BRISTOL, Conn. — South Portland American Little League jumped to a 6-0 lead after two innings and held on for an 8-5 win over Essex Junction of Vermont at the New England Little League baseball regional Thursday.

South Portland, the Maine champion among 11- and 12-year-olds, will face Goffstown Junior of New Hampshire at 1 p.m. Friday in an elimination game.

The winner of Friday’s game will play Connecticut for the regional title – and a trip to the Little League World Series – on Saturday.

Nolan Hobbs hit a three-run homer and Richie Gilboy followed with a home run in the next at-bat during South Portland’s four-run outburst in the second inning. Aiden Lee had three hits and three RBI, and recorded the final nine outs to pick up a save. Johnny Poole was the winning pitcher.

South Portland is 3-1 in the regional, including two wins over Vermont.

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