, Scarborough allowed just one to the team from Coventry, R.I.
The winning run scored on pitcher Jarrad Grossguth's double in the fourth inning. In throwing his no-hitter, Grossguth threw 81 pitches, struck out nine and walked four.
Scarborough, 0-2 in pool play with two games remaining, plays Fairfield, Conn., at 8 p.m. Monday and New Hampshire on Wednesday.
“We faced some really good pitchers in the states, but we’ve never faced a pitcher like that,” Scarborough Manager Neal Pratt said. “Our guys battled. When they hit it, they hit it right at people, but hats off. That was a tremendous baseball game.”
“It obviously wasn’t my thought to throw a no-hitter, but it happened,” Grossguth said. “I just hit my spots. The fastball was on today. My curveball kept the hitters off balance, and most of my strikeouts came on my curveball.”
Scarborough pitcher Connor Kelly was just one pitch away from being equally spectacular.
Kelly – whose humpback liner to the left-field gap snared by Josh Andrade was Scarborough’s hardest-hit ball – walked Joey Barter to start the home fourth. Grossguth rifled a 2-1 pitch to the fence in right-center to score Barter and moved to third on an infield out, but Kelly retired the next two hitters.
“He threw a tremendous game and I’m proud of him,” Pratt said. “He battled against a tough hitting team. His curveball was effective and I think he kept hitters off balance.”
Pratt said the play that set the tone for the game was the 1-6-3 double play Grossguth initiated after walking Morgan Pratt to start the game.
“When he walked Morgan, he had his hands in the air a little bit and was kind of shaking his head. You could tell he was trying to find his game,” Pratt said. “He was doubting himself a little bit and the double play put the wind back in his sails.”
Scarborough generated its best threat in the fourth inning.
Jared Brooks drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Zoltan Panyi also walked, and Alex Dobecki tried to push a bunt toward the third baseman, but Grossguth made the play at first. Dobecki was credited with a sacrifice, but that wasn’t the manager’s intent.
“He’s one of the two best bunters on the team. The third baseman was playing back on him. Three out of five times, he places the ball down the third-base line for a base hit,” Pratt said. “He’s very fast, and frankly given the velocity, I figure that he has a better chance getting a bunt base hit even though he’s a very good hitter.”
Going into Monday’s game against the Connecticut champion, Pratt promises his team will be ready.
“They’re disappointed, and we said to them that it’s absolutely OK to be disappointed. It is not OK to hang your head or feel any kind of shame,” he said. “I’m proud of the way you played today. You should be proud of the way you played today. This is why baseball’s a great, great game.”