OLD ORCHARD BEACH – Fayette-Staples stayed close for more than half the game Thursday night before Milford, Conn., pulled away for a 5-2 victory on a foggy night in the American Legion Northeast Regional at The Ballpark.

The game was the last of the four-game set on opening day. The nine-inning game started at 7:30 p.m. and it wasn’t long before the fog rolled in. Late in the game, fielders had trouble seeing the ball.

This was Fayette-Staples’ second straight year in the tournament as the host team. Like it did in its previous games in the tournament, Fayette-Staples, made up of Thornton Academy players, accorded itself well.

It loaded the bases with one out in the eighth but didn’t score. Milford second baseman Kyle Winters made two catches of high pops in the fog to keep Fayette-Staples at bay.

Jeff Gelinas pitched a strong game for Fayette-Staples, striking out 10 and walking three.

Gelinas also doubled to left in the fourth inning and scored on a single by Alex Fallon to make it 1-1.

Milford regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth and led 3-1 before Fayette-Staples cut it to 3-2 on an infield hit by Ryder Kenney.

Milford responded with another two runs to take a 5-2 lead. Jacob Saley doubled home a run.

Fayette-Staples stayed in the game early by throwing out two runners at the plate.

In the opening game, Saratoga, N.Y., shut out Essex Junction, Vt., 3-0.

In the second game, Barnstable, Mass., downed Concord, N.H., 5-1.

Saratoga pitcher Michael Vargues allowed five hits and struck out four.

Saratoga scored single runs in the second, sixth and seventh innings. Chris Pescetti led the offense with three hits. Chris Jurnak had two hits for Essex Junction.

Barnstable trailed Concord 1-0 after two innings but tied it in the bottom of the third.

Barnstable took control with two runs each in the sixth and eighth.

Concord outhit Barnstable, 9-6.

Dylan Morris led Barnstable with two hits and three runs. Eddie Dionne had three hits for Concord.

Friday’s matchups have Essex Junction Vt., vs. Woonsocket, R.I., at 9:30 a.m.; Concord, N.H., vs. Fayette-Staples, following the first game; First Title vs. Saratoga, N.Y., 4:30 p.m.; and Barnstable, Mass. vs. Milford, Conn., 7 p.m.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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Twitter: TomChardPPH