It was a fitting way to decide the Gloucester Little League Majors B championship series. The Reds and Twins proved to be evenly matched opponents throughout the series and as a result it took a full three games for a winner to be crowned. In the end it was the Reds that reigned supreme with a 2-1 series win.
The Reds clinched the championship with an 8-6 win in game three thwarting a late inning comeback by the Twins.
The eventual champs drew first blood in the bottom of the first inning on RBI singles from Nate Montagnino and Marcus Montagnino.
The Twins cut into the lead in the third on an Anthony Rizzo RBI hit making it 2-1. The Reds, however, responded right away in the bottom of the third breaking the game open with five runs, the big blow coming in the form of a three RBI single by Josh Concors. The Reds also scored on a Nate Montagnino single that brought in two more runs making it a 7-1 game.
The Twins made a game of things with a big fifth inning when pitcher Brett Gaipo, helping out his own cause, brought in three runs with a bases loaded triple. A pair of bases loaded walks cut the Reds lead from 7-1 to 7-6 with just one inning to play.
The eventual champs would add an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth to make it 8-6, a lead they would hold on to en route to the Majors B championship.
Game one could be summed up with one name, Zach Abbott, who was dominant from his first pitch on. The Twins starter struck out the first batter he faced and never looked back not allowing a hit until the fifth inning. Abbott finished off a 5-1 Twins win allowing just three hits on no walks with 13 of the 18 outs recorded coming by way of the strikeout.
He went 4.1 innings without giving up a hit, when Marcus Montagnino got a triple to break-up the no-no. Abbott pitched a complete game, no easy feat for a ten year-old kid that only gets seventy-five pitches to work with. Abbott finished with a very impressive 13 strikeouts, only allowing three hits and didn’t walk a single batter in the 5-1 Twins victory.
With their backs against the wall, the Reds would force a decisive game three thanks to a walk-off 3-2 win in game two of the series.
The Twins appeared to be on their way to the title scoring a pair of runs in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead. Kinnery Muniz and Daniel Hafey delivering the RBI hits in the inning.
But the Reds were not done as they tied the score when Ariel Riviera scored on a sacrifice bunt. They would take the lead for the first time all game in the bottom of the sixth in dramatic fashion. With the bases loaded Nate Montagnino came to the plate and delivered with a walk-off base hit scoring Marcus Montagnino from third extending the series to a decisive third game, where the Reds would prevail.