WESTBROOK — Cumberland/North Yarmouth staved off elimination Tuesday night in the District 6 Little League baseball tournament with a 16-1 win over previously undefeated Portland at Volunteer Field.

The teams meet in the deciding game at 7:05 p.m. Thursday with the winner advancing to the state tournament, which begins July 20 at Lewiston.

The game was called in the bottom of the third due to the mercy rule.

“We won this tournament last year (the 10-11 district) so we had some confidence that we would be able to play a good game, but there was definitely a sense of urgency,” said Cumberland/North Yarmouth Coach Mark Piesik. “We had our best pitchers lined up to pitch so it all worked out pretty good.”

Cumberland/North Yarmouth lost earlier in the 11-12-year old tournament 6-5 to Standish on June 29, but on Monday avenged that loss with a 12-2 victory to reach the championship round.

Right-hander Keeler Vogt started for Cumberland/North Yarmouth, going 2 1/3 innings. He allowed no runs and one hit. He walked one and struck out four. He threw only 34 pitchers, so he will be available to pitch again on Thursday.

“I had my fastball going. I just warmed up really well and warmed up extra (before the game) and it worked,” said Vogt. “We lost earlier than we expected being the defending (district) champions so I think we’re just ready for this since we’ve been here before.”

Cumberland/North Yarmouth scored nine runs in the bottom of the first inning, sending 11 players to bat, and tacked on seven more in the third, with 10 players coming to bat. Jack Fowler scored the final run on a wild pitch that ended the game on the mercy rule.

Portland scored in the top of the third on a single by Tavian Lauture. Portland then loaded the bases with one out, but the rally ended on a double play.

“We went after the pitcher and after strikes real quick,” said Piesik. “Hitting, not waiting for pitches—if there was a strike, we hammered it.”

For Portland Coach Bob Milliken, the loss was a wake-up call.

“Hopefully the team that’s been here the first four games of the tournament will show up (on Thursday) and we’ll make some plays and get some timely hits,” Milliken said.

His message to his players?

“Just wipe it off an we’ll play on Thursday. That’s why we’re in the spot we’re in.”


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