NCL opens regional play in fashion | Sports activities

WORCESTER – Julian Rivera performed the hidden ball trick on Wednesday even though the NCL American Legion baseball team’s shortstop didn’t get the referee’s call in the end.

But there was no magic formula for NCL to rise to the winning class of the Northeast Regional. Strong pitching, solid defense, and a couple of clutch hits were winning combo as they usually are.

Sam Beaudoin and Nick Gomes combined on a six-hitter and the defense behind them was flawless when NCL beat Portsmouth, New Hampshire 6-0 in the regional game on opening day at Fitton Field

“When we play in defense, when we play NCL ball the way we can play it, we don’t think anyone can beat us,” said Rivera. “I believe that. I will.”

NCL is expected to face hosts Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, in the final game on today’s board around 7:00 p.m. for a place in the winners’ round final on Friday. Claudio Santaniello, who threw a shutout in the regional qualifying round on Saturday, is expected to start for NCL on the hill.

Santaniello gave NCL a quick lead with an RBI single in the top of the first inning. Beaudoin hit seven in his four innings of work. When Portsmouth put the ball into play, the defense was ready behind him.

Center fielder Isaac Rosario stole additional bases from Owen Fox with an over-the-shoulder grab to open the second. Julian couldn’t figure out the hidden ball trick in the third as the referees ruled that NCL coach Ariel Rosario was given time out to discuss a seedy game. But his fine game of finishing fourth with runners on the corners and two outs kept NCL’s lead intact.

“I wanted to cover the bag because I saw the runner steal,” said Rivera. “The child hit it on my right while I walked on my left. I’ve lost my footing somehow. But I could only recover and get the guy. Everything went quickly, but I was confident that I could play a game. “

NCL broke it up in the fifth.

Manny Flores’ doubles made it 2-0 and the pick of an outfield player on Isaac Rosarios Grounder produced a run. With the loaded bases and two outs, Gomes’ drive to left outfielder Max Lalime eluded and cleared the bases for a 6-0 lead.

“I saw him slow down and camp under the ball and I thought ‘Argh’,” said Gomes. “It was a full base situation and I didn’t do my job. When I saw it go over his head, I was just amazed and rushed to second place. “

NCL struggled in the Northeast Regional when it was late building on its leads. The opportunity on Wednesday did not pass up.

“It was perfectly timed when we broke it up,” said coach Rosario. “This enabled us to remove Sam with less than 60 spaces, which means that he will be available for us on Saturday. We preach to the guys that they get early runs because they make our decisions easier. “

Beaudoin threw 57 pitches in his four innings of work. Gomes allowed three hits in three innings to complete the shutout and take the win.

It was NCL’s first regional game, but it played here as before.

“When we came through the Connecticut area, there was a big sigh of relief,” said Rosario. “At the time, our team had the feeling: ‘We belong here.’ We kept it easy as coaches to keep them relaxed. They treat each other like family, so it’s easier to go with the flow. “

at Fitton Field, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Hamburg, NY 5, Newport, RI 1

NCL 6, Portsmouth, NH 0

Beverly, Mass. 12, Old Town, Maine 0

Shrewsbury, Mass. 10, Essex Junction, Vt. 0 (5)

Game 5: Newport, RI vs. Old Town, Maine, 9:30 am

Game 6: Portsmouth, NH vs. Essex Junction, Vt., Noon

Game 7: Hamburg, NY vs. Beverly, Massachusetts, 4:30 p.m.

Game 8: NCL vs. Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, 7pm

Game 9: Winner of Game 6 vs. Loser of Game 7, 9:30 a.m.

Game 10: Winner of Game 5 vs. Loser of Game 8, 4:30 p.m.

Game 11: Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 8, 7 p.m.

Game 12: Winner of Game 9 vs. Loser of Game 11, 1pm

Game 13: Winner of Game 10 vs. Winner of Game 11, 7 p.m.

Game 14: Winner of Game 12 vs. Winner of Game 13, 1pm

Game 3: If necessary, 5 p.m.

The tournament winner will advance to the Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina.

Follow Carl Adamec on Twitter to cover all the sports in JI’s 18-city coverage area, as well as updates on the UConn women’s basketball team and head coach, Geno Auriemma: @CarlAdamec, Facebook: Carl Adamec, and Instagram: @CarlAdamec.