Members of the Saco/Dayton Little League team carry the state championship banner after a 7-6 win Sunday against Cumberland/North Yarmouth. Saco will represent Maine in the Northeast Regional in Bristol, Connecticut. Michael Kelley/The Forecaster

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — After splitting two earlier matchups in the Little League Baseball state tournament, Cumberland/North Yarmouth and Saco/Dayton went down to the wire Sunday in the championship game.

And for the second night in a row, Noah Fullerton was in the middle of the action as Saco/Dayton completed its charge through the losers’ bracket of the double-elimination tournament with a 7-6 comeback victory.

The District 4 champions won five straight games over six days after a 3-0 loss to Cumberland/North Yarmouth in their tournament opener. They faced more adversity when they fell behind 4-0 in the top of the first inning Sunday, but they answered with three runs in the bottom of the first.

Then Saco/Dayton erased a 6-3 deficit with two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and one in the sixth. Fullerton tied the game with a home run in the fifth and won it with an RBI single in the sixth.

“When we came up to bat, we knew we had to put the ball in play because we were facing a really good team,” said Fullerton, who allowed just one hit in five innings Saturday night in a 5-1 win over Cumberland/North Yarmouth.

“This game was a microcosm of the tournament for us,” said Jamie Gagnon, Saco/Dayton’s manager. “We got down early but battled back, taking it one pitch at a time, one at bat at a time. I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”

Gagnon said his team’s busy schedule after falling into the losers’ bracket helped the players stay locked in at the plate and in the field.

“It was the best thing for us, but was not an easy thing to do,” he said.

Cumberland/North Yarmouth Manager Chris Tyll said his players gave it their best effort.

“It came down to the bottom of the sixth inning. You couldn’t ask for a better game,” said Tyll. “This is something they are going to remember for the rest of their lives.”

Saco advances to the New England Regional in Bristol, Connecticut, from Aug 8-14. Because this year’s Little League World Series will not have any international teams, the top two teams in each of the eight U.S. regionals will advance to the World Series.


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