Concord Little League falls one game short of New England Regional final, loses rematch to Middleborough, Mass.

  • The Concord Little League All-Star team will play Middleborough, the Massachusetts state champ, in the New England Regional Tournament on Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Bristol, Conn. Courtesy of Little League Baseball

  • The Concord Little League 11-12 year-old All-Stars stand for the national anthem before their rematch with Middleborough, Mass., on Wednesday. The Massachusetts state champions won 11-0 to eliminate Concord from the New England Region Tournament. Courtesy of Little League Baseball

  • Jayden Murphy gets mobbed by teammates at home plate after hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to give Middleborough, Mass., an early lead over Concord Little League on Wednesday in Bristol, Conn. The Massachusetts state champs went on to win 11-0 in five innings, eliminating Concord from the New England Regional Tournament. Courtesy of Little League Baseball

  • Concord’s Nolan Walsh delivers a pitch against Middleborough, Mass., on Wednesday in Bristol, Conn., during a New England Region Tournament game. Middleborough won, 11-0, to eliminate Concord.  Courtesy of Little League Baseball

  • Concord shortstop Henry Thresher fires a throw to first base during a game against Middleborough, Mass., on Wednesday in Bristol, Conn. Thresher was a force throughout the New England Region Tournament, striking out 13 in Concord’s first game against Massachusetts and getting one of Concord’s two hits in the rematch. Courtesy of Little League

  • Middleborough’s Gavin Gillpatrick delivers a pitch against Concord Little League during a game on Wednesday in Bristol, Conn. Gillpatrick pitched a two-hit shutout, striking out 10, went 4-for-4 at the plate with four RBI and two runs scored, and hit a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to seal an 11-0 victory. Courtesy of Little League Baseball

Monitor staff
Published: 8/10/2022 4:50:55 PM

Concord Little League avenged losses in the New Hampshire District 2 tournament and the state championship, but finally ran into an opponent that was too strong to overcome.

Middleborough, Mass., defeated Concord for the second time in the New England Region Tournament with an 11-0 walk-off victory in five innings on Wednesday at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center in Bristol, Conn.

That loss is Concord’s second, officially ending the Granite Staters run in the modified double elimination tournament.

Massachusetts will play Bangor, Maine on Thursday at 5 p.m. for the New England crown and a berth at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

Gavin Gillpatrick – whose solo home run lifted the Massachusetts state champions to a 1-0 victory over Concord in the first round of the tourney – tossed 10 strikeouts in a two-hit shutout, while also going 4-for-4 at the plate (double, four RBI, two runs) with a walk-off two-run homer to center field in the bottom of the fifth to put the 10-run mercy rule into effect.

Jayden Murphy (3-for-4, triple, double, two RBI, three runs) belted a home run over the left field wall in Middleborough’s first at bat of the game for a quick 1-0 lead.

Mike Marzelli (3-for-3, double, three RBI, two runs) and Ayden Morris (1-for-3, RBI double) are in the top four of a formidable Mass. batting order along with Murphy and Gillpatrick.

“Today was a tough one,” Concord head coach Jon Connor said. “It was a tough one to swallow. We ran into a buzzsaw. They’re a solid team. They’re solid up and down the lineup. It’s a testament to how good Henry Thresher was in that first one that he was able to strike out 13. They’ve got big kids who can swing the bat.” 

Thresher and Finn Gfroerer had singles for Concord, while Wes Bailey reached on a walk.

It’s certainly not the way Concord hoped to exit the tournament, but the 11 and 12 year-old Little League state champions had a remarkable run.

The club went 13-5, avenging a loss to Portsmouth to win District 2, a thrilling victory over Goffstown in the final game of a three-game series and made Concord’s first appearance at the New England Region Tournament since 1988.

Concord also did something that ’88 squad couldn’t achieve – a victory.

Concord topped Brattleboro, Vt., 2-0, on Sunday.

The club also got to experience dorm life, playing on ESPN and competing in the sport the kids love with the best in the region.

“The experience definitely outweighs the outcomes of the games,” Concord head coach Jon Connor said. “They decided they wanted to stay the last night (in Bristol). They’re in the pool now and they’re having a blast and soaking it all in. Ten years from now they won’t even remember the games. They’ll remember the good times they had here. I’m really proud of the group. They came together as a team. Big thank you to the Concord community as a whole for the support they’ve given us.”

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