Goffstown falls win shy of Little League World Series appearance

Monitor staff
Published: 8/10/2019 4:49:56 PM

Goffstown was one step away from the Little League World Series, but that was as close as the 11-12 All-Star team could get.

The New Hampshire champions took an early lead and had their starting pitching working early with Adam Lafond on the mound, but Barrington, R.I. forced him to throw 82 pitches in 3 ⅓ innings and scored four runs in the fourth to give Rhode Island a 6-4 victory over Goffstown in the New England Regional championship. Barrington punched its ticket to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

For the Goffstown, its remarkable summer run, including a District 1 championship, a state championship with a 2-0 series win over Portsmouth and two victories in the New England Regional tournament that led them to the championship game, came to an end with Saturday’s loss at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Complex in Bristol, Conn.

Lafond, who struck out 12 and walked one in Goffstown’s tournament-opening 3-0 victory over Walpole, Mass., struck out the side in the first and third innings, while the Goffstown defense converted a double play in the second and Dillon Gaudet (3-for-3, double) scored on a Noah Durham single to give the New Hampshire champs a 1-0 lead in the first.

But Owen Pfeffer drove in a run with an RBI single to score James Caldarella, tying the game, 1-1, in the top of the third, and the teams traded runs (both scored by stealing home) in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth to make it 2-2.

The Rhode Island All-Stars – determined not to come up short against Goffstown again after falling 2-1 on Thursday – made Lafond work every at-bat. Through three innings, Lafond had already thrown 64 pitches, while Pfeffer had thrown only 29 for Rhode Island.

Barrington played small ball, worked every count by fouling off countless pitches and forced Lafond (3-plus innings, two runs, five hits, seven strikeouts, two walks) to be pulled after throwing 82 pitches. Durham took over on the mound with just one out and runners on first and third.

Facing a tough out, Durham was forced to walk his first batter to load the bases before an RBI single from Lucas Tanuous and a two-run single from Pfeffer gave Barrington a 5-2 lead. Durham recovered with huge strikeout and then induced a fly ball to end the inning.

Lafond scored on a fly out and an error in the bottom of the fifth to cut Goffstown’s deficit to 5-3, but Rhode Island came right back when Tanuous scored on groundout to go back ahead by three heading into the bottom of the sixth.

With one last chance to keep its season alive, New Hampshire’s Max Bridgeman hit a one-out double and scored on a Chase Phillibotte (2-for-3) single with two outs, but Pfeffer (six innings, nine hits, four runs, three strikeouts, one walk) struck out Lafond for the final out.

Barrington’s victory gives Rhode Island its fifth New England title and LLWS appearance in the last six years.

Mike Madgziasz, Maddox Turck, Ryan Dutton, Nate Kiah, Brock Bennett, Lincoln Nyquist, Trevor Carter and Jackson Hall were the other eight members of Goffstown’s 13-man All-Star squad, coached by Patrick Dutton.

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