The Maine state champion Bangor Little League All-Star team got a combined no-hitter from Jacoby Harvey and Caden Karam in a 3-0 win over Brattleboro, Vermont in their New England Regional Tournament opener in Bristol, Connecticut on Saturday morning.
Bangor will now face Massachusetts champ Middleboro in a winners bracket game on Monday at 9 a.m. Middleboro nipped Concord, N.H. 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.
Karam will be Bangor’s starting pitcher in that one, while Brattleboro will play an elimination game against Concord on Sunday at 4 p.m.
If Bangor wins on Monday, it will play a winner-take-all championship game on Thursday at 5 p.m. against the team still remaining with one loss. If it loses on Monday, it will have to play the other team with one loss at 1 p.m. on Wednesday in an elimination game for the right to move on to the championship game.
The champion advances to play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. The World Series added 20 teams to the field this season, 10 from the United States and 10 international teams.
The other two New England state champs from Connecticut and Rhode Island are playing in the Metro Region Tournament, also in Bristol, Conn., against the champions from New Jersey and New York.
Harvey, son of head coach Jason Harvey, threw 5 1/3 innings with 14 strikeouts and three walks before reaching the 85-pitch limit.
Karam came on and walked the first two hitters he faced before settling down and striking out the last two.
Daxton Gifford singled and scored a run on a passed ball and drove in another run with a fielder’s choice grounder. Thomas Fournier came off the bench and delivered a run with a two-out single up the middle.
Brattleboro pitcher Senji Kimura threw 4 1/3 innings of five-hit, three-run baseball with 12 strikeouts and no walks.
“We pitched well and we got some timely hits. It was a great team win,” said
Jason Harvey, the former Husson University of Bangor baseball coach, called it “a great team win.” He was also happy with his son’s performance.
“Jacoby threw the ball extremely well. He answered the call,” said Jason. “He mixed up his pitches when he needed to.”
Bangor is seeking to become just the fourth Maine to win a regional and the first since Westbrook in 2005.
The only other Maine teams to earn a trip to Williamsport, Pa. for the Little League World Series were a 1971 Augusta team and the 1951 Suburban squad with players from Cape Elizabeth, Westbrook, Scarborough and Falmouth.
Bangor won all four of its state tournament games, outscoring opponents 37-7. Brattleboro came into the regional with a 9-0 record.