OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Cumberland/North Yarmouth is one win away from the Little League Baseball state championship game after beating Bangor East 6-1 on Wednesday night.

In front of a large and rowdy crowd of energetic kids chasing foul balls and anxious parents glued to their seats, Cumberland/North Yarmouth remained undefeated in the double-elimination tournament and will play for the title Saturday night. Bangor East moves into an elimination game Friday night against Saco or Augusta, who play Thursday night.

If Cumberland/North Yarmouth loses Saturday, the championship would be decided on Sunday.

Following two scoreless innings, Cumberland/North Yarmouth’s bats came alive in the top of the third, scoring five runs with solid hits and smart base running, including multiple steals of home. Johan Clorius capped the outburst with an RBI double to deep right field.

Center fielder Luke Piper had two hits for Cumberland/North Yarmouth

Rocky Axelson started on the mound for Cumberland/North Yarmouth and pitched two scoreless innings, throwing 44 while striking out two and allowing one hit.

Sylas Almy struck out six over the remaining four innings.

“It was really exciting because I don’t pitch that often,” said Almy, who also went 1 for 2 and scored a run. “Playing in the state semifinals is so fun, and I just want to thank my teammates and my mom and dad.”

Cumberland/North Yarmouth, the District 6 champion, is 3-0 in the state tournament and has allowed only one run.

“These kids have done a great job battling through District 6, which is stacked, and so I have to put my hat off to all the District 6 teams,” said head coach Chris Tyll, who coaches alongside Chris Byrnes, Andy Smith and Matt Soule.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that their pitchers came over and threw to us in practice to help us prepare for this tournament,” said Tyll. “So having everyone in the district rooting for these boys is awesome.”

Matt Aceto, president of Old Orchard Beach Little League, is enjoying the tournament after the canceled 2020 season and a 2021 spring filled with uncertainty.

“It’s great to see all the kids and their families out here,” said Aceto. “A lot of this spring season was, ‘let’s just make it to next week,’ so we are really grateful that we’ve made it to this point.”

Tyler Stewart, the District 4 Little League Administrator, said he’s been impressed by the talent, especially Cumberland/North Yarmouth’s hitting

But above all, he said, is the work of the volunteers that make sure every game runs smoothly.

“It really comes down to the volunteers who put in the hard work and the hours to keep the field up to shape, and run the concession stand behind the plate,” said Stewart.

The winner of the state championship will represent Maine at the New England Regional in Bristol, Connecticut.


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